8) VIGIER "FLYING FOOT" GUITAR
Vigier spent 5 months building this guitar by hand - it's truly a masterpiece. Incredible detail on the guitar, down to the toenails. When you bend down the vibrato bar, wings pop out of the sides. They gave me this guitar at the NAMM convention in Los Angeles, January 1998. Plays and sounds the best of all my guitars - it's my main guitar.
It has one push/pull volume knob, that switches the humbuckers into single-coils, and a 3-way toggle switch to select pickups. DiMarzio pickups - Tone Zone at the bridge, Chopper at the neck.
This guitar gets some funny reactions. At the airport when it goes through the X-ray machine, it's always the same confused look - you'd think airport security never saw a bag with a giant electronic foot in it. At NAMM shows, kids always laugh at the guitar - then I open the wings and they really laugh. If something makes kids laugh, keep it. Example - my car. I have this old Hyundai Excel with 140,000 miles on it. Those cars are great - they last forever and barely use any gas - it's my second Hyundai Excel. I drove my first Hyundai into the ground - I bought it from this slimebag who put the wrong brakes on the car just so it would appear sellable. So one night I'm driving home with my girl at 2am from Long Island and BAM! there's a trail of car parts on the road behind me and I have no brakes. Luckily it happened 2 miles from my house on an empty road, going slightly uphill. I had just driven 70 miles at 70 miles an hour and by the grace of God it happened when it did. I had the car towed to a shop where they showed me what happened, how the guy cut away parts of brakes from another car to make them fit in my Hyundai and how it was a matter of time before they fell out. I went back to the guy that sold me the car and he offered me $100 to go away. All I wanted was for him to pay my $500 bill for getting new brakes. He wouldn't, so I sued the piece of shit and got my money. I never forgot it, and often thought about going back for the slimebag, but didn't bother. It's best when ya sit back and watch nature do its thing - karma will take care of him.
I used that car to drive 500 miles and back to North Carolina where my girlfriend was going to vet school, about a dozen times. I'd finish giving guitar lessons Friday 10:30 at night, drive for 9 hours, spend the weekend with her, and when she left for school Monday morning, I'd leave for NYC and drive straight to the music institute Monday afternoon and start teaching. The school was knocked down and replaced by a McDonald's a few years ago. Don't hate McDonald's. They started as one man's small business, and are an example of what one person can achieve if they try. They feed people and give people jobs, and donate a bigger percentage of their income than most people that hate them do. Wendy's spicy chicken burgers are my shit tho.
Back to the car, it reached a point where I couldn't make it up a hill, and actually started rolling backwards when I tried. So I parted with my red Hyundai and got a gray Mercury Topaz. That car was good too, but every fuckin' week a cop would pull me over and give me a ticket for whatever they could. After that car died I got another Hyundai Excel, the one I have now. When we were filming the T-Jonez video, we needed some more footage. We filmed a wrestling match on Frank's bed [Bumblefoot bassist 2000/2001] between me and 3 curvy ladies, we filmed Olivia [Bumblefoot drummer 2000/2001] beating up some streetwalkers with a garbage can, and filmed a big intro where the car pulls up to a club, the band gets out of the car and walks up the red carpet while a roped-in crowd cheers us on. So I painted my Hyundai green and orange swirls for the film shoot, *assuming* the next heavy rain would wash away the paint. It didn't. The car also had zebra window-shades, cow-print seat covers, fuzzy dice hangin' off the mirror, strings of gold beads hanging across the windows, and a big rotating lit-up disco ball on the top. My car is still green and yellow with the cow seats. It makes kids laugh when I drive by. So I keep it. Turns out we didn't even use any of the footage.
Usually at NAMM shows, after days of noise and staying at the booth I get a little "anxious". So I turn the amp up loud, step into the middle of the aisle where people are walking and do a spontaneous "guitar solo" where I start twisting violently on the floor making horrible noises with the wings flapping on the guitar, legs in the air, and a crowd of bystanders scratching their heads. Fuck 'em if they can't appreciate performance art.