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The Early Passion for the Guitar

There’s a reason we all play this thing…and a reason you started to. The guitar itself is an extremely seductive and attractive instrument, and I found that very early on, I started to really fall in love with this beautiful creature! The shape, of course, is sensual, as is its sound and the way the sound can be coaxed out of it. No other instrument can be so bent, vibrated, squeezed and generally loved when it comes to making pure sound with it, and the types of guitars can vary as much as those sounds!

In my early days as a player, it was always about having that ONE special guitar. Collecting never really occurred to me until I started wanting to make other sounds out of the guitar, and that I noticed how certain types were associated with certain music. I also was simply falling in love with the sheer variety of lovely guitars that were available, and of course the more you see, the more you want. I started with a classical Favilla guitar, then a wild Ideal 4-pickup Japanese was my first electric, then I traded that in on a Guild Starfire III, and finally a 1952 Les Paul that changed my life. This was a guitar that for the first time showed me what a really great guitar should play and sound like, and I still have it and love it to this day. I got that guitar in 1967, when I was 15, and it was just when there was a serious blues “boom” taking place. I was in the High School of Music and Art in New York, where there were a lot of us fledgling guitarists at the time, and all I kept hearing about was “Les Pauls”. I barely ever saw one before the day I found the ’52 with my Dad, but he and I both at that time started to fall in love with not only the guitar’s sound, but we really loved their looks! We used to go and hang out at Dan Armstrong’s shop in NYC, and literally have to step over all the vintage Les Pauls lying around on the floor! There was something about the shape of them, as well as the overall look that was just so attractive and appealing. I also was falling in love with B.B. King’s music, and as a result, really wanted an ES-355. I can remember putting a deposit on one at Bronen’s Music in the Bronx, but being unable to continue to pay for it…wish I could find that old receipt for that 1966 beauty, but I sure doubt that it’s still on hold for me 40 years later!

So as you go along on your path as a guitarist, there is no doubt that many guitars will be vying for your attention….the question is whether you can really take the plunge into collecting or not. I would say that you should first be attracted to the guitars of your guitar heroes, and also keep in the extreme variety of types available to you out there. You’ll be able to make an awful lot of varied music with one good instrument, but sooner or later, more guitars will be calling your name! Have fun in your quest!

Posted: 4/13/2010 7:35:51 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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