Flawed (feat. MF-ing GUITAR SHOW!)

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 6 August, 2011 at

I went to a guitar show last weekend. I had been looking forward to it for some time. I have been wanting to start collecting/investing in guitars for quite awhile now, yet I have been reluctant to pull the trigger on buying anything.

Part of the issue is that collecting and investing are not really the same thing.
Collecting means buying guitars that I personally would want to have, and probably (though not necessarily) would not want to sell. Investing in guitars is just like investing in anything else: buy low, sell high.

It is the “investing” part that is tripping me up. Last year, I bought a big book full of guitar prices. The value of guitars is a lot like cars: a 10 year old one is not worth very much; a 20 year old is worth practically nothing; but somewhere around 30 years old, it changes from “used” to “vintage” and the price starts to go up again; and at 50 years, it is worth quite a lot.

Key then is to buy something that is on the downward part of the curve and then wait ten or twenty years for the price to go up. However, every time I find something that looks good, either online or in person, the seller wants way more than my book says it is worth. Who are they kidding? Is anyone really buying vintage guitars in this economy? I would think it would be a buyer’s market.

I had been to this same guitar show last summer and been slightly disappointed. Sure there were a lot of nice guitars, especially a lot of high end and vintage guitars that you do not generally find in the average guitar shop. Yet, while they did have a number of guitar models that I was familiar with but had never actually seen in person, there was not really anything new and unusual to me like I had been hoping for.

This year, the event was at a venue much closer to where I live and I went fully planning to walk away with something. I do not know if it was the change in venue or the economy or what, but there were not nearly as many booths this year. Still, even on a casual first walk through I noticed several promising guitars. A few more when I really started looking carefully at each vender. Most were again in the way more than I would want to spend range, but not all. I could go into details, but I doubt it would mean much to most readers.

There was one interesting guitar that I kept coming back to in my mind. Great guitar? No. Nice looking guitar? It was actually in pretty bad shape cosmetically. Worth what the asking price? Debatable. But an interesting guitar. A guitar that wants to be played, not kept in a case in the closet. A guitar with character.

However, for a number of reasons (or should I say, “excuses”) that do not seem that important now, I ended up not buying it, and walked out empty handed and more than a little annoyed with myself. I did not even take note of the dealer’s name, which might have left open the possibility of buying it online.

This is not so much about buying a guitar or not buying a guitar. I already have a lot of guitars. I also in general struggle with buyer’s remorse and just plain “clutter” way more often than I have regret over NOT buying something. This is really about having an idea and not following through. It is about not being able to make a decision in the moment. I keep thinking about that guitar that I am never going to have and it reminds me of so many other opportunities that I have missed because of my overall lack of CERTITUDE.

To add extra an extra layer of futility: after spending hours walking around and dreaming of possibilities, did I play any guitar when I got home? I did not.

One Response to “Flawed (feat. MF-ing GUITAR SHOW!)”

  1. timoth

    I imagine that most readers came to this blog looking for a skeptic’s thoughts on God and church and so forth, and, I guess, stayed for the angst? The title of this post is an admission that I do not think that anyone reading this cares about guitars as much as I do, and there is a slight possibility that I only do it to annoy you.

    It did not fit into the main post, but there were a number of luthiers displaying their own work at the show. I must say, there were some absolutely HIDEOUS neck joints on some of those things. They had glue squeeze-out and possibly even wood putty and then just finish over it and hope no one notices. And they are trying to sell these for thousands of dollars? Come on guys, I did better than that on my first try.

    Anyway, as I said, I did not want to go into details about the guitars because who would care? But I realized that I actually missed some of the essence of the post by not describing my find.

    It was labeled as a “1978 Epiphone Casino.” Now, I have very little respect for Epiphone, but if they have one model with any street cred, it would be the Casino, since, you know, The Beatles played them. This particular one had a bolt-on neck (as opposed to glued), which is unusual for hollow body guitars and as far as I knew, unheard of on a Casino. It also had humbuckers, not P90 pickups like every other Casino that I had ever seen. These two facts led me to wonder if it was even properly labeled. (Spoiler: it was.) It was also made in Japan. Japanese guitars have a bit of a cult following, but I do not personally have any experience with them and was curious to find out what the hype was about. The neck seemed quite narrow, and the strings buzzed like mad acoustically, but when plugged in it actually played and sounded great.

    Cosmetically, it had a lovely walnut stain finish, however, the pickguard was missing, leaving noticeable screw holes. The plastic bindings had started to disintegrate, and though it had gold hardware, the plating had worn off in a number of places.


Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.