Steve Clayton Blog

Only Four More Days!!!

Attention Clayton customers! We are running an awesome deal right now, and it won’t last! If you order custom guitar picks any time between now and the 20th of June, you will not only receive free shipping on your order, but you will also get a free pack of our awesome Duraplex picks! All you need to do is create and order your custom designed guitar picks at www.claytoncustom.com. Enter in the code FREE when the site prompts you to use a promo code. Also, if you want to get just Duraplex picks, they are currently on sale through Musician’s Friend for only $1.99 for a dozen!! Includes free shipping without a minimum! Place your order today at www.MusiciansFriend.com. Remember the Clayton free shipping and free Duraplex offer will end this coming Monday, June 20th, so start designing your picks today!!

Stefano of Wheels of Fire

Stefano has been endorsed with us since 2010…here is a little about the band taken from their website:

“Until the present day the very lively Rock music scene of Los Angeles during the 80s hasn’t lost any of its cult like fascination.
The Roxy, Whisky A Go-Go, Rainbow Bar And Grill on Sunset Strip and the Troubadour a little further south are the locations in West Hollywood in which the eventual mega sellers entered the stage and where they still hang around today every once in a while.  This neighbourhood also seems to be made for a band like “Wheels Of Fire” and their band leader Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri, who started his musical career as a keyboard player back in the early 90s in some local bands.  About ten years ago Dave discovered his passion for singing and to improve his skills he turned to Michele Luppi, who besides being a member of various bands, formerly of the Power Metal band Vision Divine and currently of the Melodic Metal act Killing Touch and the AOR project Los Angeles, is also active as a vocal coach. Before Dave made his dream of an “Old School” Melodic Rock album come true with “Wheels Of Fire”, he recorded the album “De Revelationibus Orbium Caelestium” with the Metal band Seventh Archangel in 2007. One year later “…As In A Deep Dream” with the Progressive Metal band Liquid Shadows followed. Beside the work in the studio Dave did a lot of gigs and meanwhile he is also a teacher for Modern Singing himself.

The foundation for “Wheels Of Fire” was layed back in 2006 when Michele Luppi heard some of Dave’s demos and subsequently offered his help to record an album. Eventually Michele produced “Hollywood Rocks” together with Dave and Michele can also be heard playing grand piano and singing background vocals. The studio line-up is completed by guitar player Stefano Zeni, who was in a cover band together with Dave, Roberto Galli on bass, as well as Andrea Zingrillo on drums. Roberto Priori (Killing Touch, Michele Luppi’s Heaven) took over the mix and the Mastering, and did an amazing job in delivering a great sounding record.

The songs of “Wheels Of Fire” are a captivating combination of all the elements that Melodic Rock and AOR fans love about this kind of music and that made these songs staples on mainstream radio twenty years ago. Pushed forward by powerful drums the mid- and uptempo rockers, like “Hollywood Rocks”, “You’re So Cool”, “What I Want”, “Everywhere I Go”, “Live Again”, “The Reason”, “Relax” and “Rock The World” also shine with their melodic guitar riffs and a heathy dose of crystal clear keyboards. As expected the verses of the songs always lead to a super catchy chorus and are crowned with a guitar solo. Rock ballads have always been a big plus of the Melodic Rockers and so the band has paid very careful attention to the softer moments “I Can’t Live Without You” and “Little Prayer”. They serve a decent portion of guitar power and the arrangements also include a grand piano, while the concluding master piece in this category, the bombastic eight minute epic “Love Nest” even adds a string section, making it a full blown wide screen listening experience.

After some changes in the band’s line-up with the incoming of Marcello Suzzani on bass, Fabrizio Uccellini on drums and Andrea Vergori on Keyboards, now the guys are ready to spread their music all over the world.”

Check the band out here http://www.wheels-of-fire.com/

Thom Turner of Wishpool

Thom has been endorsed with Clayton since 2010. Here is a little about the band Wishpool from their website:

“Wishpool is a band based out of Syracuse, New York. The band has been around in one form or another for about 4 years, but it’s current configuration began in late 2007. It is this group which has recharged the Wishpool name with a new creative spirit and a passion for meaning within the music. Syracuse is a blue coller town which has struggled to retain that value and the band’s style reflects this. There is nothing fancy or frilly about the songs or the band’s sound. It is straightforward and to the point with driving rythyms and meaningful, impassioned vocals.”

For more and to listen to their music visit their awesome website  at www.wishpoolband.com

The Shiny Darks

The Shiny Darks have been endorsed with us since 2010, here is a little bit about their band:

It’s rock-n-roll with a kick to the face and a pat on the back. It’s true that “happy” and “positive” aren’t normally associated with aggressive music, but there’s more to The Shiny Darks than meets the eye. The thrillsome threesome from Houston, TX has managed to create a sound like no other- one that can start a pit and keep you smiling all at once. Epitomized in their newly released EP “Stab at Love”, The Shiny Darks’ transcend traditional punk, kick it up a notch, and slam it back down with some good ol’ rock-n-roll fun.
To create the magic, the Houston-based band took to the outskirts of the nation and found their resting place in Radiostar Studios (Weed, CA). It was there, through the eyes and ears of the great Sylvia Massy (Tool, Powerman 5000, Johnny Cash) and veteran studio/session musician turned producer Cameron McKenzie, “Stab at Love” came alive.
“Recording in Weed, CA with The Shiny Darks was definitely in my top five experiences of all time.” says Cameron. “Everyone there had nowhere to go but straight into rock history.”
“Recording The Shiny Darks could be the highlight of my career.” says Sylvia. “These guys live and breathe true rock-n-roll, dredged from the depths of dirty thoughts and high-school rejection. Bite marks bleed with the song ‘Stab’. Paul’s vocals and bass wrap around you like a warm strait-jacket. Gem’s drums drill into your temples like a lobotomy. Quenton’s guitars wake you up like a slap in the face. No kissy-kissy music here…”
“Stab at Love”, the first single off of the titular EP, explores loving and losing with the honesty of being freshly wounded. A heart that was, as the song pines, left “beating on the floor” now picked up and proudly displayed on the wounded’s sleeve.
“These songs are lyrically very personal to us. But everybody can relate. Love and loss in ‘Stab’ and ‘Photographs’, the desire for the ‘greener pasture’ and its ultimate disappointment in ‘Kennedy’, and surviving tough times in ‘Holiday’.” says Quenton Rockwell.
“Human nature is driven by two basic emotions: love and fear” says Paul Mendez. “These songs delve into the love side of things…mostly surviving the pain of it. We wrote about it and, to a degree, celebrate survival.”
Though “Stab at Love” boasts the flavors of rejection, pain, and agonizing heartache, the underlying theme which can all but be avoided is hope. The same could be said of each band member. Three very distinct personalities that are each tinged with optimism. “We want people to know that these times don’t last forever” says Gem Mendez (Paul’s baby sister). “There’s something else right around the corner. We wish for our music to touch those that have endured such pain and have fun with it, enough to take a peek at what good things are to come.”

www.theshinydarks.com

Zach Fronce of Judd Hoos

Zach Fronce of Omaha, Nebraska is lead guitarist for popular rock group Judd Hoos.  Zach began playing guitar at 16 and by 17 was playing in his first band.  3 years and a few bands later Zach has brought himself to the national stage at just 20 years of age. Zach is currently touring with the Hoos and has very quickly made a name for himself with high energy stage performances and brilliant guitar work. The high energy rock band Judd Hoos will travel in excess of 40,000 miles in 2009 to 114 shows in 9 states. In the past two years, the band has performed in 12 states, released a debut CD, opened for national acts Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Big Head Todd, and even managed to squeeze in a show at the Bellegio in Las Vegas. Home base for Judd Hoos is South Dakota, but the band members are separated by hundreds of miles between shows. Shane Funk (drums) lives in Spearfish, SD; Chris Hornick (bass) lives in Rapid City, SD; Andy Young (guitar) lives in Chadron, NE; Zach Fronce (guitar) lives in Omaha, NE; and Bob Zwart (vocals) along with the tech crew live in the Sioux Falls, SD area. Geographic challenges aside, Judd Hoos manages to practice, record and perform with an ambition that borders on obsession. The band carries a massive, state of the art sound system and lighting rig and employees a four man technical crew charged with making each show a true concert experience. Judd Hoos currently travels with a sponsored truck from GMC of Chadron. Work has started on the band’s second album and has been a testament to the awesome capability of Pro Tools recording technology at use on the road! Two of the newest tracks from the upcoming CD have recently become part of the live show and one of the cuts titled ‘Stand Up’ has Black Hills radio stations interested in adding the single to rotation. “The songs I’ve heard from the upcoming Judd Hoos CD are strong, with as much radio airplay potential as any major label band that has come across my transient in a while.” Says Murdoc Jones, program director for 95.1 KSQY in Rapid City, SD. For the 2010 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Judd Hoos will headline eight straight nights at the Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis. This venue puts the band in front of thousands of new fans and has been a big part of the success Judd Hoos has enjoyed over the past five years.

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Radio Friendly

Following the success of their last album, Surrender, Radio Friendly has been hard at work in the studio to bring their fans more of what they love. That is straight forward, good time rock and roll, filled with catchy hooks and spirit filled lyrics. The latest 6 song Ep will take you back to the musical era of the 80’s, with sonic influences from The Ramones to today’s edgy Alternative-Pop. Having shared the stage with bands like DecembeRadio, Kutless, Building429, Big Daddy Weave, Stellar Kart, Matthew West, Barlow Girl, Rock n Roll Worship Circus, The 77’s, and many more, the band continues to spread the rock n roll gospel all over the world . Brad Barth and The Glitter Twins have masterfully produced songs like Everyday, Surrender, Radio, Glorify God, and My Tribute for Radio Friendly. Their latest addition, Saved by Grace, has a wide array of material. From guitar driven songs like Holiness, Everything Will Be Alright, and a rockin’ cover of Hillsong United’s One Way, to the beautiful ballad Where Will You Be, this album will leave you wanting more. The group heads back into the studio this winter, after a short tour and television and radio appearances, to complete and round out the Ep with four more rockers. The band plans to re-release the project as a full length album in the summer of 2011. Radio Friendly has been endorsed with Clayton since 2010, you can visit their website to listen to their music and for information here:

www.radiofriendlyonline.com

The Fab Four

The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, the Fab Four will make you think you are watching the real thing. This incredible stage show includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career. This loving tribute to the Beatles has amazed audiences all over the world, including Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil. Hear record-perfect live performances of such classics as “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Penny Lane,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Hey Jude.”

http://www.thefabfour.com/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Autumn Descent

Daniel and Robert from the band Autumn Descent have been endorsed with Clayton since 2010, here is a little about their band:

The music is guitar-driven with strong melodic vocals, sprinkled with electronic elements and yet, very radio friendly. Autumn’s Descent has had several independent album and EP releases, and played club & college scenes all over the Midwest and New England. Breaking into the TV / Film/ Video Game industry in 2005, Autumn’s Descent has already had songs placed in MTV shows (NEXT, Pimp My Ride) and in Television Shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, WB, Disney, and A&E.

Visit their website: http://autumnsdescent.com

P.U.S.H.

P.U.S.H. is a modern rock band from Baltimore, MD. The group was formed in 2003 by Geo (lead guitar) who was later joined by Mr. Space (bassist), Johnnie Black (lead vocals) and Jamie Loud (drums). Fans are guaranteed to experience a unique and memorable performance at every P.U.S.H. show they attend.


To check out their music visit:

http://www.pushkicksass.com/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Colfax

Whether you blame the decline of the music industry or the cities that never sleep, there just aren’t enough big-time dreamers these days. However, the Brockville, Ontario-reared rock quartet Colfax are at a significant advantage over their complacent peers. They know successful business starts at the source; bands need to make music worth paying for again. Just ask the forty thousand strong visitors to Colfax’s MySpace page. Better proof, however, lies in the massive debut album Keys to the Midway; an aural assault of the band’s patented brand of aggressive melodic rock that finds Cody Humble (vocalist) Brock Tinsley (guitars) Aaron Hopkins (bass) and Joel Hopkins (drums) knitting big top-sized choruses seamlessly with a variety of punishing hooks. While they may not all legally be able to sit at the bar, their first record finds Colfax setting one of their own to heights previously unknown. With a tasteful vision that merges the best possible approaches, the band craft music that is equal parts muscle and melody. Attitude and invention abounds on Keys to the Midway; be it the pummeling-pop insistency of “Run” or the nightmare-gone-wrong “Bigfoot Doesn’t Have Any Sisters” which teeters on the brink of pure catatonia. “We believe music is meant to be played with passion, and we think a lot of bands are more interested in current trends than their own expression,” Brock claims. It’s interesting to note that despite the band’s proficiency (few could resist the exuberant debut single “Lay Low” which showcases Cody’s charismatic caterwaul) the quartet’s influences range from Rage Against the Machine to Daft Punk to soul to Every Time I Die. “There are so many great sounds out there,” Cody acknowledges. “We don’t want to limit ourselves.” Rewind to 2008 when Colfax formed; just one among the myriad of hopeful bands in Eastern Ontario. While juggling part-time work at a restaurant and graveyard shifts at a pharmacy, Colfax successfully recorded and supported a three song demo, An Entrance in the Making. Soon afterwards, Colfax was granted opening slots for fellow Canadian acts such as Hedley, Ten Second Epic, and Theory of a Deadman. It was an easy decision when the band was asked to create their first full length CD during the summer of 2009. Whether it’s the urgent, angular riffs that energize “Little Miss 1565” or the gentle, string-laden sway of “The Act of Breathing In”, each song is created inconspicuously among friends whose bonds stretch as far back as public school. “A good portion of songs all started by Brock and I imitating all the instruments with our mouths while playing video games together, just hanging out,” says Cody. “That’s what makes it so fun and memorable. Every song represents so much more than the lyrics let on.” Colfax have been touring high schools extensively educating students about the music industry and their potential place in it as budding musicians. The band combines a uniquely designed presentation (which covers many topics including band chemistry, songwriting, royalties, financing) with their signature high-octane rock show; Colfax are taking this EducaTOUR cross-country in the fall of 2010. Thanks to their intelligent embrace of technology, Colfax have mastered various outlets to virtually connect with their fans. The most popular of which is ColfaxTV, a YouTube channel that features original videos documenting the band’s adventures. The Dawg and Pwny Show is an hour long feature that provides a walkthrough of the album’s creation; this popular series treads the fine line between comedy and professionalism flawlessly. If their intentions are simple, they also seem pure. Says Aaron, “There’s a reason we’ve sacrificed as much as we did to come this far. There’s nothing else we would rather do.” This band has the keys and the world is ready to be unlocked.

For more of Colfax and to hear their music visit http://www.colfaxrock.com/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

In Bloom

Hailing from Portland, OR in the great northwest, In Bloom is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. With influences from Jimmy Eat World and U2, to Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, In Bloom puts it all together in a punk/indie infused power-pop sound that screams heart, honesty and energy. Timothy Reed (Wheelchair Renegades), Tony Robles (Alter Ego), Max Hampton and DJ Eickhoff have come together and created something completely original in today’s segregated and sub-genred world of rock.

Though In Bloom is new to the scene, its members have being paying their road dues for years, touring on the east and west coastlines. Timothy Reed booked and orchestrated years of west coast D.I.Y. tours with previous bands.

No matter the direction In Bloom’s music takes them, they show absolutely no fear and a relentless passion to reach people. No one said honesty was easy, but In Bloom has found it’s the only recipe for success.

Visit their website for more at http://inbloom.tv/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Dean Seltzer

One of our new endorsees is Dean Selzter, we thought the best way to share a little about him is to share his bio which is real and humorous :). Dean’s Bio from his website: “Hi – I’m Dean – I play music.  Like any male musician on the planet I started playing guitar and singing to pick up girls – and any guy with a guitar in his hands that tells you differently is a frickin liar – especially if you’re cute and female when you ask.  I figure if Mic Jagger can get women with his ugly mug there must be something to this whole music thing.  For those that care about history – I was born in Odessa Texas behind Nimitz Junior high (well, not literally behind the school – like in a dumpster or anything) I was born in a HOUSE which was directly behind the school.  Growing up I lived in Austin, Dallas, and Nashville and went to college in Tallahassee Florida.  I’ve back packed across Europe, lived in a Colorado ski town teaching snowboarding for a season, worked as a horseback riding instructor at a YMCA camp outside Fort Worth, been on a movie set with Jet Lee as a stunt man, was a division 1A cheerleader for 3 seasons, spent a summer as a surf bum in San Diego and have earned an A class skydiving license – oh and I’m in a band too.
I play music because I love it and have no desire to do anything else – you’d have to – this job is not easy, steady or lucrative work (well, sometimes it’s lucrative…)  We put up with scheister bar owners, ding-dong drunk bimbos, obnoxious intoxicated college guys, biker riots, and worst of all each other!!! We sleep in flea bag motels all over the state, drive the worst excuse of a van, eat dinner at Exxon and waffle house and pathetically pretend we’re big rock stars while playing hotel bars – in places like Kerrville – for rooms full of middle aged overweight white ladies who request Rick Springfield hits from 2 decades ago…. then again sometime we’re fortunate enough to occasionally play kick ass shows that somewhat resemble that rock and roll dream we’re chasing…If you’re impressed by name dropping we’ve done shows with Dwight Yokam, Aaron Tippin, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Jimmy Vaughn, Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Billy Joe Shaver, Pat, Cory, Roger, Reckless, Cross, JJ Walker…… you get the idea yet?  Biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of – 56,000.  Smallest crowd I’ve ever played in front of at a public establishment – 2 (not counting my dog.)
The Music – the first album is very country oriented, I produced it myself with Darren Fleming in late 2000 (who is now Kevin Fowler’s road manager).  At the time I had only been playing music for about 8 months.  It’s good – in a tame, very polite sort of way, has professional production value, but hasn’t been representative of our live show in a long time.
This second album we just finished is way different and in my opinion much better. Very rock oriented – with recognizable influences from The Cult, The Refreshments, System of a Down, ACDC, The Beatles, Hank III, Green Day – stuff like that. At one point during recording the producer turned to me and said – isn’t this supposed to be a country album? I told him, “Let’s just make some good music – if it turns out country great, if not – oh well then.  Call the rock station instead of country radio when it’s done!”

Salient

Salient has risen to the forefront of independent music with its dynamic live show, melodic rock sound, and lyrics that depict the universal search for hope and redemption in a broken world. Salient originally formed in the fall of 2002 and gained momentum quickly. A full-length album was independently produced and released in June of 2004, and an EP showcasing the growth of the band’s sound followed in January 2006. The EP resulted in the first acclaimed Salient song “Immortalize Me” thanks to the impact of online promotion and distribution through sites like Garageband.com and iTunes. Vocalist Mark Duckworth and guitarist Bobby Reinsch have traveled the world playing music and bring a confidence to the stage that can only result from the tests of time and experience. The addition of Jeromy Rowe on the drums and Craig Woelber on bass has truly brought their songs to life. Intent on learning from their lessons in the music business, these four have formed a bond that seeks to weather the cyclical nature of industry approval and come out stronger together on the other side. From the beginning the response has been overwhelming. Fans from across the world have taken notice of Salient and a broad cross-section of society has found a band that they can truly relate to. “I believe that people are tired of having musical superficiality shoved at them by executives in suits,” remarks Duckworth. “Our goal is to share our lives through our music. It’s time to get real.”

http://www.salientband.com

(Endorsed with Clayton Since 2010)

Kose of This Grace

Kose is one of the two guitar players for This Grace, a five-piece rock band formed in 2005 in northern Italy.
”7 Faster Heartbeats”, the full-length debut, was completed in the spring of 2008, after a very intensive recording session. Soon after the band was chosen from over 2600 Italian bands to play at Heineken Jammin’ Festival in Venice, backing up renowned bands such as Linkin Park, Queens Of The Stone Age and Sex Pistols.
The video clip for the single “To the top”, by director Fabio D’Orta, was shot in late 2008 and gained the first place on the MTV Brand New Italian chart.
The band is currently recording a new album. Kose has been using Clayton custom picks for years now and became endorsed with us in 2010.

Gino DiGeso of Stoned Fire

Stoned Fire is a New York City Classic Rock Band featuring Singer Petar Krsikapa, Guitarists Gino DiGeso & Sean Battista, Bass player, David Alva and Keyboard player Georgios Pesios. Stoned Fire is upcoming rock band that is making a statement in the rock scene. “Once you hear us, you will feel dirty!” See what the NYC venues are saying about us .

“Stoned Fire is the type of band i love to see reppin in this music scene of ours. A Straightup kickass Hard Rock outfit with good tunes and unlimited potential. A perfect example of the kind of band talent the nyc rock underground has to offer to the masses” – Kevin of Ace of Clubs NYC

“Great turnout…very exciting band to watch live a must see! Walter of Trash Bar Brooklyn

“Watching this band play live is like being back in 1966, great band!” Don of Don Hills NYC”

“Stoned Fire are an impressive harmonic hard rock band with a vintage sound that was a refreshing surprise and they also drew a nice crowd.” DJ SuperMorgan, F*Bomb. Delancey

Stoned Fire gives the flash and energy of a time when rock and roll was raw and real in a time where other acts get lost in the ambient noise of most venues. boom! Dan of Turnstyle Music Group (Public Assembly, Uncle Mikes, National Underground)

“Stoned Fire is a standout among young New York City rock bands. Great musicians and creative songwriting make Stoned Fire a fresh new twist on a classic style. Keep an eye and an ear out for them… CT Tamura – Gotham Rocks NYC (Crash Mansion, Gramercy Theater, Bower Ballroom, Highline Ballroom).

http://www.stonedfire.com

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Gino Meregillano

Gino Meregillano is the U.S. guitarist for the Guana Batz.  Now based in the United States, the Guana Batz were one of the founding fathers of English Psychobilly in the mid eighties.  When Gino’s not on the road with the Batz, he can be found playing Surf Guitar around southern California with the group Mo’ Wasabi as well as fronting  his own three piece Rockabilly/Vintage Rock and Roll band, Gino and the Lone Gunmen.  The Lone Gunmen’s self produced debut CD (featuring Gino on guitar and lead vocals) was released in early 2010.  Gino has professional endorsements with Gretsch Guitars and Coffin Case Accessories.

www.myspace.com/gino1771
www.myspace.com/guanabatz

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

New 2011 Products!

We wanted to share our new products with you. The first is Duraplex, this material has been in the guitar pick market for years! We use the highest form of the material to resist notiching and give ultimate strength. We offer these picks in 6 gauges and 3 shapes! Next we have Exotic picks. These picks are available in 4 different materials. Sheesham wood is an amazing organic material that will leave you shocked at the warm tone it creates. This pick also has a natural wood grain vertically down the pick that helps tone better flow from your strings while adding strength to the pick. It also features tapered edges that allows for a swift release from your strings. Coconut Shell is a durable and bright organic material that creates increased volume during play and is very dense and tough. Each of the Coconut picks are hand-made with a smooth polish on one side and an indented, roughed grip on the other. Blond Wood will create a beautiful rich tone and is great for playing with when you need a nice rhythm bass as it eliminates brassy tones. The last of the Exotic picks are the Horn which is shockingly bright and durable! It has a transparent brown and amber look. It also has contoured edges and a polished surface that is extremely fast off of your strings. Ever wish you could have a card of Clayton picks you can carry in your pocket, pull it out, and punch out a pick anywhere? Well now you can! We now offer Pocket Picks that come in 6 different gauges, and come in 6 different colors that are denoted by gauge. They are made out of our customized polycarbonate material for a comfortable feel that produces a clean and smooth sound with soft tones. Also, if you like speed picking then you will love our Pocket Picks! Our Liquid Sun picks are so popular we also added two new lines of picks featuring more artwork by artist Chad Carothers (www.chadartworld.com). Eyes Wide Open  are influenced by cartoons, music and pop culture and are printed on our White Carbonate material for not only good looks but great sound! Vixens are sure to grab anyone’s attention and ear. They are printed on our grade “A” pearl celluloid for a unbelievable sound.

Guitar Pick Collecting

I found this amazing article on Guitar Pick collecting that was done by The Ottawa Citizen. It incredible how popular and lucrative pick collecting has become. I love how they mention a $1,000 Johnny Cash pick going for sale on ebay. I love that since we worked with Johnny Cash for several years making him custom Black Acetal Custom guitar picks with his signature on them a long long time ago…. Read more here at a past blog posting. 

A Pick from our Archives – Johnny Cash

You can read the pick collecting article below (original source The Ottawa Citizen):

The Guitar Pick Collector

In 1986, Alex Golota picked up a Pat Travers pick from the stage at Barrymore’s. Today he has more than 700 picks from rock’s biggest names.

By Bruce Deachman, Ottawa Citizen January 16, 2011
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Guitar+Pick+Collector/4116340/story.html#ixzz1BbYwO2AY

The first guitar pick that Alex Golota recalls picking up — off the stage at Barrymore’s Music Hall, back in the mid 1980s when he did lighting at the Bank Street club — belonged to Pat Travers. The picks were initially an accompaniment to the 8×10-inch promo photos of musicians Golota collected as reminders of the shows he’d attended or worked; he would glue the picks to the photos and then have them framed. If he could, he’d get one or both autographed.

As the years passed, Golota’s collection of picks grew. Some, like Travers’s, he picked up after a concert. Guitarists would sometimes give him one of their picks, or he would ask one of their technicians for one. Friends in the sound and lighting trades, aware of his hobby, would acquire picks on his behalf. He has picks from some of the biggest names: The Rolling Stones, with their trademark tongue and lips; ZZ Top (both); one from Prince, via Jon Bon Jovi’s guitar technician and instantly identifiable by the unpronounceable “Love Symbol” he adopted as his stage name in 1993; a metal guitar pick from Def Leppard; Eric Clapton; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Buddy Holly; The Edge; a yellow pick that bears Alice Cooper’s name and likeness; and Avril Lavigne and Steve Earle, who each have skulls adorning their picks (his in green, hers in pink).

“I recently got Jeff Beck,” says Golota, 51, “which is really hard to get because he doesn’t use a guitar pick. But I managed to catch up to his road manager on stage, and he has a bag of guitar picks that Jeff had 30 years ago, and he keeps them for real true fans. It actually says ‘This pick was stolen from Jeff Beck’ on it.

“I have that.”

He keeps his collection — 726 picks at last count, but growing all the time — in a pair of binders, one carrying the monogrammed and autographed picks, the other holding picks you’ll just have to take his word that they’re from who he says they are, like the Fender pick used by Bruce Springsteen.

“I found it right beside his guitar stand, and I know he uses a plain white Fender pick and I know it’s Bruce Springsteen’s pick.”

Curiously, perhaps, he doesn’t play guitar himself. But growing up in Old Ottawa South, his idols included Jimi Hendrix and Procol Harum’s Robin Trower.

“I started keening on guitar players,” he recalls. “They’re the heroes in the

rock ‘n’ roll field.”

The first show he attended was an April Wine concert at the Civic Centre when he was 16. As he watched the roadies and technicians set up the stage be-between acts, he decided that was what he wanted to do for a living. Currently a lighting designer with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, where he’s worked for the past 18 years, he started out with Wall Sound, then moved to Barrymore’s. In between, he toured for two years as Stompin’ Tom Connors’ stage manager, and spent six months on the road with Charlie Pride.

He takes his summer holidays during Bluesfest, where he does lighting and, with the help of the other techs, collects more picks. Last summer, he added 17 to his collection. The year before that, a record 48.

“That’s my vacation,” he says. “The museum is so corporate — I have to wear a suit there most of the time.

“And my roots are in rock ‘n’ roll, so I want to go back every year and make sure I can still do lights for rock ‘n’ roll.”

Some of the picks in his collection are definitely rarities. A pick used by Gene Simmons bears the KISS bassist’s thumbprint in theatrical blood. One that belonged to Jeff Smallwood — guitarist for Roch Voisine and Luba — is fashioned from a hotel room key card. He has a Spinal Tap pick used during a Canada Day show in St. John’s, as well one used recently by Crash Karma for a concert for Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Golota even has a pick used by NDP leader Jack Layton.

Then there are the ones missing from his collection. He’s resigned to the fact that he’ll never own a Hendrix pick, while an online search for one used by Johnny Cash uncovered a $1,000 price tag, too steep for Golota.

“These are actually rarer than stamps and coins,” he says, “because stamps and coins they produce hundreds of thousands or millions, but when a guitar player goes out on tour, he may only take 1,000 picks — a bagful. Over his career he may not buy another bag. So the rarity of these things is crazy.

“We had an insurance adjuster come in and look at the stuff, and he said ‘You’re sitting on a dream home here. There’s somebody out there who’s interested in buying it, somewhere, somehow.'”

But he’s not interested in selling. “It’s not about making money,” he says. “It’s just trying to get it all in one place. I’m a curator and trying to keep it all together, and if people can appreciate it, that’s great.”

Through profiles here and online, Bruce Deachman uncovers the people who bring Ottawa to life, people who exhibit and unusual passion or obsession. Do you know someone who is one in a million? E-mail the details to

Visit ottawacitizen.com/million to see more photos and listen to Alex Golota, or to see past stories.

bdeachman@ottawacitizen.com.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Guitar+Pick+Collector/4116340/story.html#ixzz1BbYrAd6M


Kyle Gass and John Konesky of Tenacious D at the Clayton NAMM Booth 2011

This year we were so happy to have the amazing Kyle Gass of Tenacious D come sign at our booth for a 2nd year in a row! Tenacious D has a very loyal fan base, and the lines were wrapping very long all over the place to get to meet Kyle and John this year! Very amazing! This year he brought along the VERY talented John Konesky also of Tenacious D. Kyle and John are both Clayton Endorsed. They were there to promote their youtube channel called Guitarings, which shows you how to play many of the popular Tenacious D songs. Below is a clip of them showing how to play the Tenacious D song “Tribute”: Below are some pictures of them signing for all of their fans at our NAMM booth!

Twlight Star Booboo Stewart and Fivel Stewart Clayton Booth NAMM 2011

We had lots of different artists singing at our NAMM 2011 booth this year, which included Booboo and Fivel Stewart of “Booboo and Fivel”.  You may recognize Booboo from the very popular Twlight Saga movies. He plays the youngest werewolf Seth Clearwater in the series. Him and his sister Fivel are currently in the band “Booboo and Fivel”, and have released a single titled “Rainy Day”.  You can view the video at the bottom of this post.  Booboo is an official endorsed artist at Clayton, Inc. so we brought him into NAMM to help promote his amazing talents as a guitarist and drummer.  As he waited for the limo to pick him up to bring him to the convention center, he played around on the drums.  See the video here: Below are some pictures from the signing at our NAMM booth.


NAMM 2011

We are back from a very busy NAMM show, and we wanted to share some photos from our booth this year! We had several artist signings including, Playmate Kassie Lyn, Twilight Saga Star Booboo Stewart and his sister Fivel, Kyle Gass and John Konesky of Tenacious D.  We will post more detailed information on all of our NAMM happenings soon!

Pick of the Week – Stephanie & THREE

We have a really cool picks and a really cool band this week! This lovely pick is by the band Stephanie & THREE, which is local to Clayton, Inc. here in Southern Oregon. I love the shades of pink on the pick, and the design is just way to cool! Stephanie & THREE is an aggressive Rock ‘n’ Power-Pop Trio, that plays in clubs and venues throughout the Northwest.  We always love seeing local bands being successful. I posted a video below so that you can really see how awesome this band is!  Make sure to check out their website to find out where you can catch their next performance. www.threemusic.net

Pick of the Week – Patrick Vega

We have another endorsed artist this week! This time it is for Patrick Vega! Patrick’s pick featured this week is printed on our Acetal material with a lovely colorful design.  Patrick has ordered tons of different designs in the past from us, so he is quite the guitar pick designer. Our custom imprint department talks to Patrick quite often and they all really love him.  Patrick showed the love back by doing a video all about Clayton picks! Which is totally awesome! Check it out below.

A little background on Patraick is that he is a player that is capable of great technique. In general though, he follows the unexpected, adventurous route rather than the (expected) technical/theory route. Alternate tunings, tasty leads and heavy but ambitious rhythm guitar parts that are accessible yet eclectic.

Patricks’s playing and songwriting displays a blend of vintage grace & modern rock/metal attitude. The music is influenced by acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Joe Satriani, The Cure, Rage Against The Machine, KoRn, Puddle Of Mudd, Seether, Tool, Classic Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, PJ Harvey, Tricky, Ozzy Osbourne, Vega’s former guitar teacher Brett Garsed and various movie soundtracks.

All I can say is Way Cool! Check out his website at: http://www.patrickvega.com

Pick of the Week – Eldebrock

This week we have a different style of pick.  This is a full black overbleed on our Acetal material.  It looks like a black pick, but it actually is white on the other side.  This is a great option because you get the look of a black pick, but it is printed on our popular Acetal material.  We really loved Eldebrock’s design, plus they are an endorsed band here at Clayton. They have a very cool website at: www.eldebrock.net. Really, it is quite impressive there is some amazing flash animation on their site.  They currently have just released their debut album, which can be downloaded on iTunes. Their music is really unique, and they have clips of it on their website, so make sure to listen.  The band Eldebrock took shape in the early spring of 2009 when founding member, Del Bannerman(rhythm guitar), along with Richard Lalonde (bass guitar), recruited Jay Wegenast from Vancouver B.C. as the lead singer. The spring and summer of 2009 was spent in a small town in Saskatchewan writing the music for the debut album. Barrett Moore (lead guitar), who grew up with Jay in Forestburg, Alberta joined in late 2009 adding his own touch of Zakk Wylde and Slash influenced lead guitar to the tracks that finished off the sound they were going for.

Pick of the Week – Rock Sugar

This week we have a pick from the band Rock Sugar! You have to check out their website at: http://www.rocksugarband.com/. They have an amazing intro on their website. Here is a little description about their live show:

“THE ROCK SUGAR LIVE SHOW IS UNLIKE ANY YOU’VE EVER SEEN. ROCK SUGAR SLAMS 34 OF THE BIGGEST CROWD PLEASING SONGS IN HISTORY AS THEY’VE NEVER BEEN HEARD BEFORE, INTO ONE TIGHT 13 SONG SET. SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!– “
This lovely pearl celluloid pick is printed with a purple and blank blended logo. It was made for the band guitarist and vocalist Chuck Duran. Also, make sure to check out their facebook page, where they have over 22,000 likes! Wow!

Pick of the Week – Ian Lee

This week is a nice full color imprint on our white pearl celluloid.  Pearl Celluloid is a great choice for your custom picks. Especially if you are looking for a great promotional pick that will get peoples attention!  Ian Lee has a solo project rather than a band and is located in Montreal Canada.  His genre is English and French Pop Rock. His  single ”La fin du monde” went to #1 of the ADISQ  Rock Billboard in 2009, which is amazing.  Also he has a new record that came out in stores and itunes on nov 9th. The new single ”Ta dependance” can be heard on radios throughout canada as well as satellite radio. His English album ”Crash” with the hit ”fallen” from 2007 is already on sale on iTunes. To find out more details on Ian Lee, make sure to check out his website at: http://www.ian-lee.com/

GUITARINGS with Kyle Gass and Kones

We wanted to share with you that our endorsed artists Kyle Gass and Kones have a YouTube channel which they teach you how to play guitar! In this video http://www.youtube.com/user/Guitarings#p/a/E5965FD68668A3FD/0/vBffFLxPyCA they teach you how to play to “Tribute”.  If you are looking for a very entertaining guitar lesson definitely check out their channel! They have had over 200,000 upload views to date, and over 1,800 subscribers.

Jackson Deerfield

We recently endorsed Jackson Deerfield from Nashville, TN! Jackson is a solo country rock artist, and has been the opening act for Box Car Willie, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and state fairs with Alabama! Jackson is an accomplished writer and performer who performs his own compositions as well as covers of other country rock artists. In 2009 Jackson begun getting extensive radio air play in places such as New York State. You can check his music out by going to his website http://www.jacksondeerfieldband.com/

Pick of the Week – Dead ‘Til Friday

With Halloween coming up at the end of this week, we couldn’t help but select this fun pick!  This pick is printed on our Acetal material. We love the skull with the top hat and bow.  Plus we love the pattern of pink polka dots! Such a creative mix of unique elements. This pick was designed by the band Dead ‘Til Friday. They are a five member band that does both cover and original Rock -n- Roll, based in South Florida. Here is a little blurb about them:  “Dead ‘Til Fridays’ live shows include an up-beat mix of classic to current hits – from pop to rock to R&B – that are fun, danceable and include some the best songs of all time. Fronted by a powerful, versatile female lead singer, Dead ‘Til Friday has an energetic stage performance, making them one of the most in-demand party bands around. The secret to their success is their full rich sound, stage presence and youthful energy.” Make sure to check out their website to find more information about them at: www.deadtilfriday.com

Pick of the Week – Hourcast

This week we have a nice Acetal Rounded Triangle.  We love how the band Hourcast designed this pick. It looks just like their website! It has nice deep dark colors of black and red with a blue undertone. Hourcast is a rock band out of Boston.  They just released their new album Dystopia, and are currently on tour throughout the nation. To find out if they will be in a city near you visit their tour itenerary.