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In 2006-2007, I rented a house with an addition that made a fine jam room. I set up a drum kit in there and invited musicians over. I met most of them through Craigslist, and became great friends with a few of them. Some guy told me he had an endorsement deal with a company called Halo, so I looked them up and applied for their program.

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So, yes, I had an endorsement deal for 2008. It makes you feel like a bad-ass. Of course, it was largely a sales arrangement. You would first buy a Halo guitar at a steep discount…

…And let me say this axe I got for a couple hundred bucks was the equal in looks and playability of much more expensive guitars I’ve played. Other than what seemed a somewhat weak output from the stock pickups, she was a real joy to play. I learned two-handed tapping on it and thought I was Joe Frickin’ Satriani. Here’s an original tapping tune recorded with the Halo Invert.

With a little adjustment, it got a very sweet tone for my jazz gigs. But kick on the distortion and you could cut loose with it. I did a handful of small combo performances at galleries, coffeeshops, and art houses where this little guitar really shone. Since it was so ridiculously easy to play and learn on, I could finally achieve the extended, trippy guitar solos I had been trying to nail for about 20 years.

 
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Anyway, if you didnt buy another discounted guitar in the next annual cycle, you lost your “endorsement” deal. I didn’t mind. It makes you feel awesome to say, “I endorse these guitars” for a year. Just don’t post on the internet about how its kind of a sales thing, and no one will be the wiser!

Halo guitars had a bit of a branding problem, sharing a name with a popular video game. I would wear my free t-shirt ALL THE TIME. Even though it had a punk rock chick slinging an electric guitar, people would still say, “Durrrrrr, I thought it was the video game.” The endorsement program was a pretty sharp idea to get the name out there and get people aware of the brand.

 
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I sold her off for a slight profit when I needed funds to start college in fall of 2009. Although I missed the Halo Invert, I replaced it with an Ibanez Iceman ICT-700 once my finances got evened out. The Iceman is a dream guitar. It plays well, like the Invert, but seems to have a lot more juice in the pickups. If there was a moral to the story, its that sometimes when you have to let things go in your life, something even more awesome comes in to fill that void.

 
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