The (1st) Death of Cherry Cherry

Ok, some folks have been wondering ….. Why the hell does Ross Neilsen need a new damn guitar…doesn’t he have like a million….

Well, no, not a million. I have a couple that I use regularly. First off, and most talked about, is the ol hubcap. She’s a 2003 (i think) National Resolectric. I keep her tuned to open G flat exclusively. She’s mean an nasty like most women in my life. (kidding!) but she is, she’s a dirty, dirty girl. check her….

My other Slide axe is “Dido” named for my late great friend and former bandmate, Randy Cable. Randy was kind enough to leave Dido with me after he checked into the great gig in the sky. Thanks pal! Dido is always tuned to open D flat. Once in a while she slips into standard if I bust up Sherry at a gig. Anyway here’s Dido….

Now this brings us to Cherry Sherry. I bought her from a great friend for a measly $400 and she quickly moved up the ranks passing my Clapton strat and Gibson Nighthawk (i’ve since sold both of those cause I never played them anymore) and eventually securing the #1 spot in my arsenal. She has been on all my records and is ALWAYS there for me regardless of how piss poor I’ve treated her. I’ve broken her neck twice and in other times it hasn’t been unheard of for her to end up stringless, bridge-less and nut-less at the end of the night. Here is a video of Sherry meeting her first broken neck. Usually I would edit this so you don’t have to watch and listen to the whole thing as the audio is bad…BUT, for some reason my Mac doesn’t like the file and won’t edit it. Sorry. So it really gets going about the two minute mark…..feel free to skip ahead. Maybe it was the snakeskin boots, maybe it was the mustache, maybe it was the “super fan” in the front row ( . )( . ) that was losing her shit ( it should be noted that super fan’s “man” has since turned up at other gigs further west, with different women each time. Nice) either way something happened during this version of Cortez the Killer that sent me into a state of mind not know for it’s reason. During this period I lost it and went ape shit on Sherry. I rocked, I rolled, kicked, smashed and crashed her. She took it ALL. I didn’t even notice until the next day that she had a life threatening injury. What a trooper. Anyway I think the actual debilitating blow happens at 3.25 in the video but sadly i didnt stop there….again poor audio but thats not why we’re watching is it…and don’t forget all you folks who only watch this on facebook….you gotta go to to get the video. (Someone tell me why that is?)

Yes, I play hard. She takes it. What more can you ask for? Like all good things, though, she must come to an end. There are two options for Sherry.

1. To be played to death in a live show where she meets her maker – think of a viking death.
2. Retire her to the studio life. (imaging a ‘snowbirds’ sort of life for guitar) Climate controlled rooms, safe environment and continues to be heard on my recordings.

Option 2 is my preference. To do this, I need a replacement. This is why, folks, I have been at y’all to give me your vote in the Taylor test Drive Electric 2010 Contest. Good, New guitars are not cheap. To replace Sherry would be around $2000 give or take. So, instead I’ve entered this contest knowing all along that our fans rule and will burn the competition down with votes thus winning a quality new guitar for me to ruin over the next ten years.

First a big thanks to everyone who has voted and been posting it everywhere. You’re awesome. Now, I know there are some folks who don’t think their votes make a difference. Believe me when I say folks, they truly do. As a matter of fact we’ve held the number two spot in the contest pretty much the whole time….and Mr. Skylar has held the number one spot pretty much the whole time. you know what, I’m gonna take off my humble hat for just a sec….I’m TIRED of number two. I want to be number One in this contest for just a minute. Is that so wrong? I want Skyler to feel number Two for a second. Is that wrong? I mean Skylar DOESN’T EVEN HAVE AN ELECTRIC GUITAR IN THE FREAKIN’ SONG!

So there it is….with only SIX days left to vote I am challenging our Bastard Minions and their friends to push it. Get on your computer and Vote. I guarantee you’ll make a difference.

So i challenge you, post the event on your FB page, tweet to your peeps, tell the WORLD!!!! Lets do it. Lets finish this thang in the Number freaking 1 spot. I KNOW we can do it!!! Lets show the continent what lil ole NB can do!!! Hell, Andy Brown ALREADY WON the Acoustic contest! Might as well keep it going on wha? Worst case scenario you KEEP me at number two (#2 is easier anyway. way less pressure than #1, or so i hear…).

Anyway, all kidding aside, y’all have been great. Keep rocking that shit and lets take number one over this weekend!!


And stop by the site and leave a comment say hello, tell me off, whatever just say somethin’!


Ok so lately I’ve been letting these thoughts roll around my brain and I gotta get them out even though they are still in the preliminary philosophical stages. I’ve been thinking a lot about this Taylor Test Drive Electric 2010 Contest that I’ve been involved with and a blog post a friend of mine made last week. First go HERE and read Brian Thompson, from Thorny Bleeder Record’s, original post. Don’t worry it’s short and it should give you some context on what I’ve been thinking about lately.

Part 1 – The Blog Post
Ok so now you’ve read this blog post. Obviously, as a musician in this digital age I spend LOTS of time thinking about how to connect with people and how to make the most of my limited knowledge of the technology I have at my disposal. This blog, which has some simple good advice for people got me to thinking. I realized how much most business advice applies to what I do and vice versa. Then after reading Brian’s post I got to thinking about the Taylor Guitar contest and how it was related to Brian’s post.

Part 2 – The Taylor Guitar Electric Test Drive Contest
This is just brilliant marketing. First though, I’ll give you a brief explanation of the contest. I applied because it was free! Nice! So after applying they put everyone in a list. Then it goes to voting. Get your peeps to vote for you blah blah blah. Then at the end of voting the Taylor/Elixir panel of judges picks five acts to give the guitar/string prize pack to. Then those five make a video in Round two. They post the five vid’s and then there is another voting period where, you guessed it, your asked to vote for your favourite again. After that they pick one grand prize winner (i believe) and give them studio time, endorsement shit and a slot at Summer Fest. Cool !!!

Part 3 – It All Comes Together
Ok. So that’s the contest in a nutshell. But lets look deeper. Everyone knows when you’re trying to leave your “digital Footprint” that you can’t go around spewing your info onto the internet and peoples profiles and websites in a careless manner as you’ll be tagged as spam and anything you send out gets blocked. So, what do you do? You get people to spread the word for you. Getting others to stamp your “digital footprint” is just as powerful or more, than you doing it. Except one small detail….IT’S FREE!!!!! So look how this all connects…..Taylor, instead of spending thousands of $$ on ad campaigns (Although they do this too) holds a contest. they get hundreds of people to enter. Then they make it centered around Votes. this means that the contestants have to get creative about how they get the word out too (see Spam above). Thats the trickle….Taylor motivates me, in turn I motivate my friends, family and fans. In turn y’all pass it on to YOUR friends and fans by posting links on your FB wall or tweeting about it to your friends. The circle carries on. How Freaking brilliant is that? Taylor gets advertising for FREE!! and So do I as it turns out.

Part 4 – I GET IT!!!
Last night as I was sitting by an incredible wood stove fire after an incredible meal (lobster stuffed haddock, I made it!) with great friends it happened. I experienced what I think I’m really supposed to get from this contest. First it wasn’t a big deal…I got a twitter notification that someone had mentioned me…turns out they posted in their twitter feed that they voted for me in the contest. Sweet!…Then it happened again. And again and again. It was an awesome feeling beyond the fact that people were voting. They were independently putting it out there for me….So freaking cool. I take this to mean that people want to help and actually care. In this day and age when you feel that…well….it’s priceless. It gives you hope. In this music industry that is crumbling in every direction I think this experience I had is all there is. This is how you make and keep fans. Furthermore, once you’ve made fans like these/this, they are your protection, they are your Champions and most importantly, they are life source!!!!

Even though I may not win this contest I have learned a great deal from it. I know what the Taylor folks (or at least I think) want….. to see the contestants engaging their fans etc. they want to see us get creative about how we do it too. Spread our word and in turn theirs.

It goes beyond music and guitar contests too. This applies to ALL business owners out there. In fact it’s what’s missing in most of the businesses I get annoyed by. Do more than take your customer’s money. Find out WHY they spend it with you. CONNECT with them. Make them feel like you CARE that they choose you.

You can bet I’m going to continue to think about this experience, and how to make it happen over and over, long after the contest has come and gone because I know that this is my future. I said it last night on FB but I’ll say it again here….Thank y’all so much for being there for us. It actually does mean something. A lot in fact.

I think I may have stumbled onto the secret to life…..or maybe it’s just gas….I’ll let you know how it works out!


Ol’ Master Bastard Corrects His Self!

Hi, yup it’s true. I erred. (is that how you spell that?) Check the video below and find out where I went wrong….If yer reading this on Facebook, You gotta go to to see the video…..or watch it here.

And don’t forget to vote for pete’s sake!!! Vote for Ross Here.

Thanks Y’all!