Earlier this week, South Carolina-based pedal builder Caroline Guitar Company released the FCK PTN, a limited-edition version of its Hawaiian Pizza fuzz pedal, pledging all proceeds to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
The company now confirms that the entire 50-pedal ride sold out in 10 minutes, raising more than $9,500 for the International Committee of the Red Cross and World Central Kitchen, which is working to provide meals to refugees on the border between Ukraine and Poland.
Philippe Herndon, owner and founder of the brand, says he didn’t even get a chance to officially announce FCK PTN on social media before it sold out entirely through his mailing list. “I think it took me longer to write the email than it did to sell myself,” he says.
The idea of the FCK PTN was conceptualized and realized in a short period of time, due to the “urgency and immediacy” of the situation in Ukraine. Disturbed by images of the Russian invasion, Herndon quickly recruited graphic designer Ben Walker and North Carolina brand Disaster Area Designs to create the pedal.
Its color scheme is a nod to the Ukrainian flag and the lettering on its front is self-explanatory.
Beyond the visuals, the pedal is exactly the same as Caroline’s Hawaiian Pizza fuzz, with three controls on its front panel for volume, voltage supply, and overall gain. These can be used to dial in everything from cheap tube amp sounds to crisper, vintage UK sounds and fuzzy explosions.
“People are trying to find ways to help,” Herndon continues. “As an effects pedal shop, Caroline operates in a niche market, but her customers jumped at the chance to help Ukraine and, let’s be honest, get rid of Putin in the process.”
Caroline adds that news of the pedal’s sale reverberated as far away as Ukraine itself, with Kyiv-based pedal maker Kostiantyn Kozlovskyi, owner of Analog Music Company, personally messaging Herndon to express his gratitude.
However, Herndon is quick to redirect that praise to those who purchased the pedal. “It’s really our customers who donate,” he says. “And the Hawaiian pizza – the pedal of which FCK PTN is a variant – started life as a limited-edition Girls Rock fundraiser anyway. Fundraising is in the DNA of this pedal.
He adds that those who have not purchased any of the 50 FCK PTNs should consider donating to charity in Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis have drawn widespread condemnation from the international community. In music, many artists have contributed to relief efforts, including Metallica, which through its All Within My Hands foundation recently donated $100,000 to World Central Kitchen.
And this week, many artists canceled upcoming appearances in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, including Green Day, Bring Me the Horizon and Enter Shikari, to name a few.