Miscellaneous Rumbles

Cool stuff that happens from being a music geek…


Over the years a lot of cool stuff has happened to me as a direct result of being in bands, or being a gear geek. From playing in bands I have met some seriously cool (to me anyway) people - Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Bjork, Rev Horton Heat, Nick Sheperd (Hoodoo Gurus), Harvey James (Sherbet), Phil Emmanuel (Tommy's Bro), Chris Martin IV, oh loads of people. And that includes reading what all you guys have to say here.

I've dealt with people all over the world looking at esoteric pieces of gear. Just recently i have been making my own overdrives and fuzz pedals, and getting into using germanium transistors. Turns out that you can currently buy some very good Russian made germanium transistors for next to nothing and they work very well. I just bought some off Ebay from a guy in Odessa and another guy in Tomsk.

So I look up Tomsk on Google street view. I even have the guy's address, so after deciphering the Cyrillic alphabet with Google's help I found the apartment block he lives in. Yes, I know this is starting to sound like stalking, but I have have an insatiable curiosity about everything that isn't where I live. I had quite a good look at Tomsk - turns out it's in deepest Siberia, just above Mongolia - ie a bloody long way from where I live! Probably covered in snow for much of the year.

I think it's incredible that (a) I can easily buy something from a bloke who lives in darkest Siberia, (b) look at his hometown on my computer screen thanks to Google Streetview, and (c) find that the streets of Tomsk don't look so different from streets I have been down in the USA, or Croatia, or many other places I have been.

All of this comes from my interest in music and music making. I think it's very cool. I also think it's cool that the Russian military surplus transistors I bought could have ended up in a Russian tank radio. But now they are in a fuzz pedal in Australia.


That's really cool. I love exploring new cities in Google streetview. I've heard great things about Russian transistors, but I have my own stash of dozens of vintage GE 2N404s I scavenged from surplus at a former employer.


Great story Jimmy. I sat here thinking a bit after reading your post and realized that, in my relatively short history of making music, I have learned that I am not in much danger of dying from my severe cases of stage fright irregardless of the high level of discomfort brought on by it.


I don't know if I should be happy for you or scared of you.


I've always enjoyed maps and history, and Google Streetview seems to bring things to life. I discovered that there once was a large pine tree in the front yard of the house we bought a couple of years ago, and revisited places I went to forty years ago. Someone built a shed in the backyard of my childhood home, and I can follow a road I didn't know.

I saw military surveillance photos years ago when we were photo mapping parts of the Midwest, and other places. It's done at night with large magnesium flash bombs that we'd shove out of the back of a C-130 while the photo recon aircraft were high above us.


Haha! Crowbone you have nothing to worry about. I only use google streetview for the forces of good.

I love streetview. A year or so back I was looking at a street in Korcula, Croatia, which goes along the coast (literally) just outside the old village. It's a place I have visited a couple of times because my wife has family there. Well halfway along this road I saw my wife's aunt! Even though they blurred her face we both knew it was her. I thought that was cool.

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