Anderson Guitars are not evil—not even slightly. In fact, they are very, very good. It is not evil to have lightening playability, so fast and easy that fluidity instantly becomes part of your playing style. And it is not evil to have so much resounding sustain that hitting one huge chord is like dropping a grand piano out the window only to have it land on the sidewalk, ringing out loudly and in perfect tune. And it is certainly not even somewhat evil to have the planet’s richest, fullest and gorgeously, soft and shimmering VA5-series vintage pickups enhancing the sound of everything you perform, and a VA Booster to add a touch of thicker single coil saturation when needed.
No, not evil at all.
Now Wicked, that’s another story entirely. In fact, it actually is another story entirely—a hit musical play that tells of the witches of Oz from another perspective. It explains the situations and motivations that created the persona we have all come to know as the Wicked Witch of the West in the original Wizard of Oz. Apparently, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, was a very misunderstood girl and if we knew the real story we would see things and view her quite differently. (Much the same for real life, isn’t it?) Wicked has become a very popular show to see and audiences love it.
As we have come to misunderstand this new telling of the tale, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, went to college together. Being green, Elphaba is shunned while Glinda is one of the popular girls on campus. They become unwitting roommates and do not get along very well until Elphaba accidentally reveals her innate musical talents as a guitar player. Seriously impressed, Glinda suggests that they form a band—The Witches of Oz. The entire story is fraught with danger and intrigue as they battle corruption and the forces of bad guitar tone, struggling to play less than adequate instruments—it’s distressing.
The climax is reached one dreadful day, after cake has been banned throughout the kingdom. Dejected and dessert-less, Elphaba and Glinda try to drown their sorrows by heading for the big city of Oz, for an evening of escape. There they attend a showing of the latest musical, Wicked. To their utter astonishment, they hear guitar tones of an angelic nature—full, robust and yet clear—and perfectly in tune. They looked at each other, knowing fully, this is for what they have been searching. They could not stop now.
While the show is still in progress, both women stealthily make their way through the darkened theater and up to the perimeter of the orchestra pit. Shrouded by a curtain, there is no way to tell what secrets it keeps. Glinda was ready to return to her seat when Elphaba heard a voice of inspiration in her head say, “Pay attention to the man behind the curtain!” Grasping the heavy black curtain firmly with both green hands, she yanked it open to reveal the answer to everything. In one fell swoop, the mystery of how to attain good guitar tone, lifted.
Before them sat Lou Garrett—The Classic in hand. They could not help but be impressed with Lou and his Baby Blue. Was he the real wizard? Nearly perfect intonation was apparent with every chord he played—whether complex or simple. The ladies delighted in VA5, vintage single coil tonalities, projecting from their lively Alder body and Maple/Rosewood-neck, home base.
Following the chain of command they traced the cable down to Lou’s personally-made pedal board. Illuminating from its surface and in order of flow:
• Analogman Comprosser
• RC Booster
• Fulltone Full Drive 2
• Tube Screamer (w/true bypass and other mods)
• Volume Pedal
• Fulltone ChoralFlange
• Zvex Seek Wah (It is hidden under the modulation delay pedals. It has 9 tiny knobs so it’s better to not touch it.)
• Ibanez PDM1 Modulation delay (modulation/phasing/delay and programmable presets)
• Ibanez PDM1 Modulation delay (So good I needed a second!)
• Maxon AD 900 Analog Delay
• Power supplied by Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2
Exiting the board and continuing along the path, it is a Mesa/Boogie, F-30, 1x12 combo amp that provides not only power but tonal symbiosis for the Anderson under these very demanding conditions.
The girls were so impressed that they wanted to know everything about Lou and his Baby Blue Anderson with the Aged White Pickguard. Glinda also asked about the pedal on Lou’s board with the kitty face. Lou modestly explained the cat pedal is an Overdrive he built himself. “Step on it and all hell breaks loose.” One of the dancers in the show decorated it for him.
It all made quite an impression on the witches and they had to know more so Lou took the time to fill them in on a few more fun facts: To date Lou has played 1045 performances of Wicked to over 2 million people.
That Anderson of his has really gotten a workout.
They shared a few more anecdotes and then Lou wrapped it up by saying that his favorite guitar shop in the world is the Anderson dealer in Dallas—Charley’s Guitar Shop—quite a compliment.
From this very moment on, the two witches both became Good Witches, having discovered that the secret of great guitar tone lies in having a great guitar—an Anderson to be sure. Lou thanked them for stopping by while the show was in progress but now he had to go, the flying monkeys are coming and it is time to step down hard on the kitty’s face.
• MODEL: – The Classic
• FINISH: – Baby Blue
• BODY WOOD: – Alder
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Maple with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural Satin
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Natural Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – Even-Taper
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 5/8-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Medium—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – Aged White
• NECK PICKUP: – VA5
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – VA5R
• BRIDGE PICKUP: – VA5+
• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Add-Bridge Push/Pull & VA Booster
• PICKUP COVERS: – Coffee Dipped
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046 Elixir® with NANOWEB® Coating
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Artist