Gary Marx's guitar

Unknown songs and demos, who wrote what, who sang what, the usual biographies, discography gubbins, photos of Eldritch with no sunglasses, etc, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, yadda....
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Being645
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Wow ... :eek: ... extremely cool ... ;D ... :notworthy: ... * made a reference to this thread in the Wiki ... ;D ...
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Last edited by Quiff Boy on 10 Oct 2014, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Quiff Boy
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Gary has sent me a bit more information about the guitar:
Gary Marx wrote:In the very earliest days of the Sisters of Mercy I played a variety of cheap and/or borrowed guitars - I really can't remember what I used for the first single. The one which sticks in my mind from that initial period was an Arbiter Les Paul belonging to a mate which I used for a while. He had modified the bridge and tail-piece for some reason and it meant I continually sliced my hand open on its jagged metal - great drama at a live gig but clearly not viable long term.

I think it was because of the need to convince Craig Adams that we were a serious proposition and secure his services (he was still playing with other Leeds bands at the time) that I decided I should probably own a playable guitar, comical as that sounds looking back now.

I bought the Shergold from a friend of Craig's for £85, it was the first real guitar I owned and in may ways marked the birth of the Sisters proper. From that point on it was my only guitar for live gigs and studio sessions (with a couple of exceptions trying to get that spaghetti western sound on 'Phantom')
I suppose that dates it from around '81 and covers the years until it ended up in the state you now find it...more about that later.

Through that period it means it features on all the early Merciful Release singles and EP's from the one-off CNT single 'Body Electric' onwards. I customized it by removing the low E string because I found I liked the sound of the A and D strings the best and spent half my time playing just on those (as evidenced on 'Adrenochrome', 'Body Electric', 'Floorshow', 'Heartland', 'Anaconda' among others.) Removing the lowest string let me get a 'better swing' at the strings I was interested in hitting - suck on that musos.

Perhaps as crucially it became the guitar I wrote songs on - I never owned an acoustic and so I would noodle away at Village Place on the Shergold unamplified sketching out ideas.

'Heartland' and 'Anaconda' would be among the first to become co-writes with Andrew Eldritch and after that all the key songs which form the second side of 'First And Last And Always' were written on this guitar.

I can still picture myself upstairs in Village Place cycling round the opening riff to the title track and finding the chord arpeggio to 'Nine while Nine' which would subsequently be picked out on a piano for the recorded version.
Similarly 'Logic', 'Some Kind Of Stranger' and 'No Time To Cry' (a deserter to the poppier pastures of side one of the vinyl) were all penned on this self-same Shergold Masquerader guitar - worth £85 of anyone's money by my reckoning.

And so to its untimely end - foolhardy in the extreme and showing early proof of my non-careerist bent..

Dateline May 2nd 1984, the opening night of one of our first serious UK tours with back to back dates across the country kicking off at Nottingham Rock City. I don't recall if it was as a result of the gig going so well or so badly (it was Wayne Hussey's first proper live date with us in the UK so who knows...) but either way towards the end of the encore I started smashing the guitar to pieces against the stage and the monitor wedges. I wish someone had filmed its death throes because I don't recall how it came to have its headstock snapped off completely - I think I did it pneumatic-drill style into the floor. Hysterical in hindsight as this was still my only guitar and we travelled to Middlesbrough for a gig at the Town Hall the next day. The tour bus detoured through Leeds and stopped off for me to buy a second-hand guitar from a pawn shop on Boar Lane.

Apologies to anyone at that gig - it was possibly the strangest sounding electric guitar I have ever heard. I can only assume I borrowed guitars for the remaining dates.

The end of an era in many ways, although I did get the Shergold glued back together and taped the electrics in place, it was never playable after that. Its final claim to fame was that I let the man who was later to paint the snakeskin design on my WEA period silver Gibson guitar have a trial run on the back of this one. Pleased with the result I gave him the go ahead for the Les Paul and tried to cover up his earlier doodles on this with some left over stickers from 'The Reptile House' packaging.
:eek: :notworthy:
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radiojamaica
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Cool! :notworthy:
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Thanks boss. 8)
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Nice read ... :eek: :lol: ;D ... thanks for posting ... :notworthy: ...
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Nikolas Vitus Lagartija
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Some amazing details, and he has an easy to read style too. I would definitely buy a book's worth of it ! Though I'm still not convinced that he actually needed a second string to play the riffs of Anaconda and Floorshow ...
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Nikolas Vitus Lagartija wrote:Some amazing details, and he has an easy to read style too. I would definitely buy a book's worth of it ! Though I'm still not convinced that he actually needed a second string to play the riffs of Anaconda and Floorshow ...
yeah, his writing style was always engaging :)

some of his diaries were available on the old Ghost Dance site, sadly no longer available. However, I have kept a mirror of the site here:

http://www.leedsriots.co.uk/

many of his recollections can be found here:

http://www.leedsriots.co.uk/biography/
http://www.leedsriots.co.uk/discography/diaries.php

they're a great read :)
What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
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Nikolas Vitus Lagartija
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Quiff Boy wrote:
they're a great read :)
:eek: :notworthy: Some amazing insights into the Sisters songwriting process revealed here. Was never that into GD (or SF) personally but will relisten to some of the tracks he namechecks to spot the links. Thanks for posting.
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a damned shame about the Ghost Dance site, but many thanks for the mirror and the link. :notworthy:
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Wow, I never stumbled upon this thread before! What a nice guy that is. :notworthy:

Any chance to see some pictures please, Quiff? All the links seem to be expired/deleted... :oops:
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Quiff Boy
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The headstock is even worse. It's pretty much held on by gaffer tape and the suspension in the couple of remaining strings :lol:
What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison?
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VonII
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Quiff Boy wrote:
The headstock is even worse. It's pretty much held on by gaffer tape and the suspension in the couple of remaining strings :lol:
Haha :lol: Such a shame though, they seem to be nice guitars. I've seen one online for 450€, but I've already got enough guitars lying around so I can't justify getting another one, unless I sell one. But I can't ever sell one of them... :P
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