Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Strumming a Vintage Axe

On my way home tonight, I stopped by the guitar shops on 48th Street. It has been a stressful few days and browsing and playing rare guitars serves as an antiseptic to the sore. That magical therapeutic quality of holding a Martin 000-15 in your hands and playing "Folsom County Prison Blues."

There was a shocking discovery made that I am going to write a column about this weekend. A sad allegory about what the recession is costing us. That to come later on YesButNoButYes.

However, before that tale, a little about a guitar. I played a few guitars tonight. The aforementioned Martin. A couple Taylor's. A Gretsch Double Cutaway Electromatic. Then I saw a very old axe on the wall. With caution, I took her in my hands. She was beautiful. A 1938 Gibson L-5. (Pictured above.) Battered and beaten. Scars of the road and travel. It is a guitar that has been played by Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Paul Simon and Django Reinhardt.

There I sat, in the corner by myself, and played the blues for about an hour. I played Robert Johnson's "Malted Milk" on that amazing instrument. And, for a few brief moments, the worries of life melted away.

Long live The Blues...