PORTLAND, Ore. — Amateur guitarist and gear enthusiast Andy Farren sent an unsolicited photo of his pedalboard to his acquaintance Elizabeth Horke, which she found shocking and disrespectful.
“We were just texting about movies, making casual conversation, and then out of nowhere, he sent a picture of his pedalboard,” Horke said while blocking Farren’s number. “It was clearly turned on, and you could see everything, even the power supply. I just don’t know what made him think that was an acceptable thing to do. I am only a few months out of a relationship with a guy who was really into modular synths, and receiving this picture brought up a lot of traumatic memories. Might be time to institute a ‘no musicians’ policy for dating.”
Farren didn’t see the exchange as that big of a deal.
“I was just excited to show off my new rig,” said the guitarist. “I had just swapped out my fuzz for a cleaner overdrive, and I was alone in my room, messing around with a few things. I guess I was just feeling my tone, and I thought she might want to hear about it. I thought she was a music fan. She really should take it as a compliment. After all, my pedalboard is a lot bigger than the average guy’s, so she must be impressed, if not a bit aroused.”
Experts say that in the age of pedal demo videos and message boards, this behavior is becoming frighteningly more common.
“Guitarists can sometimes struggle to determine what is appropriate and when discussing the intimate details of their signal chain,” said social scientist Dr. Michelle Parkzer. “To clarify, yes, there may be some occasions when sending a pedalboard photo might be okay, but it’s important to always remember that consent is the key. Also, a whole pedalboard can come across as very forward, and even intense. It’s usually best to start slow when bringing up the subject of guitar pedals. Maybe start by asking if it’s okay to send a picture of your new delay pedal, and if she says yes, then go from there.”
At press time, Horke reportedly blocked Farren after he sent a picture of the settings on his amplifier captioned with the text, “cranking it.”