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Tatooed Love Boys - Pretenders - Guitar Sound Special Ef­fects Plugins
Old 2nd January 2011
Gear Addict
PrettyGone's Avatar

Tatooed Love Boys - Pretenders - Guitar Sound


One of my favorite guitar solos is by James Honeyman-Scott in The Pretenders song 'Tattooed Love Boys'. I've always wondered how he got the sound of the very last section. It sounds like a sort of gated tremolo, but probably not.

Anyone have any ideas?

You can hear the section here at about 2.12.


Dailymotion - Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys - une vidéo Music
Old 2nd January 2011
Lives for gear
It definitely has a tremolo vibe to it. Either the amp's tremolo or back in those days he made have had a mxr flanger. You can get some cool tremolo sounds with that pedal. I have an old fulltone deja vibe that when set on tremolo and adjust the speed and intensity knobs can get pretty close to that sound.

Pretty cool tune, I always liked the Pretenders.
Old 2nd January 2011
Gear Addict
PrettyGone's Avatar

Thanks you both for your answers!

I first heard the song in 1988 and have been wondering for over 20 years how it was done!! Always assumed it was a pedal or clever editing or something.

I have just found an old doorbell in a cupboard and am going to improvise a kill switch right now!

Many thanks
Old 2nd January 2011
Lives for gear
Just listened to the studio version and their version from Concerts for the People of Kampuchea.

There's no kill switch. It's just an overdub in the studio and they're muting the track to make it clean. Live it was similar but without the precise cutoff.

As for the sound, light chorus with tremolo.
Old 3rd January 2011
Lives for gear
Gary Ladd's Avatar
Always thought that was the ol' Gibson trick of having one pickup off and toggling the selector switch a bit
Old 3rd January 2011
Lives for gear
Distortion probably comes from an overdriven amp.

My bad on the end - I thought you meant the middle bit. From this interview, he was just flipping the pickup toggle switch at the end.

Pretenders Archives: Articles
Old 3rd January 2011
Gear Addict
PrettyGone's Avatar

Thanks all and thanks nedorama for the link - great site.

I gave up on the improvised kill switch as my soldering iron is broken and I realised it's probably easier to just borrow my brother's Les Paul.

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