guitar in the shop

Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 13:16 By: Tom Swiss

So here's the irony: I bought this banged up Ovation ("the Big Coleslaw Container", as Bob Pyle put it -- and no, his song isn't about my specific guitar) back in 1994 or 95 so because I had a sentimental attachment to my Gibson, my uncle's old guitar, and I was reluctant to take it out where it might be damaged. (The Gibson is older than I am, a 68 I believe.)

Photo by Phil Laubner

I then proceeded to take that Ovation out to many parties and open mics and jams with friends, then to paid gigs, then to Japan, as well as to Starwood, FSG, and PDF. I've busked on the streets of Baltimore with it, played it in an improv psychedelic jam in Kyoto and in the "Amemura folk jamboree" in a basement bar in Osaka, wrote several songs on it, and played it in my living room on lonely nights.

And as you might guess, I've developed quite a sentimental attachment to the darned thing.

Last night I noticed something alarming about my old friend: her neck had started to come loose from her body. Thus, this morning she was delivered into the hands of the luthiers at Appalachian Bluegrass in Catonsville. (No, I don't play bluegrass, but they're the best acoustic guitar shop in town.) And it's a curious thing that I actually felt a twinge almost like leaving my dog at the vet.

Getting this fixed may actually end up costing more than I paid for the the guitar, all those years ago. (It also needs to have the bridge re-attached.) From a purely "rational" viewpoint it might make more sense to go buy another guitar. But if we were purely "rational", we wouldn't make and listen to music, would we?

So, yes, the Buddha tells us that attachment is the origin of suffering, and yes, tools can be the subtlest of traps, and yes, there's a samurai maxim that any old weapons and armor are good enough, but screw you, I'm going to pay what it takes to get this ol' axe fixed.