Was really gasin’ for a Gretch at the guitar show at Costa Mesa Sunday,but no such luck.It was my first time at that show and I fundamentally misunderstood what it was.I thought it would be like a swap meet where players would sell ordinary guitars at prices
ordinary players could afford.The cheapest thing there was a blinged out Epi with somebody’s idea of Filtertrons in it for $450.
Everything else was an overpriced “collector’s” guitar.The “crowd” was about 25 ‘boomers like me (Esquire came out of Leo’s shop
in Fullerton in June 1950,I came out a month later from the hospital 1/4 mile away).There were two guys there who had the iconic
guitars I have only seen at the Fender museum;a nocaster,two blackguard teles, even a ’57 Gretch Roundup.I had to explain just how
cowboy cool a Roundup was to a guy my age.I asked one of the old guys who owned the $55K nocaster what the difference was between
an original P bass and a Tele bass and he said he couldn’t remember.These guitars weren’t proudly displayed,just sitting on ten
dollar stands on top of a folding table like it was a swap meet.The whole experience made me wonder if the market for “vintage”
guitars is a function of a generation’s identification with guitars they saw players they admired playing when they were young. To put it another way; when us ‘boomers are worm food will that 19 year old shredder making our ears bleed at Guitar Center even
give a dam about old guitars and the guys who played them?
I love the world guitar show. Obviously, their is very little that I can afford, but it is still fun to look. I wonder what millennials will think of these guitars after we are gone. I think the collector market is crazy stupid. Especially since I’m a player. I could care less if a guitar is in mint condition. From experience those guitars tend to sound like shit. If they are to clean means nobody wanted to play them or was never played. I’ll say my beat 330 sounds really special to me. Neck repair, wrong trapeze, faded and scratched finish. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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