Walking through a vintage guitar store
is like walking through my entire history with women.
Some are all flash and crash–
a newer Martin is like the girl I took to homecoming–great, but not someone I would drive cross country with on a nickel, camping and picking up odd jobs to pay for beer and our serious rock climbing habit.
Some are way above my pay grade–
a ’59 Fender Stratocaster, all original, PAF humbuckers, everything, is like driving up the coast with the girl who took me for more than I was at the time, auburn hair flying from her top down Camero, tight jeans, wicked grin, flirting with every guy we met from Cannon Beach to Coos Bay. She will drain your summer wages and leave you, head spinning, thinking what the fuck.
Some are sweet and quirky and have a mellow soul.
A 1959 arch top Gibson ES 350
is the honey haired opera student with the plump ass and the voice of an angel on LSD.
But this one, oh my, oh my, this one–
a 1966 candy apple red Fender Telecaster, she is the girl with the red dress on.
Muddy played a red ’57 Tele,
Keith’s “micawber” is a ’53.
Jimmy Page recorded “Stairway to Heaven” on a ’66 Tele.
Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan,
Steve Cropper, all the way through
Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan
to Brad Paisley.
They all played early Telecasters.
So here is the problem.
Mostly, I love them all.
But the ’66 Tele–like Hank Williams said to the man he stole his future wife from: stay away from her.
She’s mine now.