Tantrum G.A.S.

My son threw a tantrum in the store today. I told him he could not have a toy, but he could have the book we had already picked out. He freaked out. He wanted both. So we left the store without getting anything. Literally nothing. We left the full cart in the middle of the store. It was hard for both of us. I hate being the bad guy.

Of course, I am supposed to be the adult. I am supposed to be helping my son learn self control and how to make good decisions. I would love to buy him all the toys he desires, but even if I could afford to do that, I won’t. He doesn’t “deserve” that many toys. He doesn’t need that many toys. He doesn’t even play with all the toys he has. And he needs to learn that in this life none of us get everything we want, let alone everything we need. What can I say, life isn’t fair.

Yet he is a good kid. I am not too worried about this minor bump in his development as a kid. And I’m sure he’ll have more “bumps” just like he’s been through bumps before.

He recently saved all the money he earned for three months so he could pay for half of a big Lego set. Every time we would look at toys he would make the decision to delay his gratification because he wanted the big Lego set more than whatever thing he had in his hand. And when that Lego set went on sale he had already saved enough money so he could take advantage of the lower price.

As guitarists, how often does our Guitar Acquisition Syndrome sound exactly the same as my son’s recent Toy Acquisition Syndrome tantrum? Are we exerting self control in our buying habits? Do we have a specific guitar purchase we are focused on while not getting distracted by whatever thing we have in our hand? Do we save our resources so when the deal finally comes we are ready to take advantage of it or are we just taking advantage of whatever deal comes our way because it is just gear? Are we playing the guitar gear we already own?

Do we “deserve” all that gear or do we tell ourselves that we didn’t buy that vintage 50’s gold top Les Paul so, hey, we actually saved money this year?!?  Then we can buy whatever item we have in our hands. Do we fill our spaces with whatever gear we can get our hands on?

Based on my experience (and yours may differ), but I bet we are just a little too much like my son. We have our good times and our tantrums. We have the things we save for and buy within our desires and we have our versions of being carried kicking and screaming out of the store. Hopefully we are using the supposed maturity and decision making that comes with not being a 5 year old anymore, but I am not always convinced (anyone watch the evening news lately). And who are we forcing to be our “parent” to keep us in check and tell us we can have one or the other, but not both? Is that fair to them? Are we making someone else teach us that we don’t always get what we want, let alone get what we need? Or are we letting life and our own discipline do that? It’s a bit cliche, but here you go.

Let’s try to be better than the little kids we claim to no longer be.

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Good Listening

A lot has been going on in life. One of those things was a record festival. I saw a lot of great records, but I only bought one. A T-Bone Walker album. Always good stuff. And now that I’ve listened to it I just have to post some stuff here. He is one of my goal tones. I want to achieve his tone.

 

Espedair Street

Iain Banks is now dead, but I recently reread his wonderful story, Espedair Street. It has been years since I last read Espedair Street and, like the main character, I appear to be falling into a period of self discovery…only to be informed that I am the recipient of a Presonus 1818 due to an online drawing I entered many moons ago.
This accidental self discovery appears to be the result of randomly coinciding moments of starting over within different aspects of my life. I still have my family, my day job, my attempts at creating music and learning to play guitar, and everything else that I do and think about (and sometimes do without thinking), but I am once again moving. Not physically moving. I have momentum. Not just in getting the mundane accomplished or moving forward on autopilot, but actively engaged in this momentum and not knowing where it will go because it is not just me on this journey.
I have had a recent inside brush with fame and I have a greater understanding of how people are  still normal in even bizarre sequences of events.
Espedair Street fits even better into all this than I could have possibly imagined.
So I blog this jumbled mess of hints, ideas, and musings as I go about living my life as I have before, but now in a moment of clarity and direction I look forward to enjoying the journey more than I have of late.
Good luck to the rest of you. Good luck with your guitars, your mundane, your creations, and your lives. They are worth living…even without winning a thing.

P.S. big thanks to Sonic Scoop for the give away and for the great piece of gear that me and my friends are sure to use in our simple quest to make some music and enjoy life.

Obsessing

Ok, I admit it. I have begun a bit of an unhealthy obsession with two guitars.

  1. Fender Modern Player Series Starcaster in a natural finish
  2. Epiphone Limited Edition 50th Anniversary “1962” Sheraton E212T Outfit in a natural finish

I’m to the point where I want to just buy them both and then not decide between the two. I haven’t played either one, which is very dangerous in my opinion. Thanks to those internet friends out there who are feeding this obsession with links and comments. You know who you are!

Old Beat Up Guitars

Anyone else out there getting the email updates and advertisements for Reverb.com? They recently started a new segment called “Reverb Picks: Player Grade.” I don’t know how long they’ll do it, but I really like it. These are guitars (and other equipment) that are vintage, but are no longer in factory spec condition or even have all their original parts or finishes. They describe it as:

What makes an instrument player grade? Non-original finishes, replacement parts, well-earned battle scars and really anything else that takes a vintage guitar out of the coveted all-original category. Check out a few choice player-grade pieces recently listed on Reverb below. You won’t find these bad boys behind glass on the wall of a collector.

Currently they have an Ovation Tornado from 1969 that just looks great. I am very tempted by it, even with the well worn fret board.

Ovation Tornado

This is the same concept behind my purchase of my 62 Gibson SG Jr. I love the feel of the instrument. It has a history that I get to add to, but I’m not afraid of using it. And it is in my price range. But the struggle I have is that I need to play it to see if it is something I will love or if it is just a well worn guitar that I can easily live without.

So while the Ovation Tornado is very tempting, I will wait. Besides, for just a couple hundred bucks more, I could go back and get the Hagstrom Viking I did get to try and loved the feel of a while back. And since that is probably sold by now, I’ll just keep saving my pennies and enjoy what I’ve got.