Most of you reading this blog probably live within a day’s drive of at least
one annual guitar show. You should
go. I know what you’re thinking, "those
shows are only for folks with big bucks to spend", or maybe "it’s just too long
a drive, it’s not worth it". I her ya,
in fact, I used to feel the same way.
Man was I wrong. I’m blessed to
live just outside of Nashville, TN, with several local and
regional shows each year. Even still, I
always found reasons not to go to one.
Until a few years back; and now I’m hooked! Let me tell you why.
Reason # 1, consider it a "Guitar Museum" ... where you
actually can ask to touch and play the museum pieces! Maybe you DON’T have sixty grand to drop on a
sweeeet ’58 Strat, but man, it’s wonderful to be in the presence of such a fine
instrument. This thing actually SMELLED
Strats not your thing? There are
always plenty, and I mean PLENTY of vintage LesPauls to gawk at.
Acoustic players will find more vintage Martins than you can shake a 70 year
old Brazilian rosewood stick at.
And where else will you reconnect with the childhood friends that taught us
to play, and were our BEST friends, even when we were in that awkward
Reason #2: consider it a vintage AMP Museum ... As a man with a
self-confessed amp addiction, I practically passed out when I turned a corner
and ran into these fine vintage Fender gals all decked out in tweed.
How about this little cutie? Nearly
70 years old, and just as fresh as the day she was born.
And this one, too!
Man, I wanted to just bask in the presence of this pair of 1stgeneration Marshall
45’s. Oh the Rock-n-Roll stories THEY
Before we leave the amp museum, I would like to draw your attention to the
holy-grail of Texas
tube tone, the blackface Fender Vibroverb.
Reason #3: Wife says the two of you need to do something TOGETHER. Invite her to accompany you to the guitar
ART-GALLERY! These masterpieces by
artisan James Macdonald are equal to art found in any gallery anywhere. Period.
Reason #4: Because everyone needs to broaden their horizons from time to
time. Ever imagined playing a
triple-neck steel guitar in an Oklahoma
cowboy bar circa 1949? It’s easy to do when you’re standing in front of this
honky-tonk time capsule.
Reason#5: To be taught that’s what’s old really is the NEW thing! When my eye caught this flawless Magnatone I
thought "holy cow, that baby looks showroom new". It should, ‘cause it is. Turns out the
Magnatones are being made once again just like they were decades back, right
here in the Good old USA, St Louis to be exact; and
yes, they still have that infamous Magnatone tremolo. Sweeeeeeeet!
Reason #6: To be reminded that one of your heroes lives on through others
that are continuing in his footsteps. As
a devote of Mr. Leo Fender, I can truly appreciate it anytime someone flatters
Mr. Fender by generously borrowing from his design features and producing
guitars and amps the way he did in his early (best) years: small numbers, one
at a time, and in America. Take for
example Dr. Mojo guitars. The only way
you’ll find a Strat or Tele style guitar with more mojo is to find one made
prior to about 1965.
And then there are newly minted tweed honeys that live up to their legacy.
Reason #7: To answer the age old question: Do blonds really have more
fun? This stately old gal is a good
argument that indeed they do.
And certainly this little blond
bombshell looks like a bunch of fun:
Reason #8: To snag some impossible to find parts. Where else can you walk out with an original
pickguard for your 72 Strat, a replacement handle for your old Silvertone amp,
and a single ’69 Grover replacement
Reason #9: You just might learn something new! For instance, did you know that Rickenbacker
ever made 12-string guitars with this little contraption to grab and sequester
six of the strings, thereby rendering it a regular 6-string (sorta) with the
flip of a lever?
Or, have you heard about Switch Vibracell guitars? Some ingenious dude (Trevor Wilkinson of Wilkinson Vibrato fame) came up with a composite material that REALLY
does sound flat out awesome, and makes a gerrrr-ate guitar. The company only survived a couple of years,
and precious few guitars were produced during that time, but man-oh-man are
Reason #10: This one’s a no-brainer ... because there are tens of thousands of
square feet of guitars! Old ones, new
ones; traditional and bizarre! Electric, acoustic, space age and archaic. All shapes, sizes, and colors. I’m tellin’ ya, it’ll make your head spin and
your heart race. It’s a rush. Seriously, ya gotta do it.
Oh, and then there’s the reason I probably shouldn’t mention ... but what the
heck, my wife never reads my blog anyway ... you just might find a honey that
rocks your world and hitches a ride home from the show with you. In my case it was that super-sexy and equally
unique gal wearing the Champaign-sparkle dress with the Gold accessories. Yep, I bought the Vibracell :-)