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How Many Guitars is Enough?

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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Chris, I believe I've found the word you're looking for - somewhere between enthusiast and collector - the word is "GUITARIST!"

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

How many guitars is enough?? That's easy to answer.

JUST ONE MORE

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

My feeling is similar yet different. If forced (and I mean FORCED!) to choose only 1 guitar, I'd have to go with my eldest, an '81 Aria Pro II. It's not my favorite, but that's the one I learned most of my basic stuff on, it's "my baby"...and it's signed by Roy Buchanan, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray! I met them all at different points in time and got Roy to carve his name in with a pen knife (took at least 1/2 hour), Bonnie to sign with a black ink pen (also carved in by necessity...she said she hated the noise it made, I remember!), and both Buddy and Robert to sign with a "permanent" white marker (not so permanent as Robert Cray has worn off somewhat).

That sounds like a real treasure. 8)

And reading about it made me realise that I actually am a Collector, and a pretty rabid one at that. But it's not really guitars, or CDs or even books (although we seem to have rather a lot of those too...) - it's Information and Experiences. I'm an absolute junkie for more information, more stories, extra facts, new knowledge, new adventures, etc. Hard drives, cupboards and brain cells all crammed to overflowing... :shock:

Naturally, when I read the four names on that guitar I thought "Wow, that's a pretty impressive list of talent to have met..." but that immediately spun off into dozens of other directions. Apart from wanting to hear your life story and how it led up to those four signatures, I also wanted to watch Roy carve his name, see how he held the knife, know what make it was, and indeed soak up everything I could.

The composer Sir Arnold Bax once said “You should make a point of trying every experience once, except incest and folk-dancing” – and to be frank, I haven't entirely ruled out trying folk-dancing. If it moves I'll have a go at driving, flying, riding or paddling it. If it makes a musical noise I'll try and play it. I've traveled around the world and met hundreds (thousands?) of people, worked at everything from labourer and a dish washer to running my own businesses. I've lived in everything from English Manor houses to furnitureless hovels and have been completely grindingly hopelessly broke, and also comfortably rich. (Joe Louis apparently said about money "I bin rich and I bin poor, but rich is best." and I'm with Joe on that one. :wink: ) Anyway, I'm now well on the way to scratching the surface, but there's so much more, isn't there? :wink:

Life's so bloody short. Am I ever going to stroll into a pub in the North of England and find out what Vic sounds likes after a couple of pints? Will I get to meet any of the long parade of interesting characters from here and get to hear their music and their stories, and check out their gear? Probably not. Bummer.
:(

If you happen to be born insatiably curious and endless eager to experience as much as you can, then no field seems boring or not worth exploring. Jut one guitar? Not likely.... :wink:

Cheers,

Chris

Oh and here's a tie in to Roy Buchanan and Hound Dog Taylor (see smokindog's link above)

They both feature on an Alligator records 25th Anniversary 2 CD album that I have. Also featured on the collection is a West Australian called Dave Hole who also lives in the hills not far from here. I've not met him, but his wife gave me one of his albums, and he certainly knows what to do with that guitar when it comes to Blues and slide. Bet he's got more than one or two.... Here's a sample of his playing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ife4oYdVr8


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

I wouldn't be so sure Chris, less than a year after I got here I flew to Chicago to meet this guy I'd only known through the forum. David put me up at his house for the Riverside Jam and I've been to all of them but one since.


   
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(@musica23)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 277
 

CitiZenNoir said:
You met Roy Buchanan!!!!

Wow!

That's too cool.

As far as the marker wearing off goes,
I've seen lots of people put clear mylar over the autographs on their guitars.
(Or thick strips of clear tape)

Of course, you can't ever take it off, or the name goes with it.
And take care then not to have it peel up at the edges.

It was too cool. And his concert was even better (well, just as cool!). It was in either '84 or '85 (leaning toward '85) in Cincinnati at a place called Bogart's. I've met quite a few people who have played there, but I now live in Michigan.

Anyway...he was struggling with alcoholism and was supposedly sober at the time (according to an article in a local paper). I was also sober (recovering alcoholic) and well-acquainted with the horrors of alcoholism. I waited at the back door of the place with guitar in hand and someone let me in. I talked to Roy for a long time, but I couldn't say what we discussed for that long! He did encourage me to keep on playing (I didn't...I've only recently started back up). He was very polite, almost shy, and reserved. He smiled a lot. At some point I noticed a beer bottle (Heineken?) stuffed down in the side of the old couch on which we were sitting. It made me really sad to see that. What a talent he was! And a nice man, too. He asked my friend and me to go out to a bar with the band, but I couldn't take the chance at that point. I wanted to go so badly, but I was afraid I might join 'em in a round or 20! Anyway, it took him a minimum of a 1/2 hour to carve his name into my guitar with a little pen knife. And I'd be hard-pressed to prove that it was Roy Buchanan who actually did the carving, but I know it was his handiwork! :wink:

As for the preservation ideas, I've been told so many things that would and would not work. I'm always afraid I'll screw something up when I'm not very knowledgeable about it. But it usually ends up screwing itself up anyway, so I think I'll try your idea! Robert Cray is still legible, so maybe I'll put a stop to this for once and for all!

Thanks for the ideas, and sorry for the rambling... :?

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


   
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(@musica23)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 277
 

Chris C. said:

...I actually am a Collector, and a pretty rabid one at that. But it's not really guitars, or CDs or even books (although we seem to have rather a lot of those too...) - it's Information and Experiences. I'm an absolute junkie for more information, more stories, extra facts, new knowledge, new adventures, etc. Hard drives, cupboards and brain cells all crammed to overflowing... :shock:

Ditto again, Chris! But most of my craving for info revolves around music and the people who make it.

I've considered writing a book about my adventures (and my hubby has really encouraged me to do so), but I'm afraid that most of the world wants to hear the trashy parts of groupie life! I have to say that I've never so much as kissed anyone on the cheek in order to meet them, but I'd consider myself a groupie alright! How exciting would that be to read, though??? In a world where people seem more interested in whether or not Britney wears panties or Lindsey will get actual jail time than how many people died in Iraq today, I'm afraid my stories would be a bit boring!

Anyway, once again, I loved your post! :D

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

In a world where people seem more interested in whether or not Britney wears panties or Lindsey will get actual jail time than how many people died in Iraq today, I'm afraid my stories would be a bit boring!

On the other hand there are a lot of people (myself, for instance) who wish it was possible to not hear about those pointless subjects again, and who long to hear a *good* well written story.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

Here's a coincidence... :)

Yesterday I found out another way to define "enough".

My friends who own the local music shop are on holiday and their young son Dan is running it while they're away. As I passed the shop, on my way to do the weekly household shopping, I spotted a sign out the front that said AMP SALE. 8)

Now, I now exactly what they have in stock, and I've bought 2 or 3 amps from them, but I wanted an excuse to drop in for a chat and see how he was going running the shop.

I wandered in, and the shop looked suitably scruffy and disorganised - as it should the morning after the weekly "Thursday Night Electric Jam" - and Dan was standing behind the counter looking slightly seedy - as a mid twenties guy should after running the jam night a little too long, and having far too much fun all round...

CHRIS: "Hi Dan, I see you've got an AMP SALE on."

DAN (Instantly putting on his best mock serious barman tone of voice.) :

"I'm sorry Sir, but I can't serve you. You've already had enough!"

:D

So that's it! I've been branded an Ampoholic and thrown out of the local music shop. It's a lie I tell you. I can go acoustic any time I choose. :wink:

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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In a world where people seem more interested in whether or not Britney wears panties or Lindsey will get actual jail time than how many people died in Iraq today, I'm afraid my stories would be a bit boring!

On the other hand there are a lot of people (myself, for instance) who wish it was possible to not hear about those pointless subjects again, and who long to hear a *good* well written story.

Add me to that list, Kent. I'd far rather read a book than watch TV, or even more so a film, these days - there is very little I care to watch. I want something to stimulate my intellect, a story I can get my teeth into, something at the very least with some semblance of a plot. With very few exceptions, films (movies in American) tend to go for mindless violence, frantic action, wall to wall effing and blinding (translation - lots of gratuitous swearing!) with zero plot and/or character development. Give me substance over style any day!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@musica23)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 277
 

Kent and Vic ---

Directly or indirectly, you're both helping me think seriously about doing something I've been considering for a while. It would be satisfying, fulfilling and would keep me from going guitar shopping! :shock: Maybe I should look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty for once and try my hand at writing. It'd be great if I'd get published (I'd buy everyone a new guitar...everyone but CitiZenNoir, that is... :lol: ), but so what if I didn't??? I'd still have my musical memories at my fingertips. Hmmm... :idea:

Chris ---

My hubby barred me from all musical stores until Christmas. And online counts, too. You are not alone. :cry:

Love and Peace or Else,
CC


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

So - I was trying, in a sneaky, underhand, indirect way to get Marilyn (the Mrs) to maybe see my point of view that I desperately need an acoustic for open tunings, rather than keep floating about between EADGBE and DGDGBD.

And it turns out the sneaky, underhand mare has been reading GN over my shoulder!

"How many guitars," she says, "is enough? I saw you reading that last night. Four. You've got two electrics, and you were saying with that new amp you could get a brilliant acoustic sound out of the electric, so if you want to play acoustic slide, play it on the electric."

Damn, I thought to myself, she must have actually been LISTENING for once....!!!

"But....."

"But nothing. You've got four, I can count, and if I count more than four......"

Rest of conversation censored by me in the interests of self-preservation and in the interests of saving your delicate ears.......

Sooooooo.......looks like the final answer is "FOUR." No need to phone a friend (they're all scared of her anyway!) or ask the audience.....meantime, I'm stuck with one acoustic. Unless......there's a really battered old acoustic in the loft, mostly held together with gaffer tape. I used to use it for slide a few years back, just to practise.....I wonder? Only trouble with that one, the second I set foot in the loft, she'll be asking me to clean it out.....and that's a BIG job, and one I'm slowly working my way up to....

Oh well - looks like I need a Plan C!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

So - I was trying, in a sneaky, underhand, indirect way to get Marilyn (the Mrs) to maybe see my point of view that I desperately need an acoustic for open tunings, rather than keep floating about between EADGBE and DGDGBD.

And it turns out the sneaky, underhand mare has been reading GN over my shoulder!

"How many guitars," she says, "is enough? I saw you reading that last night. Four. You've got two electrics, and you were saying with that new amp you could get a brilliant acoustic sound out of the electric, so if you want to play acoustic slide, play it on the electric."

darn, I thought to myself, she must have actually been LISTENING for once....!!!

"But....."

"But nothing. You've got four, I can count, and if I count more than four......"

Rest of conversation censored by me in the interests of self-preservation and in the interests of saving your delicate ears.......

Sooooooo.......looks like the final answer is "FOUR." No need to phone a friend (they're all scared of her anyway!) or ask the audience.....meantime, I'm stuck with one acoustic. Unless......there's a really battered old acoustic in the loft, mostly held together with gaffer tape. I used to use it for slide a few years back, just to practise.....I wonder? Only trouble with that one, the second I set foot in the loft, she'll be asking me to clean it out.....and that's a BIG job, and one I'm slowly working my way up to....

Oh well - looks like I need a Plan C!

:D :D :D

Vic

Just go ahead and buy one, bring it home and plop it in front of her. When she goes beserk, just tell her "The only reason I bought it is because you look soooo sexy when you're angry". No problems. :wink:

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@chris-c)
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Kent and Vic ---

Directly or indirectly, you're both helping me think seriously about doing something I've been considering for a while. It would be satisfying, fulfilling and would keep me from going guitar shopping! :shock: Maybe I should look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty for once and try my hand at writing. It'd be great if I'd get published (I'd buy everyone a new guitar...everyone but CitiZenNoir, that is... :lol: ), but so what if I didn't??? I'd still have my musical memories at my fingertips. Hmmm... :idea:

Go for it. :D

I'll pass on the best advice I ever read about writing. It's only two words:

"Writers write"

In other words, stop thinking about what you might do, what genre you might shine in, how many you'd sell, etc and just get on with banging some words out - every day. Like music, writing is a wonderful area for fantasy - you can play "air author" all day just as easily as air guitar. You can spend many happy and comforting hours writing reviews of your own unwritten work, before you even have any ideas, let alone a book. "A brilliant new talent bursts onto the scene", "Unique insights from a fresh and original mind.". "Book of the Year". "Book of the Century". "Move over Shakespeare", etc. I could lend you some amazing self-penned reviews of books that I haven't ever written... :roll: :P

Just relax and start building the habit of writing. Just like playing guitar, the precise pattern or path you follow doesn't matter nearly so much as the simple fact of keeping doing it. Some people work best with heaps of structure and discipline, others instantly freeze if it's applied. You can work your way through as precisely as a watch-maker or just noodle your way there but you must keep doing it until it feels wrong and odd when you're not doing it. Just like daily music.

You have a big advantage if you are planning memoir style of book, because you can take the pressure right off by approaching it as if it's only for a record to pass on to family and friends. No deadlines, no big expectations. One of the most succesful local books here was written by a simple guy with very little education and a life that was lived entirely out of the spotlight. But he wrote an account of his life to pass on to his kids that became a best seller, is studied in schools, and has sold well internationally. I'm sure he'd never have put pen to paper if he'd set out with that as a goal.

As with music, don't expect anything but crap to begin with. Music is both an art and a craft, and so is writing. Neither skill can be acquired in a purely cerebral way - you have to do it and learn to be comfortable about doing it badly before you can do it well.

Writing and music are two of my hobbies, and I find that they make a great pair as I can do them both on the 'work avoidance principle' - if I set aside a day to write I can then avoid it by playing guitar (thus making musical progress without apparent effort :wink: ) and if I try and schedule some serious guitar practice I can slide off and write instead - even if it's only forum posts. And let's be honest, it usually is. :roll:

One of the scariest things in the world is a blank page, so get something down - anything. Then learn to edit it, reshape it and, when necessary, throw out perfectly good stuff that just doesn't happen to fit.

GO for it! 8)

Cheers,

Chris

Oh, and plan to buy us all a new pick first. Not many authors get to hand out free guitars. :twisted:


   
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(@chris-c)
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Topic starter  

Oh well - looks like I need a Plan C!

:D :D :D

Vic

Great story. :)

What you need is a Trojan Horse. Something you can hide a small army of guitars inside. Something that she'd never open or suspect....

Maybe a false back on a wardrobe? A secret trapdoor in the ceiling? A flexible case that looks like one of your official guitars but which can be slipped quickly over the top of an illicit new purchase..?

Or maybe just some body armour to ward off the explosions?

I've looked into the crystal ball, and I'm sure I see more guitars....

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Now I see that Vic's accidents have served a useful purpose. They've been desensitizing him to pain, so he can begin bringing home new guitars with relative impunity. :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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