non-certified experimentalist


Alright, everyone!  It is time for you to get all huggy.

I am on tour for my new book HUG MACHINE and to celebrate, we are going to have a special little contest called HUG of HUGS.  Here is how this contest works:

I encourage YOU to take pictures of yourself or loved ones hugging something.  The crazier this thing, the better.  Get super creative, you guys.  Hug Machine has hugged a whale, a mailbox, a rock, and ice cream truck.  Those are some examples of sort of creative things.  Just take that picture and tweet it, post it, email it to me (, do whatever!  But make sure you use this little hashtag: #HugMachine and if you want, you can use #HugofHugs.  

You can send me things up through this Friday October 3rd, at which point, I shall choose the top 3 photos and then post them for all of you to see next week.  The TOP 3 HUGS shall receive a copy of Hug Machine signed by me and a little drawing of you hugging whatever you want.

So go to it!  Go hug some stuff.


Oh, and you guys, don’t hug any dangerous stuff, ok?  Be safe out there with your hugging.


I made a pilgrimage to my own personal Mecca on Saturday - The Twelfth Fret, a great vintage and used (as well as new) guitar shop on the east side of Toronto:

  1. This kind of thing blows my mind.  It’s a Martin 0-21 (at least I think it’s a style 21 - it’s too fancy to be a style 18.  It could be a style 28 I guess…) and it was built in Nazareth, Pennsylvania - as are all Martins (except the ukes…they’re made in Mexico.  But I digress).  Anyhoo:  this was made in Nazareth PA, in the 1890s.  Yep:  THE EIGHTEEN NINETIES!  this guitar is roughly ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS OLD!  These were the days before the scourge of dreadnoughts, when the “0” was considered a BIG guitar, because they made 1s, 2, and even 5s!  5s look like a toy…but an incredible cool toy!  These were the days when Orville Gibson was just starting out in Kalamazoo…but CF Martin had already been in business FOR SIXTY YEARS!  Note the slotted headstock, 12th fret neck join, and no headstock logo.
  2. 1974 Telecaster.  Just a baby compared to the guitar in photo #1!
  3. Queen street & Yonge street in downtown Toronto.
  4. It’s partially covered by that pesky Guild, but this is a 1928 Gibson L-0.  If not the exact model (and nearly the same year) as Robert Johnson’s, then pretty darn close.
  5. Dig it!  2 more ancient Martins.  But these would be the sons/daughters of the one in the photo #1 as they were made in the 1920s and 30s (I believe…).
  6. I believe this vintage BMW bike is owned by the man who owns the guitar shop.  And here I though BMW only used opposed engines!  I stand corrected!  Well I am sitting right now, so I “sit” corrected!
  7. A whole whack of vintage Gibson J models.  I only recently learned that “Jumbo” was/is Gibson’s word for “dreadnought”, with dreadnought being Martin’s term for their big guitars.  I always thought that a Gibson “Jumbo” was the shape of the J200.  And the J200 is certainly a jumbo.  However, I now know that “Jumbo” ALSO applies to these “slope-shoulder” style Gibsons.
  8. 1978 Fender Thinline Telecaster (dig the Zemaitis behind it!)
  9. Wow…I was in a used record shop and found this album from the early 70s.  I LOVE this band so much.  Probably because they were form my hometown, and also because the first big arena rock concert I ever went to was them and the experienced blew my juvenile mind so thoroughly that I am still picking up the pieces several decades later!

 Here’s an April Wine cover of King Crimson’s 21 Century Schizoid Man.  Brian Greenway is singing on this one…he’s not the main lead singer in the band. After idolizing this band through my youth, I actually ended up playing the same club circuit as Brian in the early 90s.  April Wine had broken up in the mid 80s and then reunited in 92 or 93.  But in the mean time Brian was paying his bills on the Montreal club scene and it was such awesome thing to meet him, get to know him and then actually get to play with him live a few times.  Great player.


(via guitarlust)