Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Resurrection time! I just un-retired :"Marty" . . .

Pardon the picture of yours truly with spiky hair and a failed attempt at facial hair . . . a road I traveled several years ago without success.

A couple of years ago . . . I "retired" my favorite guitar of all time (so far), my Martin DC-16GTE cut-a-way acoustic electric dreadnaught (the guitar in the picture).  I was able to purchase it in May of 2005 thanks to my receiving funds from a grant, along with gifts from 2 friends. I had used it a lot over 6 years, and it had the road damage (nicks, cuts, scrapes, head stock bumps, etc.) to prove it. 

Fearing it being damaged accidently (or maybe because at the time I wanted to justify getting another guitar) I retired "Marty" to my home study.

Too be truthful, several friends told me I was going to be making a mistake.  I sometimes hate it when others are right!   Well, sometimes . . . maybe this time in particular . . . but it really was a mistake on my part.

I am in the process of re-arranging my home study, which I share with my wife, because I am moving into a smaller office at the church in the next few weeks, and most if not all of my music files, books, etc. will not fit in the new space.   Most of it needs to come home.

As  a result, I have been moving things around at home, getting ready for the ensuing clutter to follow.  In the process, as I was moving "Marty's" case, I stopped and pulled him out for a quick "hello" and to check him over.  Played on him a while. Not bad, not bad at all.

Then this past Saturday, as I was preparing to leave my house to officiate and sing at a graveside service at a local cemetery, I realized that I had not brought home either of my Guild jumbo's.  So, I grabbed Marty and off I went. 

Marty is about 9 years old (using the serial number as a reference), and let's just say that the wood that guitar is made of has "opened up."  In other words . . . it sounded great . . . played great . . . outside ... an awesome experience to play him again.  Several people came up to me after the service to compliment the guitar.

I played him some more that evening.  i lost track of how many times I heard that guitar whisper to me as I played it, "what the hell did I ever do to you that caused you to put me in a case for two years without so much as a "hello", or "kiss my foot', or 'have an apple?"

If you know what movie that line is from . . . then you are my age or older.  Great movie.  One of my all-time favorite Christmas movies.  That's the only hint you are getting.

However, the question was a fair question to ask . . . in fact, it needed asking.

I apologized . . . not sure if "Marty" believed my response, or my promises to put him back into my regular guitar arsenal.  Playing him again as often as I can will patch things up between us . . . I hope.

So . . . here I am realizing that I own a bunch of great guitars . . . several of them gifts . . . and several I've worked for or purchased outright.  And a question comes to mind . . .


Why do I have as many guitars as I do? 

I've been asked this question . . . and sometimes I wonder if the people who ask are trying to make me feel guilty, or if they are simply curious.  Anyway, I got sort of worried about what my honest response would be, and spent some of my time at Philmont thinking about it all.

Here is what I accepted ownership of . . .

In the past, I've claimed or tried to justify getting guitars as my effort to find "the" guitar.  The honest truth . . . I am a collector at heart and in spirit.

I collect hiking / walking sticks.

I collect hats (size 8 hats to be precise.)

I collect Boy Scout patches. 

I collect tools.

I collect song books and sheet music.

I collect ukuleles and Native Indian flutes.

Why?  More than likely, it has something to do with my enjoyment of "the hunt" for each item, and the joy or surprise when I find one, or stumble across one accidently. 

Also, I collect guitars.

I like guitars.  I like playing them.  I like researching and learning about them. I like looking for particular guitars (the hunt??)  I like collecting guitars (and glad I have been able to acquire a few in these past years because I am, in part, good at what I do and fairly compensated for it.) 

Some of them I play a lot.  Some of them I don't play very much at all.  Some I use acoustically, and some I use when plugged in.  Some I will keep and some I will trade.  Some of those trades will lead to sadness and regret, and some will lead to joy and surprises.

I own two great Guilds jumbos, 3 great Taylors (and one not so great) . . .

And, I have "Marty."

Of all my guitars, "Marty" has the deepest place in my heart.  The first "really good guitar" I ever owned . . "Marty" will be probably be the closest thing to ever being "the" guitar for me. 

Yet, I will probably never have the "one" guitar.  Maybe . . . perhaps . . . Who really knows ... We will have to wait and see.

It's not a matter of Guilds being better than Taylors, or Taylors being better than Martins, or Martins being better than Guilds . . . (although . . . I am have always been partial to the balance and tone of Martin's ... I've just never been able to come across one that I would trade something for).   A good guitar is a good guitar, the brand doesn't matter.  To some people it does . . . but not as much for me as for others.

That being said . . . I may have the opportunity in the near future to acquire a "dream guitar" in the form of another Martin.  A slim outside possibility at present.  I hope to share more one way or the other in the future.

Oh, by the way, I brought "Marty" back to my church office.  All I have now in my office within arms reach are "Marty" and the 2 Guilds, along with my PA and my acoustic amp.   They will completely fill the space I will have for them in my new office.

My current goal is to play "Marty" a lot more, especially when I plug into a PA or amp.   He is the best sounding guitar plugged in that I have (yes, better than any of the Taylors),  Mercy, the sound from that guitar, acoustically or plugged in, is really sweet.   Doesn't sound like I'm the one playing it.  Hopefully in all the time I have spent looking for guitars, I have still made some time to improve as a player.  Perhaps having "Marty" back in my life will move that along in a good way as well.

That . . . would be a good thing.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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