Inspiration | Spark

SPARK Community — Season 2.3 Recap

The SPARK community had a whole lot of fun during the past two weeks exploring the following Season 2.3 topics:

#MerchAndAccessories: Which Strandberg merchandise and accessories have you always wanted to have? Which would fit the Strandberg style of innovation and ergonomics best? Who knows, maybe one or the other suggestion will become reality someday?

#AwkwardMoments: March 18th is Awkward Moments Day. To celebrate, show us your best music-related Awkward Moments you’ve experienced on your own. You are welcome to share them with pictures, videos, and sound.

Here are some of our favorite creations from Season 2.3!

Oliver Christian – .strandberg* Card Game (#MerchAndAccessories)

One of the first submissions to the new season, Oliver Christian created this virtual .strandberg*-themed custom deck of cards! A perfect example of what SPARK is all about, this idea fuses the .strandberg* brand identity with a common household game that most people have lying around.

From Oliver:

THE CARD GAME! Hey guys, for this topic I want to start imagining a card game by .strandberg* guitars! I’ve made an simple example of it just using numbers as it is on UNO! But we can think in something more related to the music/guitar universe, where the cards throws some challenges for us musicians!”

You can learn more about Oliver’s SPARK submission here.

Chris Auzenne – Cruise Story (#AwkwardMoments)


Chris Auzenne went deep with his #AwkwardMoments submission to recount a wonderful story of when he caused a series of unfortunate events, all in the name of ergonomics.

From Chris:

Spring, 2019
Tokyo, Japan
TL;DR I made my girlfriend and I late to our boat cruise dinner and a show, held up the entire boat, all because I had to buy MY J6 that day.
I’m visiting Tokyo with a group of friends including my then girlfriend. It’s our last day and my girlfriend and I have agreed to split up and meet before our romantic boat cruise dinner and a show. My mission? Find my J6.
At this point I’ve already visited a few smaller guitar shops, and actually found one I really like, but today is the day I hit “Guitar Street” in Ochanomizu. If you’re not familiar, it’s a street, maybe 3 to 5 blocks long, with tons of guitar shops.
I spend most of the day walking around and checking out guitars and marveling at all the wild builds (see pics below). But after a while I decide I really want the one I’d seen a few days prior. I need to head out to meet up with my girlfriend soon, but I know exactly what I want, so it shouldn’t take too long.
See, I have this problem: I’m very efficiency minded. When I think through complicated logistics, I have a tendency to simplify them to their most efficient state.
It starts right away. Train systems is Japan are super timely, but I just miss my train to head to the other shop and have to wait ~10 minutes. It’s also rush hour, so when I get out the streets are packed and everyone is moving at a snail’s pace. I finally get to the shop and tell them I’d like the guitar. In Japan, things are very ordered and structured. The kid working there has to get his boss to make the sale. As I’m waiting for the boss to finish up with someone else I’m getting a little nervous. I call my girlfriend and ask her to meet me at the train station near the shop instead of our agreed meet up spot.
*awkward hesitation as I think of how to phrase this so it doesn’t sound like a guitar is more important than her*
“I had to make an extra trip and just want to make sure we have time to get to the boat.”
“Ok, looks like by the time I arrive in 30 minutes it’ll be time to leave.”
*nervously agrees*
At this point I’m already panicking a bit. Eventually the boss finishes with his other customer and comes over to help me. As he’s gathering paperwork and filling stuff out I make another awkward move. In my broken ass Japanese, I ask him to please hurry, I have a date I’m running late for. *cringe*
My girlfriend calls me, she’s at the station, where am I? I’m still trying to finalize this transaction!
“If you’re not here in 15 minutes we’re going to be late and miss the boat and lose out on the money we paid.”
I wonder if I should just cancel the sale and go meet my girlfriend.. no, I really need this guitar. At this point I’m just reflecting on all the poor choices I made leading up to this moment while the boss, not changing his pace at all continues to do his thing. Finally, about 10 minutes later he’s done, it’s bagged, my passport is tagged.
I have 5 minutes to get back to the train station. Google says it’s a 15 minute walk. I can run, but it’s still rush hour. I get to the train station in about 10 minutes.
“We’re not going to make it on time, but let’s head there and hope for the best.”
I’m feeling this awkward mix of terrible and elated. I just want to take out my new baby and play her. An awkward conversation ensues about my priorities. We arrive at our destination.
At this point it’s about 10 minutes past departure time and we still have to walk (run) to the dock. We’re hustling and hustling, I’m getting sweaty. We make it to the building but the door is locked.
“I’m sorry babe.. I’ll take us out to a nice dinner.”
A man approaches the glass door and opens it. I ask if the boat has left. No! Can we still make it? Are we Chris and X? Yes!
“We held the boat for you, we’re so happy you made it!”
We get to the dock, and get onto the boat. We have to walk passed a bunch of people to our seats and while I know that they don’t know what happened, I feel this burning embarrassment as they see me and my guitar and they wonder why these two held everyone else’s nice evening up.
“My Baby” – Chris Auzenne
“These finishes look so sick.” – Chris Auzenne
“Honestly, how gorgeous is this?” – Chris Auzenne
“Between the finish and the binding ??” – Chris Auzenne
“Me on the train, running late to the boat” – Chris Auzenne
“It all worked out and we very much enjoyed the show” – Chris Auzenne
You can learn more about Chris’ SPARK submission here.

Riff Rigerator – .strandberg* Bottle Opener (#MerchAndAccessories)

Another one of our favorites, Facebook user Riff Rigerator submitted this ingenious .strandberg* bottle opener design! Utilizing the iconic .strandberg* “headstock” shape, the idea of a bottle opener works surprisingly well and it might be the perfect way to hang your guitar!

From Riff:

“.bottle opener* for thirsty .Strandberg* lads”

You can learn more about Riff’s SPARK submission here.


Louis Foix IV – Tattoo Story (#AwkwardMoments)

Louis Foix IV submitted this unfortunate story involving a fan getting a tattoo of his band’s logo for the #AwkwardMoments topic. The moral of the story is: there’s always someone who will do it cheaper!

From Louis:

“My first band was gaining some traction locally, and we garnered our first super fan. One show, he ranted and raved that he tattooed our logo on his forearm. “Whoa… we’ve made it,” I thought to myself. Then I saw the tattoo and didn’t have the heart to tell him that whoever committed it onto his flesh must have not been looking at our logo very hard. ? He eventually came to the same conclusion on his own and got it covered up. ?? The left was our actual logo, the right was… well… awkward moment fodder.”

You can learn more about Louis’ SPARK submission here.

James Dawes – Official Headstock Remover (#MerchAndAccessories)

James Dawes submitted this clever .strandberg*-branded “Official Headstock Remover” as part of the #MerchAndAccessories topic! While we can’t advise this as a realistic course of action against your guitars with headstocks, it definitely brings a new meaning to the phrase “go headless”.

From James:

“This is kinda a meme, but it’d make people smile, aswell as it’d be awesome if strandberg sold more parts for their guitars for people wanting to make their own headless guitars and strandys as some awesome parts casters could be made, although I do understand its probably only crazy luthiers like me that’d want this ?

You can learn more about James’ SPARK submission here.

Aaron Burcham – New Drummer Show Story #AwkwardMoments

Aaron Burcham submitted an intense recount of a less-than-ideal show he and his band played with their new drummer back in the day for the #AwkwardMoments topic. We all had to start somewhere!

From Aaron:

“The year was 2009. My band right out of high-school had a gig lined up, opening for a band we had made friends with after doing the Battle of the Band circuit. We had just parted ways with our original drummer but thankfully got another friend who drummed to fill in. They didn’t have the chops to play our ego stroking tech/prog/groove metal mess of original tunes or the Gojira/Lamb of God covers we were so fond of playing then…but he was such a nice and cool guy…who also had a practice space that wasn’t my parents garage.

We practiced only on Sundays but for like 6 hours, cause kids right out of high school didn’t have anything better to do. We rushed our drummer friend pretty bad. He never played a gig before and like I said, he didn’t have the chops to play all the double bass stuff we were asking him to play. This was our 1st paying gig though. We weren’t going to miss getting that sweet sweet BFE bar money, guys!

Gig day arrives. Halloween gig at a Bar? F*** yes! Our rhythm guitarist who also sang the clean vocals in our tunes bails on us to go to a Halloween party with his then GF (who is my wife now). We were pissed. Oh well! No sweet sweet BFE bar money for him! Now we are splitting it 4 ways! We get all of our gear loaded up in our parents cars and being our quest. I rode with my dad in his truck with all of my gear which was 3 guitars, a half stack and our PA cause the bar didn’t have one. Lol. Our bassist and drummer rode with his mom with all of their gear and our vocalist and his gf drove their empty car. He was 21. The rest of us were 18.

My dad and I are the 1st to arrive. The venue was a “bar and grill” out in the middle of nowhere KY. Think “Wrong Turn could have been filmed here”. 3 bands are playing this gig and we are band #2. Band #1 is already playing an awful version of “Man In The Box”. It still haunts me today. Our vocalist and his GF show up a few minutes later. He’s usually the last one to show up anywhere. We hang out until our pals in band #3 show up. Real cool guys who took us under their wing. I still talk to them today. We kill time chatting until we hear band #1 is wrapping up their “killer set”. We have to start getting our gear loaded on this super small stage but our bassist and drummer still aren’t there. I panic. Band #3 being the cool guys they are decide to take our slot and let us “close the show.” Super nice of them.

Half way through their set, our bassist and drummer show up. They STOPPED FOR FOOD. Like, went inside somewhere, sat down and had a meal. They all just roll up, not a care. Looking back, it’s not anything to freak out about but 18 year old me was a mess. Haha.

Band #3 wraps up and even helps us get all of our stuff set up. I look around and no one is ever there to watch. The place was packed and then when band #3 ended their set, everyone left. The folks left were bar regulars who all shared about 7 teeth between the 10 of them. Do that math. Those who were there were either all old bikers, or dressed like them for Halloween. There were also 2 very Eastern KY old ladies there dressed as slutty Batman and Robin. They weren’t pulling it off. They kept hitting on our drummer cause he was shirtless and wearing Daisy Duke shorts cause 1.) It was funny and 2.) Halloween. It didn’t hurt that he was a good looking dude either.

F*** it. We are here. Let’s play.

We “open” with “Backbone” by Gojira. Our poor drummer, guys. We had to stop seconds into the song and start over twice before we just decided to stop playing that song and move on to the rest of the set. I spent the whole time with my back facing the “crowd” so I can count loudly for and nod my head to the drummer to give him queues for transitions and such. I was super prideful then therefore very embarrassed over the performance. We finished what felt like a 10 year set and began breaking down, then it hit me! That SWEET SWEET BFE BAR MONEY! I go to the bar to get the pay out. I asked to have it all broken up into singles so it could be split between the 4 of us easier. We got a WHOLE 17 DOLLARS, GUYS! ?

Slutty Batman and Robin proceeded to ask me “whacha gonna do with all them singles, young buck?” while giving me their “I’ll do anything for meth” come hither eyes. I just laughed and made my way to the rest of the guys who were loading out as quickly as possible. The vocalist and his GF left before 1 piece of gear could be broken down. The bassist just loaded his stuff and watched me and the drummer break down his kit, load it and put my stuff and the band PA up as well. We split the $17 three ways cause we needed it for gas to get back home (which was about 2 hours away). That was our 1st show with our new drummer and it was our last. We had 2 more lined up after that and we ended up backing out of those after that night. That whole night was one large awkward moment.”

You can learn more about Aaron’s SPARK submission here.


.strandberg* SPARK is the official Facebook group of .strandberg* Guitars, dedicated to finding new ways to be creative via prompts that are announced every two weeks. You can learn more about SPARK and join the community here.

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