I’m well past that infamous moment in a man’s life where he suddenly buys a red convertible, or a fancy watch or laptop he doesn’t really need, or dyes his hair dark again and sudden appears in public with a much-younger woman on his arm.
No, I’m beyond those impulsive fountain-of-youth siren calls, but not immune to having a later-in-life moment of feeling good vibes from long ago, wondering if I should get back to that early passion.
I’m talking about the urge to pickup playing guitar again, this time via a modern, digital modeling amplifier with effects and mods preset to mimic many brand amps and well-known band sounds. Add to that the latest in amazing luthierian wonders from PRS guitars and I’m ready to remember (try at least…) all those songs I used to know lead licks to, plus catch up on all the great sounds since. Purple Haze I may be coming back!
Now, to be fair, any pursuit of music is a wonderful, creative endeavor regardless of when. Music has always been a constant in my life, vastly more listening than creating. In high school and into college, I played at being a guitarist in bands pretty seriously (and likely in part because the chicks thought it was cool). In college, selling off gear for other obligations plus interest in other things, seemed important at the time (it wasn’t, but that’s water under the bridge).
Fifteen years ago, I met a guitar collector and told him about the ‘69 Fender Stratocaster and ‘65 Gibson ES335 w/Bigby I owned and sold in the mid-70s. He ruined my day when he mentioned the pair were (then) worth close to $50,000. I probably didn’t get more than $500 when I sold them.
About ten years ago I got the guitar itch and picked up some acoustic gear but didn’t stick with it. Had thoughts of songwriting and open mic nights, but again, other “stuff” in the way. I sold that round of gear (and not ironically for less than I paid).
Now, with the pandemic, my life without obligations but time and funds available, coupled with listening more to the music I loved and played way back when, the thought returning to it showed up again. YouTube’s amazing depth of videos, from breaking down how to play riffs to interviews with my heros back then to gear reviews and stories, hasn’t helped deter this idea.
This story today doesn’t end with me telling you that I bought the gear, although admit there’s a fat shopping cart out there waiting for me. Also, in my defense, it is my birth month, so clearly I need to spoil myself somehow.
But as I’ve learned with major purchases as I’ve grown wiser, I’ll wait a bit to see if a) the idea is still exciting, and b) my choices still feel like the right ones. Stay tuned (pun intended!!) to see how this flash of youthful whimsy turns out.