That One Guitar - Tracy Clark

Name: Tracy Clark

City: Atlanta, GA

Instrument: Vintage companion typewriter

Virginia Plane was having practice a handful of years ago, and we were tackling a song called “Old Fashioned Girl” written by Mary O. Harrison. I really had no idea what the song was about yet. Being the band’s ‘grab-bagger’ (I pick up whatever instrument I think is needed for the song…it’s anarchy), I knew it needed some kind of percussive sound…but I’m not a drummer. Shaker, tambourine, clavs, and all the usuals weren’t making the cut. I saw a basket with a handle, grabbed some drum sticks and used that for awhile. I was getting close. I decided that the song needed a harder ‘chick chick chick’ and said “if only there was, like, a really old typewriter.” With that, Mary O. said she had one — it had the perfect balance of smack and volume for the song. We’ll take it to shows, set it up on a bar stool and put a microphone right where the typebars hit the roller. Sometimes if I’m lucky, the return ‘ding’ sounds at the end of the verse line. The best part is that the song is about Mary O.’s mom, and the typewriter was hers.

Band: Virginia Plane, occasionally Chickens & Pigs, formerly Preakness

Sound Sample: Old Fashioned Girl by Virginia Plane