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Re: Vintage Gear, E-bait etc

Ah! Quoting the Guru! :)

richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.

On 19-Dec-06, at 9:03 AM, Paul Richards wrote:

(Many musicians of India.......... won't let anybody TOUCH THEIR INSTRUMENT. --

Kind of like Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap. ("Don't touch it. Don't touch it." to Rob Reiner)


---- Richard Sales <richard@glasswing.com> wrote:
Vintage instruments?

It IS something you have to experience to know. Most guitars are made
of wood. Wood ages. And wood that's had sound put through them for
ten or more years sounds DIFFERENT than wood that's new. Simple
physics. The more sound put through and the older, the better they can
sound. In the old days we used to put our guitars, especially
acoustics, in front of our stereo speakers and crank it and leave them
to cook for as long as we could stand it. We might have been crazy,
but the theory is sound I think.

I know - I've played a lot of nice guitars. My new Collings acoustic,
actually 12 years old, sounds wonderful. I have a Santa Cruz here
(Bill Bloomer's) that's about the same age that sounds incredible. But
my grandfather's Maurer, made around 1924 by the Larson Brothers,
sounds so good it just howls and humiliates my other guitars. And it
is loaded with personality... or, what's called in Sanskrit, 'bhava'.
Now you might think this is strange, but I don't play it all that much
because it spoils me... and because I can't take it on the road.

Now, many musicians of India, who I think have had an awful lot of time
to think about their instruments and who practice probably more than
anyone on earth, quite often won't let anyone else even TOUCH THEIR
INSTRUMENT. I've wondered why this is and have concluded that guitars
- wooden instruments especially - become charged with the spirit of the
player. I know this may sound a little fern bar and double latte to
some, but I know it for a fact, or have experienced this with my
guitars and playing the guitars of others. It's almost like you can
download a bit of the players energy when you play their guitars. Or
when they play your guitars they get charged. John Fahey played my
guitars frequently and vice versa. Danny Gatton played my guitars etc.
David Sylvian played my guitars and vice versa.. and many others.
This is all very subtle stuff but very tangible if you pay real close
attention. And, because I am mainly a tone junky more than a
technician. it makes all the difference to me.

Wait! Save your typing fingertips! Yes I AM crazy! Don't waste your
time belaboring the obvious. The catch is, I haven't met a soul yet
who isn't. 58 years and counting.

Now all of this doesn't mean you can't go into a store and buy a new
Tele that doesn't sound magnificent. And it doesn't mean you HAVE to
have an old guitar to make great music, or become famous, or to write
that song or do that solo that will change the world for the better...
or be a worthy human. There's a different kind of aging that does
that. But there will always be incredible players who use dog guitars
and make magical music. One of the best guitarists I've ever worked
closely with (Kenny Davis - The Platters, The Flamingos) had about five
brand new Japanese strats that he torqued and tortured and squeezed
devils and angels out of. So...????

Who cares? I care because, FOR ME, I love it and am spoiled by very
fine instruments. Does this make me a better player? Hard to say. I
personally think so because I think tone is everything. I've always
thought one really well played howling note could out perform a
blizzard of thirty second notes. It's all about soul. And if you've
got soul, you can make it happen with a two string ektar. I've seen it
happen. I perform with a guy who does just that (Bhagavan Das). If you
don't have soul, you couldn't do it with a Stradivarius.

There's nothing wrong with that! The world needs good accountants and
business people. And I don't say that sarcastically. All people have
soul - just some have it for music, some for numbers, some for zeros
and ones, some for scalpels and bone saws, some for literature,
storytelling etc. And they all deserve equal respect.

Therefore, I think it's most important to focus on our own hearts and
minds and wood shedding and conquering our own demons & shadows (and
technologies) and training our own angels to come when we whistle. It's
FAR more important than vintage or not vintage. I just like to make my
angels job easier by having a nice axe to land on.

And, Luca, thanks for the kind words. I'm always so reluctant to write.

I bow to all of you and your ever expanding talent, intelligence and

richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.
On 19-Dec-06, at 6:55 AM, Goddard, Duncan wrote:

I'm sorry, this is the largest pile of arse I have ever heard.<<

it's quite obvious to me from damian's measured response that he's
never had the good fortune to encounter an "inanimate" object
possessed of the spirit either of it's makers or it's previous owners.
this leads me to wonder if NZ is a desert when it comes to elderly
fenders & the like.

damian, don't knock what you don't understand.