One of many conspiracy theories doing the rounds claims the coronavirus pandemic is a cover for Bill Gates' plan to put tracking microchips in all of us.
In January, a Facebook user posted a picture purporting to be the chip Microsoft would put in the COVID19 vaccine. A closer look reveals a circuit diagram, with words like "input" and "foot-switch". It was, in fact, a circuit diagram of a guitar effects pedal. And not just any old pedal. One with a bit of a reputation. The Boss Metal Zone 2, a distortion effect often wildly misused by aspiring guitar gods.
Somewhere, a conspiracy nut googling for "microchip photo" found the inner workings of a guitar effects pedal, pressed "publish", and gave us all a great laugh. And reminded us that guitar effects have been around for almost 100 years, from the "whammy bar" to the fuzz box, overdrive to wah-wah.
Listen to my ABC Radio piece on guitar effects
Richard is a writer, podcaster, radio and TV broadcaster, an editor, and a lover of music. He tells the stories of how great songs are made, and of the people who make them.