Our greeters at the entrance of the Gibson Guitar Factory. *Drool*
I consider myself a big fan of guitars. A big fan. I’ve been playing guitar since I could strum, following in the steps of my older brother James’ super cool rock-n-roll lifestyle. (He played in a killer rock band, called Shunt.) So it might surprise you to hear I’ve never owned a Gibson Guitar.
(Disclaimer:The next couple paragraphs are a musician dribbling on about guitars. Shop talk, you could say. If you can’t stomach any shop talk, feel free to skip to Paragraph 5. Otherwise, read on my friends!)
As I was saying, I’ve never once owned a Gibson Guitar. In fact, I’ve never held a single one in my arms for more than half an hour or so. But they’re amazing… I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily the Holy Grail of guitars, but they’re up there – top 3 contenders for sure. I mean, it’s Gibson. But I’ve never once had the money nor the wherewithal to get one, which is a damn shame.
I could say the reason is because I could never afford one, which could be true, but it’s a stretch. (If Kasey and I could afford to save enough money for this trip, I surely could have bought one at any time.) I think the real reason is my irrational fear of buying anything valuable. You see, this fear stems from my poor track record with valuables. In the last 4 years, I’ve either lost or destroyed the following:
- 5 Cell Phones
- Van Morrison – Moondance. Vinyl, Original Press from 1970
- 1 Snowboard
- 2 Pairs of Snowboard Boots
- 1 Honda Civic
- Ol’ Ethel, a faithful Yamaha Guitar. (Would love this back actually… If anyone ever sees it.)
- Endless ¼ inch Patch Cables
- 1 Shure SM58 Microphone
- 3 Mic Stands
… I could go on, but for my own dignity I will stop there. Nor will I post the details on the loss or destruction of any of these. However, you can clearly see that I’m not necessarily ‘easy’ on my stuff. None of the ruin or loss of these items was ever intentional, I’m just absent-minded. I hope?
Anyways, my point remains, this is why I haven’t ever owned anything nice for more than a span of a few months. That’s why I was ecstatic to tour the Gibson Guitar Factory in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s where dreams go to turn into epic rockstar journeys. At least, I hoped so.
We did an hour-long tour of the factory where they manufacture Hollow and Semi-Hollow Body Electrics. (These Babies.) It was eye opening, informative, and inspiring. I had always toyed with the idea of being a Luthier if this musician thing doesn’t pan out, but we’ll see how that all goes down the road.
Kasey and I got to literally watch every step of a guitar being made. From original body and neck cuts, all the way through to painting and polishing and then packing for shipment. I watched one of B.B. King’s Lucilles getting fretted! AGH! It was absolutely wild to watch these workers putting together masterpieces so… Nonchalantly? I was literally inside Santa’s workshop for an hour, and the workers just didn’t understand my excitement. I wanted to touch everything. I wanted to see the look on the face of every person who opened up that guitar case at the other end of the line, see their reaction, watch them display it proudly on the wall, and see whose hands would make that intricate blend of wood, wire and transistors sing. And then I found my dream guitar.
The Gibson ES195 with a Bigsby Setup. Hey, Santa…
Maybe some day I’ll grow up and I’ll learn to take care of my stuff, and when that time comes I will buy that ES 195 complete with a Bigsby Setup. Just don’t tell Kasey, that’ll be our little secret. Early mid-life crisis? Costs about that much… So it’s a date.
I literally don’t remember anything else of Memphis. It was a cool town and we spent time on Beale Street, ate some Alligator, (It tastes like chicken. Seriously. Delicious.) but… that’s about it. So, in summation, I achieved true happiness at the Gibson Factory, stuffed my gullet with gator, and all was okay. I think Kasey had fun too… Although I didn’t think to ask her. Crap.
Until next time, One Love!
Also, if there’s anything that you know of that I have broken/lost/misplaced, please don’t hesitate to comment. I should start keeping track of this…