Miscellaneous Rumbles

Wife Found My Stash

1

I've always hid my guitars in the open.

Never had to ask permission to get one, and over the years I've acquired...umm...many.

So, imagine my surprise when my wife went into my office to scare off some raccoons that she thought were up there, only to find that she couldn't see the walls, windows, or most of the ceiling!

Granted, it's a small office, and not a collection that could even hope to compare to Cbell's, but deals pop up every now and again, and I've got no issue in trading, bartering, buying or selling to get what I want.

I started small, believe me.

Just a guitar, here or there. Friday night jams, meet someone who is parting ways with their electric instruments, longing for acoustics, and they sell it as a used guitar, my favorite kind of guitar, because it's not vintage.

Soon, though, word gets out that you're into guitars, and I was having people give, that's right, give me guitars. Not that old Stromberg that's rotting in the attic yet, but a '59 Kay Jumbo from the original owner, and a pretty cherry Yamaha 12-String from the early 70's which plays and sounds better than my '68 Martin Slothead.

The electrician that wanted to see what he could get for his '45 Epi Broadway, which needed major work, came to me with it.

Then, the wife finds all this(at least the stuff that in the office).

Not mad, just sort of startled, I guess, at the sheer volume occupied since the last time she dared entered my domain. She said last night "Wow, you got a lot of gear upstairs".

I braced, like a kid does just before he gets spanked, thinking "Oh, snap, here it comes", but it never came. I almost felt like Ralphie in the Christmas Story after he gets his BB gun.

Luckily, I was on my way out the door when this conversation took place, so the door was already open as my best friend from high school pulled up to take me to see Roky Erickson.

Whew!
2

I hate it when that happens.

3

Been there. Had to fess up to a whole bunch that I stashed in my Cleveland work-apartment. Then once more with others I had in a bedroom closet.

Now they all hang on the wall in the open...except this 5250 I had shipped to my office.

4

Sounds like you dodged a bullet and have a good wife.

5

If she complains, go count her shoes.

Then, you get to sleep on the couch for a week or two.

6

I had my come-to-Jesus (or wife) experience about 18 months ago, near the end of our remodel-and-move (the story of which hasn't been told here...there are many in-process pictures, and it's a "funny" story).

Same thing: I'd had guitars everywhere. Yes, most of them in one location - but others spread out one here, a couple there, a few there, across the two properties we owned at the time. Many's the time she'd asked "how many guitars do you have," and I was coy: "obviously too many," "just one short," "more than enough."

Once over a decade ago she'd brought one of her craft store customer's young sons down to the "studio" to see me, and, as adults do with children, decided to make it a teaching experience. I was minding my own business, slaving away at the computer, and in they waltz. Cheryl introduces us (I think it was a child I had seen once as an anonymous infant, so it was assumed I'd be interested he was now a walking-talking wide-eyed youngster) and baby-talks to him "look at ALL THESE GUITARS! How many do you think there are?" And they started counting them.

I thought my goose was cooked right then and there, my cornflakes were well and truly frosted, my gig quite up. But they overlooked some buried behind others, weren't doing an acountant's job of it anyway, and when the kid's interest waned, so did hers.

Oh sure, down through the years there were occasional challengig references (usually during financial discussions) to the size of the collection, various arch observations like "I'd like to see some other woman who would put up with" and the sort. But while I always felt I was it was out there, I'd never quite run into the wall.

Did I hide them in the open? Well, in a way. I guess maybe I didn't make a big deal out of getting one or proudly announce its arrival - and I did operate under the "forgiveness rather than permission" banner. I did my best to stash the boxes so as not to rub guitars in anyone's face.

I didn't exactly hide them, though. I didn't not set them out in plain sight on stands when I was playing them.

"Is that a new guitar?"

"What, this old thing?"

(After all, what is the definition of a new guitar? It's plainly built into the language that "used" can't be "new." You wouldn't call a gallon of milk sold last month "new," would you? Why a guitar that might have been built last year, and stored in some musty old warehouse?)

(Also, she doesn't pay much attention to guitar shapes, brands, features. She can tell a bass from a 6-string from a banjo - and she keys on colors. If a guitar was in a color or graphic treatment I didn't have, it stood out as new. Fortunately, there are only so many colors.)

(Also, shoes. The woman has shoes! I'm not complaining! Don't nobody say I'm complaining. I clearly have nothing to complain about. I'm grateful, is what I am.)

This was the way of my guitar world.


When it was suggested that we might move into one property and downsize, it was decreed (in a way I could pretty much just agree to - raise your hand if you've found marriage democratic) that I could keep all the gear I could get into one room - my studioffice, about 14 x 25. That's several generations of recording gear, a "number" of guitars and amps, several keyboards, plus all the desk space I need to run a couple of businesses and store records.

There's no complaining, there's only fixing. I measured up and down, did some figuring, and took the deal. A substantial pile of guitars had to be moved into another room and stored in plain view while Handyman John and I built some clever shelving. According to my math (never reliable), I was just going to make it - but I wasn't really going to know till I moved everything in.

Long story a bit shorter: it's all in here. OK, almost all. One amp is in the hall outside the studioffice, a Roland D-50 synth is in my bedroom between the Kustom 2-15 cab and the wall (roll-and-tuck blue sparkle makes a lovely bedstand, really), and a Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer 200A piano, and 80s Hammond X-2 are under cover in the furnace room waiting to be sold.

Otherwise, it's all in here. Once I sell half a dozen or more guitars, a slew of pedals, and two or three amps, I believe everything will even fit on the shelves intended.

But it was a moment of excitingly mixed emotions when she walked in the room and saw everything together for the first time. (For the record: I like neither excitement nor emotion.) I was boy-with-hand-in-cookie-jar pleased at my collection, a little giddy that it had all fit, waaay too self-righteous that I'd complied with the rules, and more than a little apprehensive that massed evidence of the sheer enormity of my GAS history would yet be my undoing.

However, like Mrs Crowbone, she took it all in pretty good grace. Fait accompli, I guess, and we've never gone hungry or missed payments because of my condition. Kids are through college, we're out of debt (thanks to her downsizing dictum), and I didn't blow the money on women, liquor, or the horses. And I keep maintaining that, while it may not be a blue-chip investment vehicle (not with my taste and budget in gear), there's a better than even chance that overall the stuff will hold its value, and it can be a colorful part of my estate. (Albeit aggravating from a liquidity-and-logistics perspective.)

ANYway, the cats were all out of the bag at that point. Grace for past sins, however, did not extend to the future. There were several codicils to "go and sin no more." For one, I'd already promised that a number of guitars and amps would be sold.

And with the exception of exemptions granted for a short bucket list of instruments I've always-wanted-but-never-had (numbering 3) - any of which, it's my vague understanding, I could get when the gettin's good and financial responsibility permits - we've generally agreed on a pretty strict policy of two-or-more-out-for-every-one-in. This is eminently reasonable and will enforce some discipline that might eventually teach me to make choices other than either-and.

I'll have to go home, son, and make up my mind. It will probably be good for me.

My name is Proteus, and I have The Problem.

7

Recording has been the best way for me to decide which guitars are keepers. RIght before I was about to record some guitar tracks I went through each of my guitars and thought about which guitars would be best for which songs. I thought I may end up using all of my guitars for different tracks but it turns out I only used 4 of them, a DSV Duo Jet that I used on every song, an Epiphone Casino, a Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster with an HS pickup configuration and one of my original design Freestyle Del Rey guitars.

This approach actually helps keep my want list in check. While I still love to look at and play many different guitars I realize if I train my brain to look at them with a "tools of the trade" perspective my anxiety settles and I can, so far, resist the temptation to blow my paychecks.

If this helps just one person...

8

Recording has been the best way for me to decide which guitars are keepers. RIght before I was about to record some guitar tracks I went through each of my guitars and thought about which guitars would be best for which songs. I thought I may end up using all of my guitars for different tracks but it turns out I only used 4 of them, a DSV Duo Jet that I used on every song, an Epiphone Casino, a Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster with an HS pickup configuration and one of my original design Freestyle Del Rey guitars.

This approach actually helps keep my want list in check. While I still love to look at and play many different guitars I realize if I train my brain to look at them with a "tools of the trade" perspective my anxiety settles and I can, so far, resist the temptation to blow my paychecks.

If this helps just one person...

– BuddyHollywood

Amen, brother.

9

Man, I'm glad she never looks under the beds. We have a lot of beds!

10

That's why you have to marry another musician. The day before yesterday, I showed my wife a new AVRI Jazzmaster I just bought. She immediately started playing and singing "Vickie" from "Wild Guitar".

11

Ist world problems:

12

" '45 Epi Broadway"

Oh my.

13

" '45 Epi Broadway"

Oh my.

– ruger9

Oh, I caught so much hell for that here, but I was brokering a sale for him, had it appraised by Curt on what repairs may cost, and in the end, the cost of the guitar and repairs would not be recouped in a sale, so I let it go to someone who'd keep it.

14

Crowbone, you once told me how many guitars were in your house. We are not in the same league thankfully. However, I once considered getting a red Epi because it might have blended in with existing guitars but didn't do it.

I tell my wife when I buy a guitar and tell her the price. One time I didn't push the button and she gave me a speech about being too cautious. Funny thing was that shortly afterwards I did buy one for a little less than that one and got cold silence. Her reaction was positive when I opened the case.

There are two amps which I neglected to mention though. They weren't budget busters and I'm sure she's seen them in plain sight but choose to remain silent. Something suggests a quid pro quo situation here.

15

(Albeit aggravating from a liquidity-and-logistics perspective.) -- Proteus

Amen, brother. Do your survivors a HUGE favor and sell it all off during your lifetime, holding back just a few to keep your attention and interest. They will be forever thankful.

16

My collection -such as it is- is pretty much distributed evenly between the closet down the hall, the spare room, and the music-room-cum-wreck-room downstairs. But at a baker's dozen, the wife put her foot down. We are now at the "one in, one out" stage (unless I can come up with a VERY good reason), but I don't mind. I am more of a player than a collector, and each guitar I have is unique in that regard. No duplicates any more.

Likewise, I sold off the stage equipment (PA, Lights, towers, etc) a few years back and claimed back half my garage in the process. This alone went a long ways to keeping the family happy. It was a good day for me when Karen was able to actually park in the garage on a rainy afternoon.

18

This.

– audept

Haha, Audept!

I suppose, and I've made this supposition before, I should "thin the herd" and cut it down to just a few choice pieces. My intention when I started this was exactly that, but it was poor execution on my part, as I somehow never got the urge to sell once an interesting guitar came into my possession.

19

My solution to the "liquidity" problem is simple....all of my music gear, guitars, amps, keys, stereo equipment, CD's, LP's, etc. goes to my son upon my demise. This is a well known fact in my family, and there are no other siblings to object due to "value", so in my case, it is "easy". It does not go to my wife first, for her to decide (not that she wants to decide anyway)...it goes direct to my son. We even made it official in our "estate documents".

As to the constant GAS...it is getting more and more difficult for me to find something new that I want enough to spend the money on anyway, so...while I will undoubtedly always be able to find something "new" I want...I am starting to find myself looking at some of my "stuff" and feeling like I would be able to let it go...so, maybe, just MAYBE I finally have my GAS under control.

...heck, who am I trying to kid about that last GAS part. "wink"

20

Being broke makes it easier to stop buying guitars. I have three guitars right now and each one is an absolutely wonderful guitar. For the life of me I can't see the point on having loads of guitars. I have a cupboard for my guitars, and it fits about 6 cases. If I can't fit everything in it, I sell something to make way for something new. I rarely miss guitars I have sold. I have the room for a new guitar or two but not the $$. And I am surprisingly ok with that.

When I have 6 guitars there are always one or two which never get played. So I sell them - What is the point of having something you don't use when it could be giving someone else pleasure? I feel incredibly lucky that I have three such amazing guitars. Each one is something I have worked a lifetime to find, work out what I like, what sound is me, and what I like to play. They're not just great guitars but great guitars which really suit my way of playing and getting the sound in my head.

Sure I would like a new guitar, but not just for the sake of it. If and when I buy another it will be for a reason. Oh, and my wife is the best. She thinks my 6120 SSLVO is as beautiful as I do.

21

I can't play and have too much gear. Imagine what would happen if I could actually play...

22

Being broke makes it easier to stop buying guitars. JimmyR

Well, buying guitars makes it easy to go broke.

23

"Each one is something I have worked a lifetime to find, work out what I like, what sound is me, and what I like to play. They're not just great guitars but great guitars which really suit my way of playing and getting the sound in my head."

Exactly!

24

Being broke makes it easier to stop buying guitars. I have three guitars right now and each one is an absolutely wonderful guitar. For the life of me I can't see the point on having loads of guitars. I have a cupboard for my guitars, and it fits about 6 cases. If I can't fit everything in it, I sell something to make way for something new. I rarely miss guitars I have sold. I have the room for a new guitar or two but not the $$. And I am surprisingly ok with that.

When I have 6 guitars there are always one or two which never get played. So I sell them - What is the point of having something you don't use when it could be giving someone else pleasure? I feel incredibly lucky that I have three such amazing guitars. Each one is something I have worked a lifetime to find, work out what I like, what sound is me, and what I like to play. They're not just great guitars but great guitars which really suit my way of playing and getting the sound in my head.

Sure I would like a new guitar, but not just for the sake of it. If and when I buy another it will be for a reason. Oh, and my wife is the best. She thinks my 6120 SSLVO is as beautiful as I do.

– JimmyR

As another member would put it: ..... wisdom

Oddly enough the one guitar I caught some guff for was buying a '97 Gibson Firebird. She knew I had been looking at on eBay and thinks that I bid on it just to "feel the win".

I have 2 acoustics and 9 electrics with one electric (my Cort) having ridiculously high action that I keep it for slide playing.

My wife is very supportive and I have not bought a new guitar now since October '14 which was my '14 LP Traditional. She's only confused on why I waited to buy a house to start expanding as 7 of the 9 came after the house purchase in '09. But she knows that I play all of them because each one really is different and I have 2 amps (one has an issue) and just a looper and Wah pedal. She's heard each one and knows that they each have their own personality but until finances get better, I have no business buying anymore.

25

Gretsch is a tough guitar line for those of us who are financially challenged. All of the pretty colors and variations. I have been quite happy with my meager Electro/Synchromatic collection and those guitars are all fine guitars but still, My White Falcon calls me. Recently our band decided to tune a half step down and I did this with my G5191BK because Black just kind of fits that band very well.So last night I go to band practice and my White Falcon is just calling me. It's on it's stand,right in front of me the entire night. I went to grab it several times before my brain reminded me to grab the Tim Armstrong model.

I run all of my expensive purchases past Karolyn. It's just easier that way and heck,she's too smart not to miss the money.


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