This is what loving music is all about.
There I am. It’s 8 AM on a cold Dublin morning and I’m queuing up outside my favorite guitar shop waiting for its massive yearly sale. My legs are numb with cold, the skin on my face is tingling with the icy breeze.
But, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
When every other Dubliner who has a hangover like mine is in bed nursing themselves, I’m standing in a queue of 200 people waiting for the 10 o’clock opening of MusicMaker’s doors.
I’ve already done my reconnaissance mission last week to pick out which guitar I’m out for. Word is that I could save myself a couple of hundred in the sale.
Sure, I could go online and buy it secondhand from some guy in Spain. But nothing lives up to actually seeing the guitar, holding it in your hand, giving it a strum and knowing this is the one for me!
Fact: New guitars have new guitar smell! That fragrance of Rosewood and lightly oiled fret board. Most folk don’t notice it. But I do. And if you love guitars, you do too.
Two hours after arriving and with my legs starting to cramp from the now arctic gusts the queue finally starts to move. There must be 100 people ahead of me. Bastards. All the banter is about what gear the people in front will be getting.
“Chances are they’re buying all those Marshals which have hundreds off”.
“Probably a load of drummers. I saw huge discounts on their kits.”
I don’t care. I’m out to get myself a really top-notch guitar. Something I can have for years. To cherish, love and adore. Till death us do part.
I jokingly added “If I can’t get the one I want, then I’m going for the Flying-V !!!”. This dinosaur of 80s guitars has been sitting in the shop 30 years and would look comical with me. Trust me, I’m not the kind of guy who would be let into a heavy metal band anytime soon.
The queue nudges forward. Word filters back they’re letting in ten people at a go.
Looks like all the boxes coming out contain big speakers and drum kits. I’m in luck.
Another hour passes before I finally nudge up to the door. We’re ushered in and the guitar shop is wall-to-wall with amps, boxes and guitars… and people. People everywhere with anxious looks on everyone’s face. People are scrambling to get the guitar they had their hearts set on. Everything must go.
I make a beeline for the Gibsons and the Gretsches passing the acoustic guitar section which looks cleared out. Bummer.
Ouch. Looks like the Gibsons are still too pricey for my pocket. On to the Gretsches.
And that’s when I saw her. Hanging there on the wall between a whole bunch of bright sparkly guitars. She’s not gaudy. Just subtle and understated. Every little curve, golden machine head and carving were absolute perfection.
How was I meant to resist?
So much for the other guitars I’d seen. Neil the guitar guy appeared, as if by magic. After some hasty banter he headed off to get me a case for my new guitar.
So I’m sitting there on an amp holding the neck of my soon-to-be new guitar, to make sure no one else takes her away from me. In all this chaos I’m a little island of calm and contentment.
I’m looking around and it struck me that guitars are for men, what shoes are for women. Real objects of desire that we just cannot resist.
I handed over my cash, got my receipt and with a big happy head left to make the journey home and find out how she plays. I’d have ran if I could have (run).
And you know the best part of it??? I really only wanted to get an acoustic and had no intention of buying an electric. Some things you just cannot resist.
PS She sounds great. We’re going to be very happy together.