Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Thought We'd Play Again

Another one of my 10 things for 2012 is to get some of my old guitars fixed before I consider going out and buying new ones. So I brought in my oldest guitar:

I got this guitar when I was around 17. It wasn't expensive. I had no idea what I was doing picking out a guitar. I'm pretty sure I got it some place weird like Sam Goody or something. But, it honestly sounds pretty good. It has a deep warm sound that I've always enjoyed. And it has a built-in pick up for easy amplification.

It was the first guitar to join me on stage at that open mic night back in 2010. I played it all my shows and open mics for the first few months of my performing. I thought I would play it forever. I imagined it being like Willie Nelson's beat up guitar. It would gather dings and stickers and permanent marker drawings and scribbles. It would be my constant companion. When asked in interviews, I would say: This guitar? I got this guitar when I was still in high school. I've written all of my songs on it and I'll never play another.
Me and my old friend on stage for the first time.

But then it started falling apart.

You see, I'm really bad at taking care of my guitars. I don't keep them in perfectly humidified rooms. Sometimes I leave them lying on the floor. I've just never fully researched how to care for them because 1) None of them have ever cost all that much and 2) I always just played them to myself at home.

But then I started performing. And it seems that all those years of treating my guitar like a rag doll and then suddenly taking it out on the town was just too much. Pieces fell off and out of it. The pick-up stopped working...all within a few weeks. And once the pick-up stopped working, I couldn't use it anymore. I'm not someone who can stand perfectly still with my guitar up to a microphone, I have to move around. It needs to be plugged in.

So it got put back in the corner and I went out and bought a new-to-me guitar.

But that guitar has now been giving me problems - probably because I don't properly care for it - and so I thought I needed a back-up. So I pulled my old guitar out from the corner and brought it in to get fixed. Once again, visions of us taking the stage filled my head. I love every dent and scrape on this thing.

But it's not meant to be.

The guitar tech fixed the pick-up, but showed me a big problem looming that would cost way too much money to fix on a guitar that probably originally cost $150.

So, even though it can be amplified again, the bridge could snap off at any second and that would be a terrible thing to have happen on stage.

So, now it sits in my "guitar room". I can still pick it up and play it occasionally. Guitar tech guy said it'd make a great campfire guitar. Like I go to a lot of campfires.

I feel bad I didn't treat it very well.

I'm sorry we never got to live the dream, guitar. But thanks for being there for me in the beginning.


Kimi said...

I say we attempt to go camping one more time. If the weather sucks again, then we bitterly eschew camping forver. If the weather is beautiful, well, then we could sit around the campfire and sing while you play your old guitar.

Tony W said...

Perhaps this is incentive to attend more campfires - a resolution of sorts.
I remember passing my first acoustic guitar to Nate Braun. I wonder if he still has it.
Yes, having a back-up guitar is key. Let me know what you consider for the next purchase.

Niki said...

We should go a little later in the summer, Kimi. Avoid the cold, rainy season.

Tony, I still have 3 other guitars to bring and see if I can make them useable. If none of those work, I will be ready to purchase new.