Mess age In A Bottl e

Just a cast­away, no cho­rus but some clean

Total Guitar - - BLACK PEAKS -

Player Andy Sum­mers Al bum Re­gatta de Bl anc (1979)

Let’s get straight to it, is it a cho­rus or is it a flanger? A fair amount of peo­ple hold this tone up as a clas­sic ex­am­ple of the mar­riage be­tween elec­tric gui­tar and the cho­rus ef­fect. But it’s not. Sum­mers used an Elec­tro-har­monix Elec­tric Mistress flanger, but to be fair its char­ac­ter is quite a wa­tery shim­mer. Sum­mers would add a Boss CE-2 to his board later in the

trio’s tour­ing life but it’s per­haps odd his early work with The Po­lice is so as­so­ci­ated with an ef­fect he didn’t ac­tu­ally use on his most iconic tones. Nev­er­the­less, it’s not the only pedal in­volved here.

Lis­ten and you’ll no­tice how he ups the shim­mery ante in the cho­rus as his chords ring out; some claim it’s MXR’S clas­sic Dyna Comp com­pres­sor (at the end of the chain) and tape de­lay in the mix - likely an Echoplex unit. TG’S ears don’t ac­tu­ally de­tect the lat­ter in most of the song though.

He was a one-gui­tar man in the early days play­ing a 1963 Tele­caster that had al­ready been mod­ded by the time Sum­mers bought it with some un­usual fea­tures to make it a ver­sa­tile in­stru­ment (a Gib­son PAF neck hum­bucker and an out of phase switch). More un­usual was its built-in preamp con­trolled by an on/off switch and a gain con­trol. “It was the one gui­tar I used for ev­ery­thing,” Andy told us. “I did start us­ing a Strat later on, but this was the Tele that got used all the time, on all the records. It had ev­ery­thing I needed in one.”

Amp specifics are tricky says the man him­self… “I can’t re­mem­ber a fuck­ing thing about the amps on The Po­lice records… it makes me laugh,” he told us ear­lier this year. That stuff is for the real nerds.” Sorry, Andy, we are guilty as charged!

po­lice squad St­ing is shocked to see Sum­mers us­ing a flanger pedal rather than cho­rus

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