I Now Pronounce You

My Pawn Shop Lover

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on August 30, 2007

My Epiphone kinda died on me recently and sent me right back to square one with the whole “let’s start playing guitar again” thing. Sadly, the wiring wasn’t as well done as I’d hoped and the whole thing seems to have shorted out. I took it to a shop, as even I couldn’t tell what the hell happened to it, and the tech just kinda shrugged his shoulders and said “Damned if I know, but I could rewire it and fit it with new pick ups and…”

Fuck it. I was getting tired of it anyhow. Playing an Epiphone HollowBody was cool and all…but it was just kinda…wrong. If you don’t play an instrument you probably won’t get what I’m saying here, but I’ll try and explain it.

See, there’s more to it than just liking a guitar and that’s that. Infinitely more. If you lined up 50 of the exact same instrument and gave me enough time, I could put them in order from the one I like most to least and tell you what’s different about each and every one. Don’t let anyone fool you in to thinking otherwise. Guitars are made of wood (for the most part) and wood is not consistent. They are all different. Unique. And beyond that, they’ve all got a bit of soul to ’em. The vibration, the resonation…each one has it’s own. The one you wind up with…that vibration should go right through your fingers and talk to you even if you had earplugs in and couldn’t hear it.

In that way, it’s a relationship…it’s give and take, back and forth. You are pulling out of it and it is giving back to you. When it doesn’t do what you are trying to make it do, it’s fucking maddening. I would tell you that you have no idea, but everyone reading this does, indeed, have an idea. It’s not that much different than your relationships. Really. I’m serious. At least that’s how I see it.

My Epi was just the wrong girl for me…and ultimately, she dumped me. Now granted, she was a bit extreme about it. She could have chosen not to stay in tune or something to that effect rather than electrocute herself, but whatever. It’s not the first time I’ve driven someone I was in a relationship with to an extreme. Christ knows I can be a pain in the ass…or the pick guard.

At any rate, I am now in the market for a new girl.

I tried, oh so hard, to branch off and do something new. I figured, as I’d said before, that I wanted to get out of the Fender girls and into something else. We’d had a good run, me and the Strats…but well, enough was enough and after so many of the same types of girls I figured, let’s go for something new.

Well, baby, I think I’m back. Every night on that couch with her, I was thinking of you. She didn’t feel like you or sing like you or fight with me or push me quite like you did…and I missed it. God did I miss it. But I don’t know that I’m just going to run off to the nearest Guitar-o-Rama and buy me the prettiest, newest girl that talks to me…

BB King once said that all the great guitars are in pawn shops. I can dig that, really. Because they are in pawn shops, they’ve got soul…karma…they’ve been thrown away and discarded for something else. Someone committed to them and then ditched them for a fraction of what they were worth and left them behind and never looked back. They’ve got nicks and dings. Scars from where people tried to change them (a new bridge…different pick ups) and usually, if it wound up in a pawn shop, it didn’t go well. Pawn shops are where you go for the quick cash…you aren’t merely selling it (because you’d go to a music store for that) you’re getting rid of it because it does not matter anymore.

They are the dumped. The abused. The ex’s of junkies who ditched them for fixes. And they are the saddest guitars in the whole, wide world.

That’s the girl for me. The one that has something to give. Something to prove. The one hanging on the wall of some shop with a fence over the windows that someone looks at when they are hocking their crap and thinks “wow, that used to be a nice guitar”.

It didn’t “used to be” anything. It just needs a little love. A little cleaning up and attention. It needs someone to take the time…and we all deserve that. When we fall, where would we be if everyone passed us by for something new and shiny? We’d live out our days on a pawn shop wall looking at the people selling their crap and wishing just one of you would see us the way we know we are, even if it isn’t obvious at first glance. Nothing worth knowing is obvious at the first glance, anyhow.

Somewhere in this town right now there’s a Strat on the wall waiting for me to see her for who she is, not what she was. And I’m comin’ for you, baby. Scars and all.


11 Responses to 'My Pawn Shop Lover'

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  1. Jo said,

    FYI, Action Music in Arlington/Falls Church is apparently a guitar haven. A lot of musicians local and not go there. Since I don’t play I can’t tell the difference, but every time Bergle goes in he leaves depressed that he can’t afford to buy all the pretty (and amazing sounding) guitars and pedals.

  2. Heather said,

    holy mess. i love the way you write.


  3. Jo; THANK YOU!! I am actaully going to chart out a list of places to go…this is near the top now.

    Heather; Thank you, Heather. I’m not about taking compliments. 🙂

  4. startingtoday said,

    Jesus.. I think a little tear maybe escaped from my eye as a I read that. Hope you find your “new” guitar that needs a little lovin’. I’m sure you’ll take good care of her.

  5. Sarah Leigh said,

    Yeah. Pretty much the most badass relationship / inanimate object analogy post ever. Right here. Bingo. Checkmate.

  6. megan said,

    I read a 55-word “shortest” story the other day that went something like this: wife longs to have her husband hold her the way he holds his guitar. She finally figures out how to turn herself into the guitar (you should have seen the sketch – basically a guitar with boobs and pubes) and is waiting patiently for him to come home. When he does all she hears is, “honey I’m home – and I got a new guitar!”

  7. roissy said,

    as a fellow shredder, just stay clear of those girls who break their strings all the time and always cause ear-piercing feedback.

  8. WiB said,

    If the tech were worth anything at all he would have looked at you and said,

    “We can rebuild her. We have the technology.”

    And then you’d have the Six Million Dollar Guitar, leaping chord progressions with ease and crushing scales with bionic might. Plus, a new show on network TV, which is always a bonus.

    Considering your take on the uniqueness of guitars, I pose the following: you’re thinking about taking up guitar, looking to start acoustic, once you finish grad school. Uh, hypothetically, of course. You know, I have this friend, so what, uh, should he, um, be looking for? My friend, I mean… (How this turned into an after-school special, I have no idea)

  9. skip said,

    Yes, they do all have different personalities, and that is what makes the music special. When you and your instrument merge, and suddenly you’re not the one playing anymore, your hands working through some subconscious means, playing what you’re feeling, not what you’re thinking. The rhythms and chords, flowing from within, without your conscious direction… that’s when it’s good. that’s why I play… because sometimes, it’s not “me”… sometimes it’s *real*

    but usually I’m yanked from my blissful reverie by listening to what I’m playing, and liking it. then I start thinking about it, and where it could/should go, and then the link is broken, and I’m left sitting there, feeling like I’ve had my heart broken, trying to remember just what I played, and how I played it, because it was -good- and I want to capture it, and play with it… and see where it will go.

    Sometimes you can get it back, but it’s faded, like when you tell someone about a dream you had, and you see the images in your head, but they’re dimmer… Not full and rich and vibrant like they were when you first woke up, still partially immersed in the story.

    Yeah… That’s why I play. Because sometimes it’s not me.

  10. Rabbit said,

    I totally get it. A guitar is very much like a woman. How you work her over will be reflected in how she sings. Blues guitar players make love to their guitars and as a result they sing ever so sweetly. Rockers pull their hair back, slap their ass, and fuck the hell out of them and of course they scream out in pleasure as a result. Yes, a guitar is very much like a woman………

  11. suicide_blond said,

    if guitars are like women …does it make me a lesbian if i have a relationship with a vintage gretsch????

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