A stray followed me home yesterday. I think I’ll keep it.
There was a time when I had a room full of top-flight music gear. I had eight guitars, two basses, two synthesizers, assorted beat boxes, a mixer, a digital recorder, and an embarrassing array of effects pedals. I had a band. We recorded an album. I had all the motivation and ambition in the world.
What happened next is Greek tragedy. I talk about it in my book. The chapter is called “D.I.Y. via Sheltering Sky.” It was, without question, the hardest chapter to write.
The band collapsed. A child entered the picture. Sacrifices had to be made. Slowly but surely, the gear was sold off. Even a couple of guitars I swore I’d be buried with made their way out the door. How depressing.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been steadily regaining the desire to play again. But there’s no way I could reacquire the choice gear I once had. There was, however, another option.
Every now and again, I’d run across a really cool — and highly affordable — guitar or bass. They were almost always imports. The wood was nowhere near the quality of my old gear. Still, they had character. I took to calling these guitars “planks.”
My new instruments cost me a fraction of what the old ones did. They can be a little unwieldy. Sometimes I have to fight to keep them in tune. But that’s becoming part of the fun.
This lovely little beast is a Kay. It’s from the 70s. That’s pretty much all I know, though I will follow up on this later. When I picked it up at the shop, I knew this guitar was for me. And the price was so low, I had no choice but to bring it home.
My old bandmate has talked me into playing together again. Our first “rehearsal” is scheduled for New Year’s Eve. I’m going to have this and a couple of other guitars set up within an inch of their cheap lives, and then see what I can do with them.
I have a tendency to name my guitars. Oddly, I haven’t been able to come up with a moniker for this fella. That being said, I’m growing fond of the name Chester. Damned if I know why.
If things go well, I just might write an album’s worth of songs featuring at least one tune with each of my cheap guitars (and one bass). The name of my project?
“Planks,” of course.
So here we go again. Probably.