Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Guitars! Whee, That Was FUN!
We had SO much fun last night, just out of a fluke. I was looking on craigslist for something else and decided to see if there were any cheap banjos for sale (Beccanois interested in learning to play that, but luckily his stepmom may give him hers). I saw an ad for a whole bunch of guitars in a garage. Sounded suspicious, but I sent it on to Lee. We checked it out, and it turns out to be legit--a dude had started an online guitar store, sorta on the lines of Dell, which did OK but his business partner pulled out and he had to close up shop. He still has a bunch of brand-new guitars in his garage, and since he is moving, he needs to get them out.
So, they were bargain guitars, all with the same brand name. All Korean made in the same factories the brand name ones are made in.
We all drove over there and had a blast looking at things. (Also enjoyed the man's very nice wife and daughter and charming guinea pig.) I consulted on a kitchen re-do with the wife while the guys looked at guitars.
There was a wide variety of quality of parts, so I was glad Lee was there to evaluate. Some were definitely "starter" guitars, while there were also fairly nice ones. So, not "great" guitars, but "good" ones. The kids were pretty funny--trying to be cool and not act all excited.
But, when Tuba Boy saw this fretless bass, he just stopped looking at everything else. Turns out he doesn't like frets, and this was his dream guitar (even though it is not a fancy-schmancy one). All the guitars were at wholesale (some below) so it the fretless bass was hardly anything. Tuba Boy is in love.
Lee got a black dreadnaught acoustic for $100. It sounded surprisingly good--just wasn't one of the ones with fancy decorations and inlay. Perfect for outdoor gigs in the middle of winter (which we have one of, 3M Marathon again).
Beccano looked and looked, and tried a very nice one, which he could have had in green (with fingerprint dust on it--it had been stolen from the warehouse and returned! would have been a cool story). But, in his heart, he wanted one that looked "cool" --he was more interested in looks than feel. It cracked the guitar guy up when Beccano asked wistfully if he had something "pointy." (Since guitar man also has a kid, so he apparently understood.) He went in the other room and dragged out a satin-finish yet slightly shiny silver "pointy" guitar (if you are a guitar person, it is a BC Rich Mockingbird style--very retro rock). He said it was the last one he had of that style and he would be happy to just get rid of it. He GAVE it to Beccano. It is very basic but actually plays just fine, and Bec is thrilled. Here's what it looks like, only it has cloud shaped inlays, really pretty. There is a picture on Flickr of Beccano making a horrid "rock-out" face with it--click the Tuba Boy photo link and you will see the measley pix I took--none of Lee' so far.
The only guitar that actually cost us anything was the one Lee got for himself, which was one of the good ones hiding in the back of the garage. It's one weird looking thing, black with gold sparkles and lots of gold knobs and a great deal of quite attractive inlay, but it played great. I have found similar ones online for $1500 (or more) and he paid way, way less for it. It is like a fancier pimped-out version of this one. It was made in the same factory as the Gretsch guitars, according to the guitar man (who knows if this is true).
OK enough about guitars. I don't know ihow many of you play, but I have to say it was fun looking at them. But you know what was more fun? That Tuba Boy came home, said, "Can I bring the bass amp downstairs?" then got out his "learn bass" book and CD and sat there until I am sure his butt fell asleep. By the end of the evening, "Smoke on the Water" was wafting up. He really "gets" it (helps he reads bass cleff so well, being a tuba player, and that tuba and bass parts are similar). He'd been messing with Lee's bass, and had it leaning against a door. But the second thing he did was ask Lee for a stand for his new one. He loves it.
Beccano did homework like a speed demon when we got home, then sat patiently with his Wolf Mother songbook and plunked out song after song (no clue how well, not knowing my Wolf Mother catalogue very well.
Lee was just BEAMING at how happy he made the kids. I am beaming at how happy they all are. I love hearing the music (ask me if I still do in a month or two).
One more thing: when I typed in the subject line, I wrote "guitarts" instead of guitar. Hee hee--wouldn't that make a great Girl Band name???