Inventory: 10 Highly Pretentious Musical Instruments
Nice – I own numbers 2 and 6. 🙂
2. The Chapman Stick
Art rock—especially ’80s-00s King Crimson—wouldn’t be complete without the Chapman Stick, a combination guitar and bass that looks like a 2×4 and is played by tapping the strings with both hands. (Or with little drumsticks tied to your fingers, if you’re Tony Levin.) Though its clean lines look best next to the stylishly bald and mustached Levin, it’s forever connected to serious, ponytailed men like Trey Gunn, who look like they treat “picking” and “strumming” with a sniff of contempt. The Chapman Stick is also worn across the chest with the top resting on the player’s shoulder, giving the impression that it’s so precious, it needs to be cradled.
The portable keyboard you strap on like a guitar has graced an embarrassing list of people who should have known better, like Donald Fagen, Herbie Hancock, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. But it still looks like a plastic toy that should have bubbles coming out of the handle. When Steve Masakowski invented it and Moog Music rolled out the first models, keyboardists everywhere who’d been stuck in the back at concerts got the chance to strut across the front, just like the real stars. It didn’t take long to figure out that they’d been put back there for a reason.