This 1940’s Regal acoustic, however, was not one of the pawnshop castaways; it was an antique already worth quite a bit when, at nine years old, I started learning on it. I’d take it out back of our house and sit for hours on a tree limb that stretched out over the pond, practicing, experimenting, and writing crappy songs. One day I decided it would be easier to remember the notes of the strings if I scratched them into the wood by the bridge with a pencil. I figured that would be useful info for anybody who came along and wanted to learn guitar. I was just being practical.
To this day I can still see my dad’s boot print on my ass. It’s faint, but it’s still there.
My dad and I were spending the day hitting guitar shops, looking for nothing in particular, when I stumbled across this funky classical. Sure, it’s visually striking, but its tone was what killed me. It sounded like a lute. I had a Fishman system put in and it STILL sounds like a lute when you plug it in. It's also my "physical therapy" guitar - after you've done four nights in a row and your fingers sre cheese, this is very comforting and healing to play. It's like BUTTA. You can just sit around noodling on it with a bloody mary and a tylenol and ask yourself "What da hell am I doing with my life?"
I noodled around on it one afternoon while we sat around watching football at his place, and I took it home with me to try for a while. Six months later, after doing some sessions and gigs with it, I told him “You know, if I’m never gonna get around to giving this thing back to you, the least I can do is buy it.”
A few years ago my parents' friends both left us way too soon, and their son Phil, still one of my closest friends, said he wanted me to have his mom's beloved Guild. I have always adored Guild guitars; you cannot find a better sounding acoustic guitar than an old Guild dreadnaught. I record with this, but I would never carve it up and put electronics in it, so it never goes out on live dates.
You look at this thing with its gorgeous arch-top construction and f-holes, and you think it’s going to have this jazzy, dark, mellow sound. But no, it’s very brassy, bright, and in-your-face. Frankly, I’m not sure yet how to incorporate such a guitar into what I do, but finding a way to do that is going to very interesting. For now, I just pick it up and play a tune and wish the old man were still around to yell at me to put it down.
WE TRIED TO HOLD TURKISH AIRLINES ACCOUNTABLE, BUT ALL THEIR LEGAL DEPARTMENT WOULD SAY WAS, "THAT'S FUNNY - THE DAMAGE DOESN'T LOOK NEARLY AS BAD FROM OVER HERE..."
(YEAR UNKNOWN - 1940's - 1950's?)
This was my grandfather's, so who knows how old it is? There's no serial number, so I can't research it. It still plays really well, but I think I swallowed some rust from the days of the Eisenhower administration when I first tried it.