The Beast Arrives in Bradford

Look at this ridiculous thing. It’s here, and it’s delightful. And also has arrived reasonablyish intact — one of the six string necks has two busted strings and one string on the seven-string neck has weirdly migrated to another string’s slot, and a strap on the frankly ridiculous gig bag has ripped away from the bag itself. But these are all fixable and quite honestly, considering everything involved in getting this from England to Ohio, perfectly acceptable.

I have some work to do on it before it’s entirely ready for an official public debut, including restringing and some other stuff. But, hey! It’s here! And it’s ridiculous. And I love it.

— JS

65 Comments on “The Beast Arrives in Bradford”

  1. This saga could only have been improved by beginning last March. Looking forward to the continuation.

  2. The Beast would make a great backrest for a throne, kinda like the iron throne in Game of Thrones, but with better cushions and less bloodshed.

  3. It’s like a Star Trek transporter accident happened to a band. Are you sure there are no fingers melded in there?

  4. I do not believe that I have seen that joyful an expression on any face in well over a year. So glad that it makes you that happy!

  5. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a gateway drug…

    …a quick look on Google Images reveals–the horror, the horror–that there are eight- and even nine-neckers out there.

  6. …could become an expensive hobby, too…I’m just a cellist, but a decent set of cello strings costs three hectobux–for only four strings. That’s $1200/year if I’m playing as much as I used to pre-Covid.

  7. @Scalzi, get yourself a Junior Brown-made “Guit- Steel” and you’ll have all the bases covered!

  8. Am the only one who wants to see just how ridiculous the shipping container was for this?

  9. Now the thrill of tracking down an appropriate amp! A Marshall stack? Something in the round, like a flying saucer, with strobes and a built in smoker?

  10. I think it really needs a kazoo mounted on the external neck.

    Congratulations! May you have many wonderful hours jammn’ with yourself!

  11. I think it should go without saying that an eventual video of you playing it is anticipated.

  12. Obviously, you need to come up with a new version of “Six String Orchestra”.

  13. Oh you poor bastard—not one but two Floyd Roses to set up? One day you will realize this was the moment when it all went wrong.

    @Geoffrey Hart – Search “Dave Grohl guitar throne”. :)

  14. @John D. Holsinger
    If Scalzi gets a Fishbone double-necked axe, it would mean he’d have all the basses covered.

  15. Man, that’s a LOT of Humbuckers there! Hell, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen has to be green with envy right now! Even in rural Bradford, Ohio you’ll make a lot more friends with that bad boy than you would with a six-barreled AR-15 (six-shooter?). You entertain so many of your fans with your often lighthearted and humorous fiction that you deserve a few toys with which to entertain yourself. Enjoy that six-pack axe, man. You’ve earned it!

  16. Wow!
    I fear that my complete failure to be able to play any guitar renders me incapable of any rational understanding how that one that one is even playable, much less played, but your delight in it has brightened my otherwise rather gloomy day.

  17. Dear Rick,


    Art is both the most frivolous and most profound of purchases.

    Frivolous because it will neither feed, nor clothe, nor shelter you. Although it may — used properly and for good rather than evil — improve your love life.

    Profound, because it is an expenditure that nourishes the soul.

    People who say, “But couldn’t you have better spent the money… ” do not understand that there is no ‘better’ because there’s nothing to compare it with. There is only different.

    pax / Ctein

  18. You mentioned on Twitter that you’ve scheduled a session with someone at your local guitar shop to tune your new guitar. If you haven’t told this person the hilarious details of this “new guitar,”can Krissy or Athena please document the encounter for posterity?

  19. I feel like Ryan Reynolds’ character must have felt when he saw the vampire pomeranian.

  20. We will place it lovingly in it’s gig bag and road case, then make sure it goes on the truck, just like any other guitar. Because you love it, we will love it. We promise you this.

    IATSE Local ONE, NYC “The Stagehands.”

    It needs no reason, but your expression of joy gives a damn good one!

  21. If it’s in-person, we need to entice you over to Ohio Valley Filk Fest in Columbus come October so you can make all the other guitarists jealous! (Besides, they have a great closing rock jam.)

    I’d even pay the membership to make it happen. 8-)

  22. What’s the difference between the two 6-string guitars? All I can see is the bridges aren’t the same, and the bridge on the top one is set strangely.

  23. I’m guessing one of the 6-strings is set for slide and the other is normal?

    The other “conventional” use for that is to use alternate tunings, with one the usual Spanish EADGBE and the other something like DADGAD or DropD (makes it easy to do power chords) or something stranger.

    With 40 strings, you risk getting into Tagore’s quote of “I spend all my time stringing and unstringing my instrument and still the song I want to play goes unsung.”

  24. Wasn’t there a band, Walk Off the Earth I think, who had 5 people playing one guitar? You should invite them over to jam…

  25. Surely that was made for an alien on a planet far,far away, and was delivered to you in error.

  26. There aren’t too many things that make an adult feel like a kid on Christmas morning!! Savor it, or savour since it came from GB.

  27. I was able to find video of one of these being played on stage, but only featuring the top two necks. Somebody playing necks five and six down at the bottom, that would be impressive.

  28. You might want to call Rick Neilsen for tips on the care, feeding, and treatment of The Beast. He has one or two of his own.

  29. How much does that sucker weigh? 25-30 lbs? More? Are your roadies going to want a raise to schlep that thing around from gig to gig?

  30. Unless you are secretly Elasti-Girl, I don’t see how you even get your fingers onto some of those strings.

  31. Somehow on the previous post I had missed that all six necks weren’t six-string, so I am in fact being amazed by this thing to the exact same extent all over again.

  32. I concur with all the above comments.

    One question: will you have an extension designed for your right arm in order to play the lower strings?

    eagerly awaiting the inevitable video.

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