My Pawn Shop Lover
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.