In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a nut. Sometimes crazy ideas pop in my head and I have no choice but to follow them until they either work out or I give up (or fail completely).
To date I have never followed through with one of the ideas. This has less to do with my lack of dedication and more to do with time. Over time I sit back and really THINK about the idea and realize it’s impossible.
For example: when I first started playing guitar I was borrowing a Harmony electric guitar that had a lot more headstock than needed and I thought it would be awesome to add a seventh string to the guitar. I didn’t even attempt to go through with this idea though because within minutes I realized what was required for a seven string guitar and it was a lot more than room enough for another tuner.
And while some people may laugh at that (go ahead, it’s funny), this is an example of the ideas I get. They’re very “wouldn’t it be cool?” until you realize just what is involved.
Now that I wrote that though, I’m a little nervous to reveal my idea. What if it’s incredibly silly?
Oh well. If it is silly, you’ll get a laugh out of it. I know the people that know right now think that it’s silly so why not?
I thought wouldn’t it be cool to recycle cans, save the money, and get an amp?
Then I started thinking why JUST an amp? Recycling cans is going to take forever to save up enough money to get an amp, and it’s already virtually impossible to do, requiring a TON of dedication, so why not shoot for the moon? Why not pick a RIDICULOUSLY pricey amp?
Of course, when I say “ridiculous” I mean relatively. Of course there are always going to be more expensive amps out there, but an expensive amp is an expensive amp.
The amp I chose is a Gretsch 6163 Executive amp.
This amp retails on sites like Musician’s Friend for almost $3,000.00 which is REALLY pricey to me. This is an amp that I’ve wanted since I first saw it, but there’s no way I would ever be able to justify spending that much money on an amp. Essentially, there’s no way I would ever buy this amp and yet it’s always there, always looking cool and I know that it would look awesome in my living room. Well, not in MY living room because I have cats that LOVE to scratch stuff and a small child (soon to be small childREN) that behaves like, well, a child. I once left a Digitech Bad Monkey on a shelf when I deployed and when I came back it had moved to a different shelf and was now somewhat attached to the shelf. My little one had spilled orange juice on it.
To Digitech’s credit, it still works amazingly.
But back to the amp! Let’s talk about this!
It weighs fifty pounds, has twenty watts and one 15” speaker (an Eminence Legend). It has one channel with two inputs and features (according to Gretsch’s website) an all hand wired chassis, chrome control panel, spring reverb, and tremolo.
The controls are volume, treble, middle, bass, reverb level, tremolo intensity, and tremolo speed.
It features a ton of tubes, mainly 1 5AR4, 2 6V6’s, 3 12AX7’s, and 2 12AT7’s.
It also features a two button footswitch to turn the reverb and tremolo on and off.
By the way, the Gretsch specs say (and I quote): “Sound: Ridiculous.”
The looks of the amp are just BEAUTIFUL. I love it. It’s just a great looking amp and when I had the chance to play it last year it sounded amazing, so yes, I want it.
I priced it out, recycling these cans and it came to this: I would have to recycle 60,000 cans. SIXTY THOUSAND cans. How’s that for ridiculous? Especially considering that if I just quit drinking soda and started throwing in three bucks every time I would have normally bought a twelve pack I would only have to do that 1,000 times before I could afford the amp.
Alas, I like soda way too much.
But more than that, I just want to see if this is possible. Do people even pay to recycle cans anymore? This is a crucial issue to address before this ball starts to really roll.
To make this even more legendary, there will be self-imposed rules. My caveat is that these rules are subject to change in case I just plain give up. Say by some crazy case I recycle 20,000 cans and have $1,000.00 as a result, I reserve the right to say this is way too big of a hassle and give up. A thousand bucks can get you a pretty great amp anyway.
Anyway, back to the rules:
1) ALL money will be generated from recycling cans. There will be no monetary donations from either myself or any kind souls. If a grandmother sends me ten bucks for my birthday (for instance) it will NOT go in the Green Amp fund, it will go somewhere else.
2) Any donations of CANS will be considered strictly voluntary and without expectation. If a friend at work or something hears about this and wants to help out I will insist that, as far as they’re concerned, I’m just taking them to the trash. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed if I do give up along the way.
3) It will not be a second hand Executive. Even though it would be cheaper and more easily attainable (if you can FIND one second hand) it would take away from the wow factor here.
Those are the rules.
My wife asked me if this made me feel… poor, this idea of mine. It does not. I mean, I’m sure if I was out collecting cans from irrigation ditches I might think twice about that answer, but this is money from where there was no money before.
Besides, this is legendary stuff we’re talking about.
Imagine if it actually works out and I recycled enough cans (sixty THOUSAND cans!) to get this amp. That’s a ridiculous amount of cans and it reminds me of the guy who traded a paper clip all the way up to a house except I’m just saving money made from cans to get a ridiculously pricey amp. If it does work out, I WILL make a big deal out of it because it is completely WORTH making a big deal out of. Look at a normal 12 ounce can. Now imagine ten of them. Now imagine fifty. Fifty cans takes up quite a bit of counter space, let me tell you. Double that and you end up with a hundred and probably no counter space. That’s only a HUNDRED. Can you imagine a THOUSAND? Not me. My mind can’t fathom that amount of cans. It’s like those crowd scenes that start out on one or two guys and you think to yourself those guys have wives, mothers, kids, etc. and then the camera pans out to something crazy like in Lord of the Rings and you can’t fathom that each one of those dots is a real person with a story and history and future.
That is what 60,000 cans is to me.
And I know that you may want to keep up with this little (ridiculously huge) project of mine so every time I go to the recycling center (if they pay for cans mind you. If they don’t, the whole project is off) I will update the blog. Perhaps I’ll put something off to the side that’s a little more permanent. Who knows? Right now the plan is in development and not in the works so there’s still some time.
I mean besides the vast amount of time I will have between can One and can Sixty Thousand.
I mentioned earlier that this project is called the Green Amp project because every penny spent on the amp will come from recycling and I hear there’s nothing more green than recycling. That, and it sounds cool.
If YOU want to start your own project Green Amp, write in and let me know. Be sure to include the amp that is your goal and if you want to play with the same rules I am. If you keep sending me your updates, I’ll add them when I add mine and we’ll see how far we can all get. I think it would be pretty amazing if I can do this, but I think it would be STAGGERINGLY amazing if more than one person was able to do this project and get their desired amp. That would be Fox News worthy. If they did a story on people that like to pull snakes from trees and shake them around for a little while, I’m sure they would like to do a story on this. So keep your books up to date with recycling center receipts and ledgers and whatever you’re going to be using.
Personally, I can’t wait to get started!
Follow Up: While there is certainly no lacking in enthusiasm for this project from myself, I did some research and found out that recycling programs are greatly diminished. It used to be that everyone was after recycled materials exclusively for menufacturing and who knows, this may be something that comes back what with the economy being in such a poor state and the demand from consumers for companies to go green, but right now, demand is low.
As a result, the value of goods to be recycled has gone down too. While some folks are in states where the nickel for a can is still in full swing, in the state of Georgia, one can is worth a little more than a penny. So, a three thousand dollar amp equates three hundred thousand cans.
Of course, three hundred thousand cans is absolutely ridiculous, right?
Sure it is.
I was all set to give this up too. I was torn for a little while about whether to post it for someone else to do or to delete it and pretend that the idea never entered my head, but my wife (who's a bit of a nut herself) convinced me not to throw away my cans, saying she liked the idea and then she clammed up on the subject. I told her not to be coy with me and if she had input on the idea to let me know because I was feeling completely put out on the subject. She said she didn't, but who knows what she was REALLY thinking?
I think perhaps she wants to see me go through with it because it is truly a feat and if it works out it will be amazing. She did remark that I should NOT get the Executive because it is ridiculously priced (she was absolutely amazed that an amp could cost that much), so maybe she thinks I should shoot for something that is either cheaper (a ton of amps ARE cheaper, like the Dr. Z Prescription Junior or a Carr Viceroy or an Satellite Atom which are my top three boutique amps that I'm interested in), or sexier (like a Gretsch Black Phoenix, or 2005 Silver Falcon with Bigsby, or a 6120 Rverend Horton Heat).
I'm going to have to talk to her about this...
But anyway, I'm still in, the game is still on, I'm just going to be going RIDICULOUSLY slow here. I'm still excited too, even though I found out the average American family recycles 900 cans per year (that's ONLY 900 cans per year) which gets about nine bucks and trading in enough cans to get the Executive would take about oh, a little more than 666 (how about that?) families a year to attain.
Looking at that number, I know I'll be at this for a while. Oh well though, like I said earlier, I'm making money from something that was nothing more than a can, and in the end I can look at my expensive purchase and say I paid for it all with money earned from CANS. And that will be something to brag about.