Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 5:07 PM


Hey! Orang Tua

Hembuslah lilin itu

Pejamkan matamu

Mimpi dan angan-angan

Yang indah-indah belaka

Ramaskan yang busuk hancing

Campak jauh nun jauh ke laut

Hidupkanlah keazaman baharu

Yang bersih, putih dan mulia

Yang padat, padu lagi jitu

Semoga kebahagiaan berpanjangan

Semoga dunia ini engkau redha

Untuk imbangan duga yang laras

Bukalah matamu

Lihatlah asap berkepulan naik

Meninggalkan lilin yang cair

Maka itulah ibaratnya hilang

Apa yang harus kehilangan

Dan apa yang harus wujud

Untuk engkau insan sejati

Selamat hari jadi

Oleh Jo Haq

28 February 2024

5:04 petang

Bukit Jelutong


at 2:13 AM


Lest You Forget That Guilt Whispers Forever

Safe space for a difficult truth

And that is how the poem ruths

Write a thousand words to sooth

Or smell the tulips, roses and acanthus 

Yet you shall run like a headless goose

Excited over a screw that has gone loose

As if jack's beans went up through the roof

And you have now come to squeeze the juice

Hoping for its bitter to heal the bruise

And in the end you shall all be amused

Like a vampire sucking in profuse

The stale blood of those souls refused

The tale floods from whose roles abused

By Jo Haq

28 February 2024

1:58 am

Bukit Jelutong


Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 5:35 PM



by Johan Ishak

GUITARS have been my passion for years since the age of fourteen. I can still remember watching the TV when Rock in Rio was on air in 1989. I saw Slash for the very first time with his iconic gold top Gibson Les Paul. Ever since, I dreamt of owning a Gibson Les Paul. I only got to acquire my first Gibson Les Paul fifteen years later in 2005 when a guitar shop at Denmark Street, London, had a huge discount for a 2002 Tobacco Burst 60's Style Gibson Les Paul. That was the beginning. From thereon, as my music appreciation expanded from Guns N' Roses to the likes of Metallica, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Joe Satriani and many more, Gibson was no longer the only brand that I had interest it. It expanded to Ibanez, Fender, PRS and EVH Wolfgangs.

The thing about collecting guitars is, not necessarily it needs to be brand new nor does it need to be the very expensive ones - although price can be damaging for some collectibles. So, let me share with you the 11 guitar models and editions worth collecting:

1. GIBSON LES PAUL SLASH STANDARD - There are many Slash signature editions ranging in different colours such as Anaconda green, Appetite amber, November Rain (Guns N' Roses) tobacco burst, vemilion red 4 and the list goes on. However, the most iconic of them all is called Victoria, a gold top Gibson Les Paul. The good thing about Slash's edition is that they come in Standards and not Custom Shop, which means, cheaper Gibson Les Pauls, probably around USD3,000. Best if you do not instal the pick guards because, the pick guards do look ugly in my opinion. All of Slash's Gibson Les Pauls come with Slashbucker humbuckers except some limited edition ones where Gibson actually use Seymour Duncan. If you can get the ones with Seymour Duncan pickups, it'll be a fantastic collectible item. What you should not bother looking for is the Gibson Les Paul Slash Snakepit featuring a python with the top hat image on the guitar as it is very, very rare and when you do find them, it'll cost some stupid USD99,000.

2. GIBSON SG ANGUS YOUNG - I am not a big fan of SG's. They look too over the top and the physical feel of the body is irritating. When you are hanging it on your body but with no hands holding it, it is super imbalance so much so that the head stock and neck falls down pushing the body up. That is super irritating. The body feels too compacted that, in my opinion, I do not get the right wood vibration from the guitar. Nevertheless, its satanic horn shape is quite iconic. If I ever want to buy, I'd buy the red one with black pick guard. Although Angus Young of ACDC had used a red SG on stage, he was seen mostly with a black SG. SG's would probably cost slightly cheaper than a Standard Gibson Les Paul, i.e. less than USD3,000.

3. GIBSON ES B.B. KING - What is amazing about an ES is that, the hollowbody effects on the sound is superb. That semi-acoustical surge even when on distortions is simply awesome especially when in harmonics. Most ES comes with the two f-holes on the body and some only one f-hole, hence the description Hollowbody and Semi-hollowbody, respectively. The most iconic ES is the black one used by B.B. King and despite it being hollowbody, B.B. King's version has no f-holes! Personally I prefer a dark crimson red ES with two f-holes. It costs probably the same as a Gibson Les Paul, i.e  around USD3,000. However, the thing about ES is, it is huge. It looks nice on a fat man's tummy but horrible if you are not fat. Ha!Ha!

4. IBANEZ JOE SATRIANI SERIES - Joe Satriani has many guitar editions with Ibanez, in various colours ranging from red, black, blue, white, chrome, gold to artsy fartsy designs, but never have I seen any in green or yellow. In any case, my personal pick would be a plain Ferrari red JS2480 where only this red ones have a sustainer single coil pickup accompanying the humbucker. JS series probably costs USD3,000 each and be sure that you buy the ones made in Japan. The ones made in Korea or Indonesia will not have the desired resale value albeit being an original Ibanes. If you have a money printing machine, and/or a spare USD10,000, then Satriani's top of the range would be the Ibanez JS 20th Anniversary with the iconic 3D image of Silver Surfer on it, emulating Satriani's album cover for Surfing with the Alien. JS 20th, as it is commonly refered to, only has 100 units made in Japan, if I am not mistaken. When surfing the net, as in February 2024, there is only one prelovedJS 20th available on Reverb listed by a Thai entity with the price of USD10,000.

5. IBANEZ STEVE VAI JEM SERIES - Steve Vai's top of the range series with Ibanez is the JEM PIA models. Personally, I do not like its aesthetic looks as it looks too feminine with those gayish floral motives. Hence, I would go for the older JEM such as the iconic trio JEM777 available in three neon colours: Yellow, Green and Pink. It has very ugly looking fret marks in the shapes of progressive pyramids. I also do not like its fret board because I am so used to rosewoods and JEM777 doesn't seem like it has rosewood fret boards. The pink and green ones can easily be found on the preloved market as these two colours do not fade as much as the yellow ones. The yellow ones fade dramatically so much so that it looks really old. As the neon feel is supposed to make it feel new, a faded yellow would certainly take away that feel. However, I do not like neons, so, the old yellows work well for me aesthetically. More so when it is the rarest amongst the three colours. New JEM such as PIA may cost around USD3,000 but a rare item like the yellow JEM777 can be as expensive as USD7,000. Oh ya!, don't forget, the made in Japan ones are recommended to retain its value.

6. FENDER STRATOCASTER JIMI HENDRIX MONTEREY - Jimi burned his Fender Stratocaster on stage during the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. That is the most memorable action done by Hendrix so much so that Fender released a special Hendrix Monterey edition of a Strat. The Monterey Strat is not made in the U.S. It is only manufactured by the Fender factories in Mexico. So, for those Strat collectors, they may not like it if the Strat is not made in the U.S. One other irritating fact is that its fret board is made of pau ferro instead of rosewood. Hence, it may not sound as good as expected. However, I would still collect one simply because of Hendrix's misbehaviour of burning his guitar! After all, it only costs USD1,800.

7. FENDER STRATOCASTER YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN - I do not appreciate scalloped frets. It disrupts my guitar playing as the notes get unintentionally distorted and flat, or sharp. This happens because I am so used to playing the rock n' roll style on a Gibson Les Paul. To play scalloped fret guitars, you need to be a shredder. Fast, swift and not too much pressure on the strings. As much as I love Malmsteen and his arpeggio from hell, I fuckin' hate scalloped frets! I would probably buy a Malmsteen Strat when I am satisfied that I have acquired all other guitars that I want in my collection simply because I do not know how to control scalloped frets. Malmsteens Strat only comes in yellowish cream body with white pick guard. This is a boring colour scheme. In addition, the frets are made of maple. I prefer rosewood. So, maybe someday, if there is a rosewood and not scalloped fret Strat on a heavy relic cream colour issued for Malmsteen series, then I might just buy one (Although I think the rosewood but scalloped fret board ones do exists as Ritchie Blackmore's signature edition). For now, I'd rather skip this first and go for other models not yet acquired. Oh! I do not mind a made in Japan or made in Mexico Strat for a Malmsteen series, as it is cheap at around USD1,500 for an undesirable model, yet fulfilling the completeness of a portfolio of guitar collection.

8. FENDER TELECASTER JIMMY PAGE DRAGON - Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is well known for using Gibson Les Pauls. However, his memorable performance using a violin bow was on a Fender Telecaster prior to him being accustomed to a Gibson. Page painted his natural wood body Tele with some artwork that is supposed to be a dragon. Until today, I cannot figure out how are those red and green patches resembling a dragon. In any case, it is a famous design. As it is only produced by the Mexican Fender factories, the price is at a cheap USD1,200. What is also unique about this edition is that, its pick guard is in silver-metallic mirror-like colour.

9. PRS SANTANA - Paul Reed Smith, or PRS, was only established in the late 1980's. Being a young brand, it quite impressive that PRS has a few well known guitarists using them such as Orianthi, John Meyer and the famous latino rocker, Carlos Santana. Most PRS are slick in its shape but the Santana versions are fat. That gives unique characteristic akin to Gibson Les Paul. Santana PRSs comes in many colours but the ones mostly associated to Carlos Santana are the yellow-amber ones. It fetches USD4,000 to USD6,000 a piece but if you do not mind a lower PRS version of SE, it only costs USD600. Although a PRS SE can be cheap, the fact that its fret boards are made of ebony or rosewood, I will still enjoy playing it.

10. EVH WOLFGANG - The EVH Wolfgang or Eddie Van Halen shape designed guitar, named after his son Wolfgang, is a force to be reckon with as more and more guitarists are picking it up. The Wolfgang shape, coupled with a D-Tuna system allowing the 6th string to drop from E to D was first produced by Ernie Ball Musicman for Eddie. He then later brought the design to Peavey where the necks were made of a special wood called bird's eye maple. Although, in my opinion, rosewood sounds better than maple, a bird's eye maple has the versatility that enhances guitar tapping and the smooth use of floyd rose tremolo. The Peavey EVH Wolfgang was patented in 1997. The ones manufactured up to 1997 have engraves that say "Pat. Pend" and Eddie's signature; whereas the ones subsequently, says "Patent 388,117", also with Eddie's signature. Personally, I find the Pat. Pend 1997 and prior versions by Peavey has better playability and sound resonance than the patented ones. Maybe because the patented ones were mass produced. So, a 1997 Peavey EVH Wolfgang, at USD3,000 is a very good buy. Later on, Eddie brought the design to Fender incorporating two new features, that are, rosewood or ebony fret boards and a red button for stuttering sound effects. The Fender version is at USD4,000 for American made and at around USD1,000 for made in Mexico units.

11. ESP KIRK HAMMETT EDITION. Kirk Hammett of Metallica has recently moved to Gibson when he acquired the famous Greeny Gibson Les Paul that was previously owned by Gary Moore and Peter Green. However, throughout Hammett's life as a metal guitar shredder, he has established himself as a very famous ESP ambassador. All of his signature designed guitars were from ESP, made in Japan, or ESP's second brand, LTD, made in Korea. Hammett's signature models are mostly in SuperStrat shape and comes in various iconic pop art of horror themes like Dracula, Zombie, Frankenstein, ecetera. My personal pick would be the plain black relic ESP with two stickers, one saying, "Kirk's Guitar" and the other, in orange rectangle, saying, "Caution Hot". There are cheaper versions under LTD at USD1,000 but nothing beats the ESP ones at USD3,500. To prove a point, ESP versions give the closest sound you can get when playing the riffs for Metallica's Master of Puppets.

Well, There you go. My commentaries for signature guitars that ought to be in your portfolio of guitars, if you are a guitar collector. So, happy guitar hunting guys!

By the way, recently on 11 February, it was the American National Guitar Day! We do not have such day in Malaysia (where I come from). So, an American calendar mark would do. 


Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 9:59 PM

Jumpa Di Sana

A: Jumpa di sana

B: Jumpa di sana?

A: Ya! jumpa di sana

B: Di sana, mana?

A: Di sana lah

B: Di sana? Mana?

A: Di dalam kubur moyang kau. Di sana lah

B: Di sana? Eh! cakaplah di mana?

A: Kan aku dah cakap, di sana

B: Ish! Ish! Ish! Dia ni kan, aku tampar kang!

A: Ye lah! Ye lah! Aku bilang. Jumpa kita nanti di akhirat, moga-moga di atas sana dan bukan di bawah sana

B: Ohhh! Ok lah nanti kita semua mati jugak. Macamana pun, kita sembang kat kedai kopi esok

A: Itu lah yang aku maksudkan tadi. Bongok!

Oleh Jo Haq

13 Februari 2024

9:54 malam

Bukit Jelutong


Monday, February 12, 2024 at 6:47 AM


And All We Could Do Is To Have Cried

I woke up to the sound of the night

Total silence yet it possess fright

The Himalayan crystal lamp still shines bright

By the bed side it resides

My two tired eyes now open wide

Fuelled by what should have gone right

Thinking whether today will be alright

Because yesterday's (events) have gone flight

My mind continues the fight

It calculates what is there to strive

Burying all the regrets of life

Giving a new hope in sight

At 6:20 the clock acquiescently strikes

For the call of 'fallah' to ignite

May God retract all of our plights

For He bestows (mercy) to us from the height

And all we could do is to have cried

By Jo Haq

12 February 2024

6:20 am

Bukit Jelutong

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