On Saturday, July 13 we decided to do a tour of the Gibson factory in Memphis Tennessee and let me tell you it was really amazing! Unfortunately and understandably we were unable to take any photos of the actual tour itself but I’m here to share as much as I can in text. You are guided into a massive open room (the factory takes a whole street block!) where the employees, rather artists, are present working on hundreds of guitars. This factory is specifically designed to make the Hollow and Semi-Hollow guitars such the ES-355 pictured below. Hard bodies, such as the classic Les Pauls and SGs are made in their Nashville factory and their Acoustic guitars in Montana.
ES-355 with the sunburst colour pattern.
The tour showed us how each layer of wood is pressed to form the shape and then sanded by hand to clean up all the edges. Machines these days allow the process to only take a few hours where it could take days by hand. It’s quite amazing seeing how every little thing goes together and each step it takes to make a guitar. One of these Gibsons takes about 6-8 weeks to make though the factory completes about 50 per day.
One part of the tour I had no idea about is the paint trimming. Each body is painted with an airbrush but one things that everyone should recognize about a Gibson’s style is the trim around the edges. See there is no way they can paint only the body without causing some sort of damage to prevent the trim from getting painted. Instead they just spray the entire body and once it is done they get some of the workers with steady hands to use razors and cut off the paint along the edges. This takes around 20 minutes each guitar! Pretty neat!
The guide told us that they average 97% pass rate on their finished guitars. The ones that don’t pass get their electronics ripped out and the wood is chopped up. Tearful site.
If you are a big guitar geek and are in the Memphis area definitely go check out the factory tour! It’s totally worth it!
The The Horseshoe Tavern
I’ve been to Toronto many times over the years for festivals and other shows but this one felt special. Famed venue the Horseshoe Tavern opened it’s doors to us and we had a blast. It’s awesome. New plan: Play The Horseshoe ALL THE TIME.
Beautiful Landscapes of the nation
Our country is big. HUGE. It’s incredible to drive across and really get a feel for how green and beautiful our landscape really is.
Cornwall – St Lawrence
Photos by Reggie.
Home away from home. Lola’s could be the set of a small town sitcom. Full of character and oddball individuals. We met the most interesting people. Had THE BEST pulled pork sandwich ever!!! And put on a great show to a pumped and receptive audience. By the end of our three sets I’m pretty sure people were singing the words to Deceiver and Greedy. Cornwall and the people at Lola’s (Thinking of you Robin!) were so welcoming we will definitely add it as a place to stop every time we’re in the neighbourhood. We’re part of the family now!
Come for the food. Stay for the entertainment.
Rooftop photoshoot at The Garrick Hotel
Winnipeg has a bad reputation. Most people cringe a little when you mention it. Our experience was mixed. June is definitely a great time to visit. It’s as green as it’s going to get and the locals are out and about in a summer state of mind. We were warmly received by the folk at the Garrick Hotel (https://www.facebook.com/GarrickHotelWinnipeg). Owner Gary took care of us and made us feel right at home. A highlight was definitely the rooftop photoshoot after the show.
Montreal in the pouring rain
My family used to visit Montreal every summer to visit our relatives but I never really got the full Montreal experience. This time it was Montreal authentic. In the pouring rain we drove through the busy streets getting honked at for whatever the locals thought we were doing wrong. After navigating the busy streets filled with bikers, pedestrians and cars we pulled up to our venue for the night. L’Escogriffe is located right on Rue St Denis. It’s small, dingy and full of spirit.
Big Thanks to the Champlain Drop for making us feel at home.
The 3am poutine was fab! Anthony might have found his number one fan in a French cougar at the poutinerie. C’est La Vie!
Moose Jaw tunnels
The tunnels were awesome. A Little piece of unique history buried in an unexpected town. Well worth the cost. It’s almost like an interactive theatre experience. You wander through old buildings and tunnels while actors play parts and describe the history of the tunnels. It wasn’t an overwhelming amount of information but rather, a taste of something you can go home and read up on. I can’t wait to pick up a few books on Al Capone and the Chinese Immigrants who lived and worked in the tunnels.
You can read more about the tunnels (and which stories are true) here.
Photo is from ibackpackcanada.com as we were not allowed to take photos during the tour.
Lydia’s Pub in Saskatoon is a great way to kickoff a tour. Always busy on weekends and with great crowd energy. This venue brings life into the Saskatoon live music scene. Snuggled into a quaint old brick building on Broadway Ave, the place is stacked with layers of fun from billiards, to live music to general debauchery and good times.
We can’t wait to get back to Saskatoon and Lydia’s!
Follow them on twitter for updates on who’s playing there next.
We had a fantastic sendoff at The New Black Centre in our hometown of Calgary. Our wonderful family, friends and fans came out in full force to help us launch the Spidersaurusrex Tour. Hitting the stage with us was the lovely Kieran Strange and Calgary band Ten Cent Pistols.
Follow all of us on Twitter:
@TCPCanada @KieranStrange @NEWBLACKCENTRE @jen_avive
Be sure to check out our live show page for upcoming tour dates.
We want to see you!!!