Sunday, 12 April 2009

"Three presets - all crap."

Me & dad went to a boot sale today. It was glorious. Although I desperately want to offload loads of my unused electrical and musical bits and bobs - four tracks, mixers, amps, keyboards, guitars, pedals etc - I always find myself drawn towards these type of items. There's something about seeing them sat amongst old paperback books and Shakin' Stevens LP's in a field that I just can't resist. They are like cow pie to my Desperate Dan. I also find myself getting annoyed when I see other people walking around with these kind of items under their arm, having just bought them. For example, today I clocked an old Yamaha four track cassette recorder that I already own (and never use) and then, when I saw a guy later on with it under his arm, it wound me up. I can't explain this type of thing. I guess you either understand or you don't.

I'm also drawn towards typewriters. I want a typewriter but it's got to be right. Maybe I can elaborate on this at a later date. I have my reasons. Back to today... I saw this old electric piano/organ and knew I had to take a gamble on it. It was a clunky thing of a certain age. It was heavenly. The guy wanted £25 for it, which kind of surprised me as I'd just heard him tell somebody he wanted £15 for this awful little Yamaha 10 watt practice amp... and that was one of the shittiest little things you've ever seen. So, based on one of the shittiest little things I'd ever seen, I assumed the keyboard would be around 50 or 60 quid, so I was pretty happy with 25. I would quite happily have taken the gamble on it for 25, but I felt the call inside of me and I knew the time had once again come to haggle. I didn't really think about it, instead I surprised myself by just launching straight into it. I went in with an offer of 15. He came back with an 18. Maybe I should have taken the 18 - after all, that is a whopping 7 pounds haggled - but I held my ground and said "Look, if you'll take fifteen I'll take it off your hands right now". I don't know why I added the "right now" at the end but, as I said, I wasn't thinking. I was in the zone. The haggle zone. This was about me and him. Sure, we were still in the middle of the Dunton boot sale, but we'd been elevated to a new level. Another Level. Some kind of hyper-reality? Maybe. It must have been the inherent threat of violence. I think he looked at me, recognised the loose cannon that I am, and thought "Man, this hard bastard is a tough nut to crack. I don't think he's messing around." So I got it for £15 and managed to get the stand off him as well. Not that I wanted it... but, you know, you might as well.

It's a Crumar roadracer and, by all accounts, it's a terrible piece of kit. Here's a fair selection of comments that I found online:

  1. "Sounds were based on one very gritty clavi type sound but to call it a piano is an insult to anybody who'd ever been near a real piano - I ain't gonna mince my words here - it sounded B*LL*CKS!"
  2. "I can honestly say it never packed up on me - every key sounded that awful dirgey mess without fail."
  3. "I got a better tune banging a pot against a wall than I did out of this thing. There should be clinics with specialist counsellors for people who owned one of these."
  4. "Three presets - all crap."

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