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1961 Fender Princeton Amp

Princeton Amp
Very Good
The band was loading the stage, getting ready for the night's gig and this was the big one. It was the first gig, the blast off, the grand arrival. They were all practiced up and ready for rock. The scene was Bobby McCall's backyard on a makeshift stage that had been thrown together that afternoon (Bobby lived on the 14th fairway of Golden Hills Country Club, so he had the money to throw at some lumber for a stage.) Wasn't nothing to him; hell, he wore his gold Rolex in the lake, for God's sake, but forgive me, I'm fading off the path...

The band's getting their stuff all lined up and plugged up but as usual, the lead singer's late, not that that should surprise anybody. It's a sickness that has plagued bands since the dawn of time and it's called Prima Donna- itis. The lead guitarist, bass player, keyboard player and drummer are all set to go and the warm- up begins. They tune up and jam for a few minutes when all of a sudden, everybody notices that their amps are starting to crackle and smoke. Folks, things are getting hot and at this point, there's nothing left to do but grab their guitars and bail the hell off of the stage. Three loud pops later, all of the amps are blown and the speakers from the lead guitarist's combo are laying down by the edge of the golf course. That backyard is silent until one Bobby McCall staggers around the corner of the house yelling, "What the hell happened?"

Well, what had happened was, Bobby was good and sauced by about 3:00, so just as the band was tuning up, he decided to parallel an emergency generator the size of a damn Yugo into his main AC outs for the garage. When he cranked that generator up, it sent a full 120-volt charge back into his power grid and absolutely fried everything that was plugged into those circuits. The garage door motor was swinging from the ceiling like a playground swing and all of the beer (and the cake his wife had made for this special occasion) were blown across his three- car garage floor. Bobby was so drunk, he slipped on the remnants of that cake and didn't even remember it until he saw the dinner plate- sized bruise on his hip three days later. As for his wife, Marcia? She just sat on the back deck with her back turned away from everyone, drinking her margarita and crying softly.

The band stood motionless and in stunned silence until, at that very moment, the long- awaited and "chosen one" lead singer walked around the corner. "Y'all ready?" he asked as if it were just another sunny Saturday afternoon. Everyone in that backyard looked at him like he had two heads. He stopped, "What?" he asked and folks, it was yet another classic example of how dumb a person can be and still sing lead vocals in a band. Such were the mid- 80's, at this band's very first gig.

The gray- matter challenged singer walked up to the stage and said, as if nothing in the world was wrong, "Boys, check out my new amp. Just got it today and it's a one of a kind. They only made this one with three inputs." The fellows walked over to the amp and looked- sure enough, it had three inputs and that's when you could see gears starting to turn. The bass player looked over at the lead guitarist with a sly grin and trust me, they were both thinking the same thing. The poor keyboard guy held up his hands and asked, "What about me?", but it was too late. The drummer stood up on his throne and yelled, "This is all your fault, Jamie. Yo ass is o- ficially out of the band and before Bobby could stagger around the corner (again) and ask, "Y'all got power yet?", the keyboard guy was dragging his crap off the stage and the rest of the band was hustling the lead singer in place. They quickly explained what had happened and before he could even protest the tornado of activity about to begin, Bobby's neighbor ran over with a couple of hundred foot power cords and they were ready to go. All three guys plugged into this amp and the show was on.

I don't think anybody even noticed the incredible distortion coming out of this little brown box that night, but the amp held up, some John Cougar Mellencamp got played and the night was considered a success. Poor Marcia got so snockered, she wound up doing keg stands on the back deck until Bobby realized that his neighbor was holding her legs and he wasn't exactly watching the band. That led to some words being exchanged and the two grown men rolling around in the dirt with Bobby yelling something about the guy checking out his wife's "peculiars." We finished up the night at our place, drinking Cuervo Gold out of the bottle and reliving the night's events. Marcia's "peculiars" was a subject that would be revisited for years to come, much to Bobby's chagrin...

That's a very long- winded way of saying that somewhere, somehow, somebody added a third input jack to this first- year Brownie. We thought long and hard about this modification and unable to decide whether to kill ourselves or set this amp on fire, we did rock/ paper/ scissors and put the amp up for sale anyway. Like my friend Bobby used to say, "It just be's like that sometimes," and indeed that's the way it is...

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