Monday, July 21, 2008

You Can't Always Get What You Want

But if you try real hard, you just might find, you get what you need...
My thanks to the Rolling Stones.

When I first started taking guitar lessons I used Aly's acoustic Guild guitar. Sweet guitar. I love its fine lines. Its shape. Its exceptional good looks. Like Aly. Then one day my musical mentor asked if I didn't have an electric guitar?
"Yes, I replied".
"Start bringing it", he responded. It's time we made some noise!"

So at my next lesson I brought my Fender Stratocaster originally purchased in 1999. It was a "value purchase" guitar. Value, a codeword for cheap but it did have the name Fender on it so that imparted a modest amount of respectability. Seeing as to how it had never been played, it was in pristine condition. It still had the protective plastic coating on the pick guard. Wow, I thought, plugging my Baltic Blue Squire Strat into the amp for that first time. I'm playing an electric guitar. I was once again 15 years old and loving it. Ok, in my mind I was 15 years old except now I was playing the guitar not WISHING I could play the guitar. My timing was a bit off but the rush was still there!

Each Thursday while waiting in the show room at the Palatka Music Center, prior to my lesson, I wander about looking at all the different guitars. One day they had a guitar that I had never seen before. It was instant love. Not like, I love you Aly. No, it was a material love. Like when you see a new car and you want to take it home and park it in your driveway. I wanted that guitar. For the following 3 weeks each time I came to the Music Center I would search out that guitar. I was afraid to even touch it. It wasn't a "value" guitar. I didn't want to take the chance of smudging it much less dropping it! Then one Thursday. It was gone. Someone had had the nerve to buy MY guitar.

I had fallen head over heels for a Gibson, Les Paul styled guitar... I wanted one. Someone (I know your name and I'm trying hard not to not like you) had stolen (yeah, yeah they paid for it - doesn't matter) my guitar. It also didn't matter that I couldn't afford it. Well it did matter but for the sake of this story I am going to stay with the bit about it didn't matter that I couldn't afford it.

But I couldn't get that guitar out of my head... And then it happened.

I got turned on to a guitar for sale. A Gibson. I might want to check it out they said. It wasn't the exact guitar I saw at the Music Center but it was a Les Paul. I made the call and set up a time to come take a look. I took a guitar pick with me. Which was a joke but not for telling here. So off I went. Now this is where I'm going to skip the part about showing up at the guy's house and everything outside and inside the house was For Sale. I repeat. EVERYTHING was for sale. The house, the car, the property, the dogs (I'm not making this up - the dogs were for sale). Everything it seems was for sale. He invited me inside.

Sitting at the kitchen table were two young ones having breakfast. Neither old enough to be in school. Their mom smiled and said hello as I followed DH back to the room where the guitar was. When we stepped in the room I saw a guitar leaning against the wall but I knew it wasn't my guitar. It wasn't a Gibson. Then he walked over to a case sitting on the floor and opened it up. There it was. A genuine Gibson Les Paul Special, from the now discontinued faded series line in worn cherry. I later checked the carved serial number to find that it was made in Nashville, Tennessee on January 6th, 2003. It hadn't been played for a couple of years once he had started playing the guitar leaning against the wall. He was in a band and was selling off equipment. Including what I already considered to be MY guitar. It was beautiful. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder as it were. I asked the price knowing what I had been quoted. I just wanted to hear it for myself. And I was wondering if I couldn't maybe get him to come down. He quoted what he wanted for the Gibson. It was the price I had been told. It was worth it. It was worth more.

And then I remembered seeing all those signs in their yard. Signs on everything announcing they were for sale. I remembered the little ones having breakfast. I remembered his wife smiling and going back to feeding those little ones. I remembered the dogs.
Sold, I said. And I paid him. He counted the money and offered some back. Nope. I thanked him and walked out the door to my car with my new used Gibson.
I had gotten what I wanted...
I hope he got what he needed.....
(the countdown, with picture, continues tomorrow)


Norma said...

guess you better start practicing "my brown eyed girl"
too!!!!!!love that song. tick, tock,tick,tock.
living in exciting times

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

How Neat....
Very nice guitar...
We are ready for a video of you playing..
18 days.. and still with you on the counting..

Sam said...

Every guitar should come with it's own story. Yours has a special one. We expect a video concert soon!

Sam @ Just Keep Swimming

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a cool guitar...and an even better story!

Hope you have fun breakin that baby in!!!!!


Joannah said...

NIce! Sometime we'll have to meet up and you and my husband can entertain us!

Melinda said...

congrats on a really great guitar, my son has had an acoustic for a few years now, handed down to him from his late grandmother. he celebrated his 16th birthday a couple of weeks ago and bought his first bass guitar, he hasn't put it down since, I think he sleeps with it. he checked out the picture of yours and is glad to know another guitar enthusiast, his hopes are to someday form a Contemporary Christian band. looking forward to sharing our referral pictures in the next few weeks (I hope)!!!

Brian and Melinda
Waiting for Savannah

OziMum said...


Nan & Dan said...

Ok now If we had known the history of the guitar we would have made you sit down and play a song for us :) Next time :) Please...