Gut Rumbles

February 09, 2005


This is a quote from a complete asshole that I NEVER want to play with in a band:

Try it like this, Mike: turn your rig up loud. Don't fool around with gain or pedals or anything. Just mainline straight into the thing and dime it.

Everybody in the world is going to hear every little goof you make.

That's why they call 'em "amplifiers".

Posted by Billy Beck at February 9, 2005 02:32 PM

Yeah. "Mainline straight into the thing and dime it." I don't know what the fuck that actually MEANS, but I've played in enough bands to know that I don't want ANYBODY on board who thinks that way, or PLAYS that way. If you play in a BAND, you play in a BAND, asswipe. You ain't playing to hear YOURSELF being louder than anyone else on stage. Dime it? What the fuck does that mean? Take your ten cents and hit the road, all-star. Go back to playing by yourself in your garage, where you belong.

Billy, if you're a bad-ass on guitar, let's you and me sit down with a pair of acoustics. Let's pick a song we both agree to play. No amps. No distortion pedals. Just the notes. And loudness doesn't count; just the music.

Dime THAT with me, shitass.


Dime it = turn the volume knob to 10 (usually the highest setting).

Posted by: Light & Dark on February 9, 2005 07:10 PM

Bullshit. Music is about enjoyment, whether you're running enough power to light up chicago through a Marshall and pretending to be Zakk Wylde, or trying to pluck an acoustic like Segovia.

There is no "right way" to play. There's only "your way", and chances are some people will love it and some will hate it. That's the way music is, always has been, and hopefully always will be.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on February 9, 2005 07:41 PM

Mr. Lion. May I just say AMEN Brother.

Oh, and Acidman, Props on the Mandolin man, put us somethin down to listen to.

Posted by: A Faithful Lurker on February 9, 2005 08:04 PM


you might want to do a little research on Beck before you try dissing him.

Beck will probably hand you your ass, and enough change for a round of beer.

If nothing else, discover what he does for a living.

Funny .. .

Posted by: jb on February 9, 2005 08:26 PM

If this is the same Billy Beck, he's a stoner stage set-up man. Don't know if he's ever PLAYED anything...He's worked for some big time bands, as if that means crap.

Posted by: delftsman3 on February 9, 2005 08:36 PM

I'm thinking you missed something here:

"Everybody in the world is going to hear every little goof you make."

This sounds like he was trying to make a point, rather than advising anyone to drown out his bandmates. How about a link or is this just an excuse to launch another rant?

Anyway, what's with the vitriol. Your calling someone you know nothing about an asswipe because you have a different opinion? It seems to me there is plenty of room for people to play their guitars any way they feel like.

Posted by: Trolling the backwoods on February 9, 2005 08:40 PM

A-man, without reading the rest of the story about this, I read it differently than you do.
Sounds to me, this guy "Mike" is having an issue. Beck is making a sarcastic remark back to him. Running the guitar straight to the amp (no filters, pedals, synth...nothing) and pegging the volume.
The result: at full volume with no filtering at all, EVERY goof you make will be heard (probably in the next three counties as well).
After all, that IS why they call them "amplifiers", they AMPLIFY sound. That is all they were built to do.
Good sound, or bad. Just LOUDER.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on February 9, 2005 08:54 PM


Try reading Beck's site . . . if for no other reason than to give yourself a smidgen of objectivity . . .

Google will get you to

Then you might consider trying to argue with him directly.

You could also consider a debate with him just before the guitar battle between Beck and Gut . . .

Should make for a good evening's entertainment.


Posted by: jb on February 9, 2005 08:56 PM

Augh, Jeez, already. Look; I'm fuckin'-aye sorry I blew up. I may be a complete asshole but sure as hell not like that. I actually wasn't even talking about PLAYING in a BAND, was I? Go look at it again. I think I can see that I didn't make clear that 'loud' doesn't necessarily mean 'dirty', although it was probably, uhm, simple enough to assume after the "too old" crack. I did figure, though, that y'all knew what I was talking about. ("Dimed" means "turned all the way up" -- sorry -- and what one gets out of it depends on a lot of things.)

"Garage"? Probably not. Just this evening I think I got an angle on a thing in a little two-stoplight village, and I think my best friend is going to have to get out his brushes for a while. No kiddin'. This looks very interesting -- almost like the living-room swing thing that the Ol' Man raised me on.

Anyway, look; we went over this in e-mail. I told you about the finger-squeaks, remember? (nod) I'm trying' to tell ya; it ain't necessarily so that acoustic players have to play cleaner. It's just not.

Posted by: Billy Beck on February 9, 2005 09:03 PM

Christ, Delfts -- I've got videos and MP3's all over my blog. (Well, they're kinda scattered in all over it, but they're there...) I started playing guitar in 1969, and I started working on lights in 1977 because I wasn't quite good enough to play with me best mates, who hired me on my first lights gig. Things kinda blew up from there, but I've been a guitarist for over thirty-five years, raised by a lifelong guitarist, raised by another lifelong guitarist. (My fambly has played Gibsons since about 1926.) My brother is a motherfucker with a mandolin. So was my Dad and my grandfather. (It went right past me.) My Mom and my sister sing like birds. Mom plays bass. (Not a lot since Dad died.)

My whole life has been one big rehearsal and jam since I was about thirteen. Arrange parts. Jam with anybody. Sang in a barbershop quartet just after high-school won money at the State Fair. Never case my guitars. Never made any money, because I've worked on lights around the world for twenty-eight years.

I play, Delfts. I've been ass-deep in it, always.

Posted by: Billy Beck on February 9, 2005 09:11 PM

So have I, for a long time. And I know the difference between "diming up" and playing music.

You don't do bluegrass, do you?

Posted by: Acidman on February 9, 2005 09:55 PM

What are we calling "bluegrass"? I've listened to bluegrass arrangements of the Beer Barrel Polka. Played all that stuff, too. No banjos. Not for any special reason except that there were never any around, really. My main stylistic roots come from 40's swing and Dixieland. Dad tipped to Chet about '58 or so (I was two), and I grew up with it.

I was raised to play rhythms on guitar. Of course, I dropped acid and the world took a drastic turn into electric music, but I used to play in my Dad's little local cowboy band when I had time and I didn't lose a step in any direction.

For the past couple of years, I've harangued some pals into a classic-rock conspiracy so's we could all keep some kind of chops up and grow old disgracefully. Not the garage: the kids' playroom.

I haven't done the sort of thing you're talking about in a while, but it's not like I can't and certainly not like I haven't or don't know what you're talking about.

And I didn't say "diming up". You did, and now I don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: Billy Beck on February 9, 2005 10:16 PM


Beck did as you requested . . .

He DIMED your ass.


Posted by: jb on February 9, 2005 10:45 PM

I'll tell you what, A-man: are you recording to your hard disk yet? Shoot me an MP3 and let's see if the sparks fly.

Posted by: Billy Beck on February 9, 2005 10:53 PM

I don't know, Rob.

Volume on an acoustic does matter sometimes. Those goddam banjos are loud as hell!

Posted by: Paul on February 10, 2005 09:54 AM

Speaking as a recovering Bluegrass guitar player with two large flattops, let me say this: Bluegrass guitar is a bitch to play.

Posted by: Steve H. on February 10, 2005 01:08 PM

It's no more difficult than, say, the chord changes that Steely Dan cooked up, or Ritchie Blackmore's solo on "Highway Star".

Posted by: Billy Beck on February 10, 2005 01:50 PM
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