Custom Built, Out of Custom "Whenever I picked up a guitar I always felt like I was playing my dad's or my brother's," says luthier Linda Delgado. "They're so out of scale -- no pun intended." Three and a half years ago, 39-year-old ex-punk Delgado -- who once sported a pink mohawk in Boston's Tossing Off -- formed Mercury Guitars in Berkeley to remedy the problem. Since then, she's developed and produced, with women in mind, two handcrafted models of guitars. Both of the axes are about a quarter lighter and an inch smaller in circumference than a Telecaster but, according to Guitar Player, which says they have a "sweet, milky tone" and solo qualities that "drip with a vintage richness," the guitars don't suffer diminished sound quality. That's because the three other guitar builders at Mercury create their instruments with fine materials and tons of personal attention. Which means the Artemis goes for $960 with a case while the embellished El Grande costs $1,920. Delgado's guitars-for-women idea is obviously a good one -- perhaps too good. Fender, the guitar-making giant, rolled out a new smaller, lighter guitar called the Venus about six months ago. "We're flattered by their imitation," says Delgado. "It's annoying on one level, but I think it's great that people are finally making guitars for women." Univibe in Berkeley sells Mercury guitars. For more information call (510) 528-0575. (J.S.)

Melting Girl Molts Over a month ago, Mollie Gilbert -- who had been the Trocadero's publicist for nearly three years -- chose to leave her position at the notorious nightclub in order to pursue other career options. Whether the decision had anything to do with the Troc's choice to cancel "Death Guild" (the goth night at which Gilbert, under the name Melting Girl, resided as head promoter and DJ) is left to speculation. Gilbert informs us that "Death Guild" is doing quite well at its new location at Big Heart City. A.J. Cardinal, formerly of Berkeley Square, has taken over Gilbert's spot at the Troc. (S.T.)

Rah, Rah Robertson In other publicist news, Alexandra Robertson -- who worked at Slim's for the past three years -- has also decided to depart, taking with her the staff's best wishes and memories of a grand farewell party. Robertson will be relocating to Los Angeles this month. For the time being, booker Dawn Holliday will be taking over Robertson's duties. (S.T.)

SFO When? As we move deeper into July, a number of local musicians have been wondering about the future of SFO, the Bay Area's four-day local music convention, which has traditionally been held at this time. Until last month, convention organizers Queenie Taylor and Bonnie Simmons had been wondering the same. GAVIN -- the national trade magazine that produced the last three events -- seemed reluctant to get behind a fourth convention. According to a press release sent out by David Dalton, CEO at GAVIN, "While the event had grown locally it had become less of an industry event, and the time seemed right to pass the baton." This drum majorette's maneuver only became a possibility (as opposed to shelving the entire kit and caboodle) when SF Weekly made offers to buy the name. Now, Dalton claims that "SFO4 will be an outstanding success and will continue to grow in years to come." The official word is that SFO won't be held until January, after the big fall conventions (North by Northwest in Portland and CMJ in New York) have come and gone. GAVIN still plans on being a key sponsor and producing the CD compilation. Stay tuned to this space for updates. (S.T.)

No Satirical Consumption of Human Infants, But Still, a Really Fine Idea Riff Raff received the following e-mail transmission from Steven Motroni, lovingly titled "WHAT ARE YUPPIES DOING IN THE MISSION," regarding a recent column item. We decided to reprint it (with minor grammatical tinkering) -- not because we get all swoony when people agree with us, but frankly, because the gent's modest proposal is well worth your consideration. Especially if you wish the Critical Mass folks -- a largely yuppified entourage, by any account -- would find something else to do with themselves. (M.B.)

This is a response to the end of your "Nova Casanova" piece [July 2, which said: "We expect a rising tide of Marina yahoos slumming away their Friday nights"]. You could not have called it any better. The tucked-in, collared-shirt-wearing, cigar-smoking, martini-drinking, high-fiving yuppies are slowly taking over the Mission bars. At first I thought it was the close proximity to Candlestick Park (post Giants games), but then the smell of CK 1 and incredible amount of flannel and denim kept getting stronger and larger every night. Now, I really do not want to start drinking in Hunters Point. So I have come up with this idea (still in its infancy). ORGANIZE A NIGHT IN WHICH THE TRASH ELEMENT (TO WHICH I BELONG) TAKES OVER [ONE] BAR IN THE MARINA, AND IF THIS GETS BIG, THE ENTIRE MARINA. ONE NIGHT A MONTH. THE YUPS WOULD GO FUCKING NUTS. BIKE MESSENGERS, SKATERS, ANYONE NOT CLASSIFIED AS A YUPPIE, CHARGING CHESTNUT STREET, DRINKING HARD LIQUOR, PISSING, PUKING: THE NEXT CRITICAL MASS!!!

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