moments before the wind.

May 30, 2006

do i look to the stars

Filed under: authenticity, live shows, music — alimarcus @ 8:31 am

On a camping trip this weekend (Deception Pass: gorgeous) I brought a friend's guitar along with me for the campfire. There were so many reasons not to bring my own: it's heavy! it's big! it's expensive! it's loud! etc. The guitar I borrowed for the trip is tiny, light, sunbursted and embellished, and most likely not worth bunk. I think everyone should have a handy little guitar around for camping trips and other occasions that may warrant one.

This can go beyond my personal shopping habits though. Why am I so protective over my own guitar? Obviously, any guitar I brought on a camping trip would have been treated with equal respect, regardless of shape or size or nationality. It was the prospect of damage that really, really freaked me out. And I need to get over that. It's no use buying something and then not using it.

All of these perceptions are relative, anyways. I bought what I used to call an "expensive cheap" guitar in high school and used it for a good 5 years before moving on. It took a few years and some unavoidable damages (I'm looking at you, Watson) for me to lighten up about the finish and the shine and the blah blah blah. When I find myself in such blatant displays of material worship I am a bit shaken, because I know that I have to find a way out of it in order to restore some kind of happiness. Taking my Taylor on the camping trip would have been an important step, and I avoided it because of the convenience of someone else's "camping guitar." Which, by the way, made it through with not a scratch to take home for a souvenir.

I guess this means I'll have to challenge myself in a different way, and right now the prospect of taking my guitar on a plane from Seattle to Virginia may just fit the bill. Pressurized cabins and overflowed flights and checking things at the gate…all very scary. Advice on flying with a guitar? Anybody?



  1. Slack the strings and pray. Or get a Calton case.

    They do cost a lot, so it’s a risk/reward calculation.

    I learned the hard way after the lads at Virgin wrecked my custom Gibson — nicely repaired and sounding good, but not worth shite now.


    Comment by Jay Sherman-Godfrey — May 31, 2006 @ 8:14 am

  2. I am planning on just taking the strings off, putting on a big smile and convincing them to let me put it in the coat closet. Your words are slightly threatening (“pray,” “wrecked”) but also not so bad (“nicely repaired and sounding good”). Thanks. Anyone else?

    Comment by alimarcus — May 31, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

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