During the recording of WatchTower's 'Control And Resistance' in 1989, I was having problems with my left hand ring finger and pinky "getting stuck" on the bone while I was playing. This probably happened due to playing too much and stretching out my tendons. The condition was diagnosed as "hyperextension", which meant my fingers would overextend and get caught in a straight position.

On the 'Control And Resistance' tour which followed months later, I wore rings on my fingers which kept my fingers from hyperextending, but caused my playing to suffer. And so I went into to surgery to have the problem corrected.

Here's what happened...


These shots were taken right after my first surgery. 3 more surgeries followed, and so from 1990 to early 1993, I was unable to play.

During that time I did build a few guitars. Proof that I couldn't play was this custom built guitar (the dog from the 'Control And Resistance' cover) which has a 29 fret neck, but the higher frets are impossible to reach because of the design of the body. This same neck is now on my purple and yellow strat which has total access to all 29 frets.

The only good thing that came from these hand problems was the built up frustration of not being able to write and play guitar for a few years.

The result?? 'Spastic Ink - Ink Complete'.