LOS ANGELES — Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong recently underwent elective surgery to remove several ribs that long prevented him from reaching the knobs on his distinctively low-slung guitar, confirmed several sources with very different opinions about which Rancid album is the best one.
“It feels like an enormous weight has been lifted. I can’t believe how long I’ve been playing this way. Just think about how great our Op Ivy stuff would’ve sounded if I’d just been able to switch pickups and dial back the treble,” said Armstong. “Looking back on all those years when I would holler at the crowd to ‘pick it up’ I see that it was a veiled cry for help—but now I can reach all the way down by myself. I like it so much that I’ll be locking myself in my room for the next several weeks to reach those knobs.”
Rancid bassist and long-time collaborator Matt Freeman believed Armstrong might’ve gone too far.
“I think it’s weird, even a little depraved. I mean, couldn’t he just let a roadie jack him in and fiddle with his knobs like a normal musician?” said Freeman. “Takes all kinds, I guess. Personally, I get a ton of grief for playing responsibly with a pick instead of slapping it like all of the old school raw doggers out there, but you know what, not everyone has had the benefit of California’s progressive music education curriculum. I also find it helps me last longer on stage—and in over 40 years of playing some of the sketchiest venues you can imagine, I can proudly say that I’ve never caught a yeast infection.”
The surgeon who performed Armstrong’s operation concluded that the medical procedure was pretty much the only solution to his patient’s problem.
“Mr. Armstrong is recovering as well as we could hope. He initially reported some blurry vision, but saw nothing wrong, which is always an encouraging sign,” said Dr. Aaron Mew. “Make no mistake, we explored every available option to treat his unique condition, ranging from experimental tone and volume pedals to simply adjusting his guitar strap, but ultimately concluded that a risky, invasive operation was the only viable solution for Tim Timebomb to play his signature Gretsch as comically low to the ground as he goddamn pleases.”
At press time, Armstrong checked back into the hospital to undergo emergency spine surgery due to complications arising from the weight of his out-of-control beard.