I bought a new Fender Stratocaster today. It was quite a search, and I ended up with a beautiful Left Handed Standard Strat in Candy Apple Red with a Maple neck. I ended up visiting a lot of stores to find exactly what I needed. Now any musicians among you will be shaking your heads. Strats are pretty damned common.
Problem is my left wrist is toast. It doesn’t bend, so I can’t finger chords with it. This is why I stopped playing ten years ago. Playing right was impossible, and at the time I didn’t think switching to playing left (even though I’m left handed) was a reasonable option.
Then I got lucky, when I went with my wife on a guitar hunting spree. I saw a left handed guitar in a store, tried it, and found that all the fingerings I remembered from playing right, just worked. So I decided to switch, and then the problem was finding a guitar. Yeah, I know most guitar stores will order a guitar in for you. But I refuse to buy anything I haven’t played. So I started searching, and today I got lucky.
And what’s the one thing you need with an electric guitar? A cable. I have several amps, and I have cables, but one thing I learned is that you always keep a cable in your gig bag.
So I go wandering into the cable section, and guess what the first brand I see is? Monster Cable. Now this is probably silly of me, but I expect that the companies I deal with to operate in a moral and upright manner. If they don’t, I buy elsewhere. As a musician and a programmer, I know more about “Ineffectual Property” than most people. While I’m not a lawyer, I’ve had to learn the basics, because it affects what I do.
Monster Cable has been involved in a wide variety of spurious trademark infringement cases. Cases where, Monster Cable has tried to use its size and strength to attack a variety of organizations that use Monster as part of their name.
This is not acceptable to me. I had a very interesting conversation with several of the staffers at the store, which is one of the major musical instrument distributors in Canada. They weren’t aware of what Monster had been doing, and at least one of them was totally horrified at what they learned. The Google Search really blew them away.
I have a lot of cables – I have one in each guitar’s gig bag (I have a left handed Yamaha bass as well), one with each amp, and 5 or 6 with the recording equipment, one with my wife’s Fender Semi, and one with her Peter Cox acoustic (it has a detachable pickup). But I didn’t know Monster had an audio line. Since I do now, I’m telling all the musicians I know to avoid them, and suggesting that our local stores not stock them. And I know a hell of a lot of musicians.
If Monster wants my business, they can show so by their behavior. If they don’t, they can keep on acting like Monster Idiots, and loose business.
Oh, and as for Noel Lee? He’s a lying bastard. Trademark law requirements have nothing to do with what his company is trying to do.
I am emailing Monster Cable a link to this article, and will post their reply, if any.
Update 1 – I’ve just been told of a report on cables that was broadcast on TV in New Zealand.
Update 2 – Monster Cable has not responded. Since they haven’t responded, I will assume that they are in agreement with what I said.