Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Swan Song

If you’ve got any money left over after the Wall Street Dead aHead Networking Event, then you can buy one of two custom Eye of Horus bass guitars. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Perhaps you know it as–

phil eye of horus bass

–Phil’s DEATH SWAN. Destroyer of swing-sets, tackler of chambermaids, blaster of Dave Alvins: the Death Swan inspired fear and confusion everywhere it went. Our man Reddy’s played some beautiful basses and some goofy-looking ones, but the Swan was different.

Commissioning the bass from master luthier Jens Ritter in 2009, Phil loved the instrument so much that he gave it away 18 months later. (Okay, okay: it was to the Smithsonian, so “gave away” might have been a deliberately dismissive phrase.) The shape is from a previous design of the guy’s (the Jupiter, if you don’t feel like going over there), but Phil likes to get all the options and the performance package when he gets a guitar, so Ritter made a ten-instrument run to Phil’s specs and called it the Eye of Horus. They’re $14 grand apiece, sure, but they light up.


So if you ever find yourself in a survival situation–jungle, alpine, Billy’s basement–you can use the Eye of Horus to signal for help, or illuminate the path to safety, or scare ferrets.

Have you noticed the pickup? Here’s a closer look:

eye of horus body

That, Enthusiasts, is a quattrobucker; I am not making that word up, even though it sounds exactly like a word I’d make up. Swear to you. Phil won the Gear Wars the day he took possession of the quattrobucker. He probably called Bobby to gloat.

“”Weir here.”

“Quattrobucker. Quattro means ‘four.'”

“Four what, Phil?”

“Buckers, I guess.”

“Okay. How’s the family?”

And so on.

And there’s an inlay, because Phil refuses to play guitars without mother-of-pearl inlays of occult-type stuff. The symbol he chose gives the bass its name:

RITTER Eye of Horus Inlay

And the LED lights are a map of the chakras, because of course they are.

eye of horus blue fretboard LEDs

Like I said, you can buy one; there’s two left. But for $14 grand, you should get a guitar with your own bullshit on it. The Egypt bullshit and the chakra bullshit? That’s Phil’s bullshit. Get your own bullshit.


  1. SWAGGIE maggie

    May 6, 2016 at 12:11 am

    delete this

  2. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    May 6, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Let’s be honest, folks – that is one mother-ugly looking guitar.

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