Saturday, January 14, 2012
I've been playing guitar since I was 15. I got my first guitar out of a dumpster in my apartment complex in State College, PA. It was 1985. I figured out via pitch pipe, how to tune it, and proceded to learn bass lines to whatever was in Heavy Rotation on Mtv at the time, like "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen and "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams. Baby Food, that was. I ended up smashing that first guitar out of curiousity when Mom got me my "First Real Six-String" (Bryan Adams flashback), the Ibanez acoustic at the top of the frame. I occasionally wonder if I should have made a shattered sacrifice of that first crappy plywood acoustic...my mom even went so far as to describe it as "your friend". That stung a little bit, and I guess she was right. What I would have done with that matchbox piece of shit for the last 27 years is another consideration entirely. It took a temporary detour from the landfill just long enough to get me started, and maybe it was appropriate that I was the one to 'put her down'. Yeah, that's it. Anycrap, other than the '61 Jazzmaster (Yeah, I know), that I had on extended loan from my good friend Martin, (one who exposed me to, and shared so many the cool things I still cherish today), the Champagne Metallic bridge-pickup-only Strat that I bought in State College, and played all the way into my Sub Society years, and the green Nova bass that I traded Hesh One to get Macintosh, [old school] (NEVER TRADE A GUITAR FOR A COMPUTER: YOU WILL ALWAYS COME UP SHORT), all my guitars are pictured here. The red Strat originally belonged to Stimy. I borrowed it for, like 800 years, then finally bought it for $230 IIRC. I call it The Stimy Strat. The SG, I bought while in college, with money I either earned or skimmed off my coffee shop job, was on clearance for ~$700, and I paid it off on lay-away. I still feel bad for ripping off Espresso Roma, but since there's no God, and the statute of limitations on petty theft has expired (hasn't it?), I guess I'll sort it out on my own. The 12-string Spanish is a nigh-unplayable bargain, $20 from my neighbor. Too nice to smash, though I've been tempted. The 12-String Dobro used to belong to my father, who gave it to my aunt to settle a debt...in the seventies. It sat with a delaminated body, in a case for 30+ years. My mom had it repaired and restored, and now I'm playing it everyday. The bass is ~OK. I bought it fro $250 at Guitar Trader, and if I do home recording, it's...~OK. Gotta have a bass though. If someone breaks in to the house, it'll make a fantastic bludgeon, and it's financially/emotionally expendable. I'm surely not done collecting, though debts, bills, Mrs (and Ex), kids, cars, and cameras all compete for every red cent in the Guitar Fund. Few and far between shall be the addition to The Collection. Right now, keeping them in strings and straps is barely practical, but they tell a story about me that is both central and accessory to my life. I'm sure at the end of my days, it is possible more will have been spent not playing, as opposed to Playing (we'll see), but the time I do spend strangling one of these devices is one of the ways I get to truly Exist, honestly and directly, and that will weigh strongly to offset the time spent in front of the TV, stuck in traffic, at my fucking desk, or shopping.
I love my guitars.