This happened over a year ago, but I finally found the pictures:
I got home from work last night, changed my clothes, and eventually made my way to my home office to check email and maybe, depending on our one month old, record a little song idea in A# (or is that B flat?) I came up with at work during my lunch break. I noticed something white on the body of my black 1974 Epiphone Crestwood. I bent down closer to find a smiling “Sunny Day” sticker stuck to my guitar.
I quickly looked around to find matching stickers on my office chair. I called for my three year old and luckily my wife came with her to stop me from really reprimanding her. Apparently a friend had been over to play and they had put stickers on everything. My wife already got them in trouble. So I just took the sticker off and quietly told my daughter to never put stickers on guitars. She lowered her head and said she was sorry.
This morning, before heading off to work, I decided to hang this guitar from the wall instead of keeping it on the stand in my office and replace it with my daughter’s ¾ body parlor acoustic I got for $20. I picked my Crestwood by the neck only to find another sticker under my hand. It vividly brought back last night’s conversation and I remembered my admonishment of my daughter about never putting stickers on guitars.
Did I just ruin a potentially great luthier and guitar player by telling my daughter to never personalize or customize her instrument? Did I just take away any possibility of her taking ownership of something she loves? How many people, especially kids, cover their guitars in stickers? How many custom paint jobs, guitar builds, pic up swaps, etc., were all instigated by wanting to put a cool sticker on a guitar? To take ownership of an instrument and make it theirs? I’ve done it with my Wolverine guitar. I’ll do it with future guitar projects.
Will my daughter?
Probably. She’s young. She’ll bounce back. And more importantly, last night’s sitcker lesson wasn’t about personalizing a guitar, it was about respecting other people’s property.
Besides, she can put stickers on her $20 acoustic!