Oh, not another one!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s octopus is the one beating everyone at table tennis down at the community centre.

I think it all starts when you are a kid. You see someone on TV standing holding one, and they are making lovely, gorgeous, and strangely meaningful sounds with it. These things are so shapely, shiny, colourful, and stylish of course, never mind the twangs, bends, trills, whines, arpeggios (should that be arpeggii?), snarls, power chords, that they allow you, and encourage you, to do on them! Oh, breathtakingly loud and clear, sugary sweet, then strident – woody sounding acoustic ones as well as the bright bell-like electric ones – they are all lovely, and appealing, and yes, they are sexy… My pen trembles in my hand as I write dear reader…
Even before you get your first one, you know that you’ll always be wanting to touch them, slide you fingers up and down their smooth slim necks, to pick them up, feel their weight, and fiddle with their little smoothly rotating knobs. Yes, it starts, you find your very first one – there it is, a cheap sad thing, hanging in the window of a second-hand shop – you immediately hand over some cash, it doesn’t matter how much, and you rush home with it under your arm – yes, you are now hooked for life…
But of course, as soon as you have one, you are pining for another – you parents say, ‘But Dave (Barbara, Jimi, Hank, Eric, etc.) what on earth do you need another one for?…’
You will happily stare at them in music shops for hours at a time, and of course you keep an eye on the windows of junk shops, pawn brokers, and the like. You have vivid dreams about spotting the brown crackled headstock of a 195os Fender Telecaster (or is it a Broadcaster?) sticking out from under a pile of old newspapers and magazines – look, see, next to that battered old lawnmower, that chipped plaster saint, the oak-cased clock with only one hand, the six rusty woodwork files wrapped together with green garden twine, a bunch of dusty plastic tulips…
You saunter in and casually say to the unshaven miserable looking proprietor with a half smoked cigarette behind his ear, ‘How much is that old guitar?’ You point at it and move some tulips out of the way revealing the lovely old crazed varnish on the body. ‘This one.’ you manage to utter.
‘Oh that, that’s quite a good one you know, it’s a Fender one, they’re American…’
‘Oh, are they? How much is it? It’ll need new strings on it you know…’
‘How about fifty quid?…’
You are just about to ask if it has an amplifier with it when of course, you wake up…
Generally, I’m speaking generally here, parents and partners do not understand this addiction. Here’s a tale told to me years ago, I can’t remember the details all that clearly, but I’m sure you’ll get the drift:
This particular chap used to like to play folky acoustic music a lot, he had a couple of nice instruments, but he pined desperately for a real vintage USA Martin Dreadnought – something that would cost, oh, let’s say a few thousand pounds. Our drama might have unfolded like this, lets call them Billy and Marge:
‘Oh, hello Marge – you’re in early, had a good day?’
‘Hiya Billy, yeah, not too bad… Oh, what’s that black plastic bag, sticking out from behind the settee?’
‘Oh, that… I accidentally bought a guitar…’
‘What! Another one?…’
‘No, no, don’t worry, it’s only a cheap old thing. I bumped into Johnny in town he was taking it round the second-hand shops, trying to pick up a few quid for it, he’s a bit hard up at the moment.’
‘Oh yes… Johnny who?…’
‘I only gave him £25 for it, just to help him out, you know…’
‘Well I could easily sell it on for more than that Marge. Oh, don’t look like that dearest…’
A few weeks later:
‘Yes dear?’
‘You know that old guitar of yours…’
‘I see that you are playing it quite a bit now.’
‘Yes, it turned out to sound surprisingly nice for such a cheap thing.’
‘Good job it’s not an expensive one then…’
‘I was ironing my work clothes this morning, I dropped a hot iron onto it just as the phone rang – it made me jump you see…’
‘Ah… Right…’
‘The hole in the front isn’t that big, I expect it’ll still play alright…’
‘Oh… I see…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in conversation, cool, drama, dreaming, guitars, humour, money, music, story, style and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Oh, not another one!…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    …and how many guitars do you have Dave?

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