Thursday, January 31, 2013

If wartime penicillin was a wah pedal ....

Imagine the Nobel prize winner for medicine , Baron Howard Florey, being pulled off his efforts to discover new antibiotics in the late 1940s by an impatient Leo Fender.

Leo pleads, "Howard,make me a wah pedal, and make it quick ; I need something unique for my new guitar and amp line".

Howard takes his time, and delivers the pedal years late. But it is beautiful finished and has a high fidelity electronic circuit that is so pure that it delivers vanishingly small amounts of harmonic distortion (albeit at the cost of an anemic output).

I can already hear guitar players going "Oh, goody !"

Luckily for humanity, Leo has also telepathed the spirit of penicillin pioneer Henry Dawson back to earth and given him the same assignment.

Early next morning, Henry has the job all done : a crude but workable bread-board design, with screamingly high distortion impurities, but with a low battery drain design and the effect level preset on 11 on a scale of one to ten (aka ("stun").

It is very basic looking , with just one big button, set in the very middle of the sturdy front panel of the wah pedal.

Henry's genius is that this button simply says one word : MORE !

And that my friends, is the essential kernel of the conflict between these two giants of wartime penicillin....

1 comment:

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