About 17 years ago, (Holy Crap! Is it really that long ago), when we lived on Gran Canaria, I was playing guitar most every day and on occasion I used to play rhythm for a local band at the Magic Garden in Puerto Mogan, (yes you can tell a lot from the name of the bar 🙂 ). Mostly I didn’t know what I was playing, I’ve not been trained, I’m self taught, so when someone says something like Hotel California in the key of C, I get confused and turned the sound off the guitar and mime, most everyone was so drunk they didn’t notice, this includes the rest of the band?¿! Bear in mind there were no rehearsals, this was just a jam, a session for the musicians on the island to let their hair down, chill and play what they want rather than what the tourists want to hear, so don’t think bad of me, when a song came up that I knew, I rocked! It’s not that I can’t play, I just get bored playing other people’s music, I prefer to get lost when I pick up a guitar and play what I feel, when I find a thread that I like, one that feels good, I can get lost for a couple of hours. So anyway, blah blah, after a while I was asked if I would like to play rhythm in a Dire Straits tribute band, they were just heading off on a world tour, I didn’t go, I know I know, as I write this I’m wondering what was going through my mind to refuse this. One thing was there was no security, you could get fired at the drop of a hat (which you can imagine was a worry for me), wherever we were in the world, meaning I had to get flights and stuff maybe from Japan, (I know, still a crappy excuse) and the other thing that clinched my turning down the job… I couldn’t face playing Dire Bloody Straits every night, Yawnarama.
When we were packing up to leave for France, the guitar had to go, it was a crappy thing and I never got on with it. I’d had it for about 15 years and it was not a good relationship, last year I tried to make friends with it, I took the action down a little and slackened the truss rod a little (thank you YouTube), but still no good, so there were no tears when I sold it. I actually thought that that was my guitar playing days over. Yesterday however, there was a “jam” session in the marina clubhouse, John from the bateau Esprit has a guitar and wanted to play a bit as a social gathering. I was adamant that I wouldn’t pick up his guitar, I said to Vee on the walk over that I wouldn’t, yeah yeah, the first opportunity that I had that guitar was in my arms and oh, she is a beauty. Some objects are passive and others are … not (I can’t remember the opposite of passive in this context, active doesn’t sound quite right), some things just are, and others teach you, they’ll go out of their way to say “howdy doody, here I am and we are gonna learn so much together”. Guitars and Tarot decks are perfect examples of this. The reason I didn’t get on with my old guitar is because it was passive to the extreme, while John’s guitar yesterday virtually hummed with intelligence that it wants to pass on. Do you think that sounds weird? I suppose it does, but do you ever wonder why artists use that one brand of paintbrush or pencil, chefs use that those particular knives, why some people excel with one thing and when they change to another they seem to become humdrum? (For the Tarot readers, it’s why the Rider-Waite-Smith and the Thoth decks are so popular, they are jam-packed with knowledge). Anyway, all of that to say that I am going to be spending some of that money from the house sale on a new guitar, and I can’t wait to get lost again. Here’s my soon to be new baby, the Taylor Baby BT1, from just five minutes of play and I know that we have to spend a whole lot more time together.
She doesn’t look much, but oh, does she sound sweet and plays like a dream.