Friday, August 13, 2010

Quasi Una Red Guitar Fantasia



Used to have a red guitar
Till I smashed it one drunk night



Red Guitar, Loudon Wainwright III






This post is, vaguely, about guitar colors.


This is a post I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve been trying to think of some kind of special context or hook to build it around. I’ve never been able to do that, so I’m just going to do it for fun. The only hook I’ve got is that this is my first video post that I’ve treated like a regular text post—I mean I recorded this just moments ago!


I’ve been thinking about guitars a lot recently. First because I’ve been considering getting a MIDI guitar or a MIDI pickup for my current guitar. Second because I was in a guitar store a few days ago and I saw a PRS SE One.

That’s the guitar I posted about a few years ago in Knobs. I’ve always kind of had the idea in the back of my mind that the PRS SE One was sort of the unofficial guitar of Impossible Kisses. However, after actually trying out one of the guitars I’ve kind of scrapped that idea. It’s a solidly made guitar and I didn’t see anything particularly bad about it. However I was kind of shocked at how, well, clunky it felt. The neck was thick. The hardware all seemed kind of blunt and just stuck in place. And it cost a bit more than the guitar I’m currently using. Odd.

So I’m sticking with my gypsy guitar.

My current guitar is a black guitar. My first guitar was a red guitar. I always felt kind of dumb playing a red guitar because I never really had any kind of flashy skill and I didn’t feel I could live up the red guitar’s, well, redness.

However many, many years ago I saw this album cover from Michael Nesmith:



Color me crazy, but this always struck me as one of the coolest images I’ve ever seen of a singer/songwriter. I was never knocked out by Jimi Hendrix and his Strat or the endless people playing Telescasters. But this picture of Nesmith with a black Les Paul (or a Les Paul copy of some kind) always made me smile. It still makes me smile.

I’ve known a couple of amazing studio musicians who played Les Paul’s. I’ve never been too carried away by the whole Establishment wizard persona the guitar carries. And I’ve certainly never considered myself as having anything like the kind of skills you normally associate with the kind of guitar wizards who play a Les Paul.

So I’ve never liked the actual Les Paul guitar, but I really liked the image of a black guitar shining in a spotlight.

That’s why I play a black guitar.


It’s some kind of freaky Mike Nesmith, breaking-out-of-the-Monkees kind of brain twitch.


I’m guessing all guitar players have some stupid ass reason why they prefer some particular kind of guitar. That’s my stupid ass reason.

Still, it could be worse. Mike Nesmith wrote some great songs. He produced some great movies. And he—apparently!—had an affair with Winona Ryder and that’s pretty cool just in itself.

So I’m going to stick with black guitars. Someday I will probably get some better hardware than my current guitar, but now I am thinking I will either stay with my current manufacturer or get one of those semi-custom Carvin models with synth access.

But right now I am very happy with what I’ve got.

So let’s get to what I’ve got. Here is me singing a Loudon Wainwright III song, “Red Guitar.” I did have a red guitar and I traded it up for a blonde guitar and nothing much good ever came of my blonde guitar. Now with my black guitar I’m making my own little videos. The Lord does work in wondrous ways.





video








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Six Billion Happy Memories














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