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Fathers Day 2011

Mack and me and a few friends. Father's Day 2011.

This is my first Fathers Day without a father. My Dad passed away in February at the age of 95 and I wrote about him and his role in my guitar playing life at that time. So, instead, I’m going to talk about how being a father has influenced this very important part of my day to day existence. I played and performed regularly from the time I was 14 until I was in my early twenties-1974 was the last time I played regularly with a band. It was also, coincidentally, the first year I started to work in the TV/film industry. I was 22 and I knew that I just wasn’t a good enough player to go much farther as a musician than playing the local bars and the college frat parties. At 22, that was all good but I couldn’t see myself at the age of 45 playing to a bunch of frat boys doing “the worm” in a pool of beer. It gets old. So I put the guitars down. I sold all but one of them (I had a 64 335, a 68 SG, a Mosrite Ventures and a Martin D-28). I kept the D-28. I didn’t pick up a guitar again until 1981 when I was working as an associate director in New York at ABC Sports. I had seen some of the “modern” guitars of the day and thought I would take a walk along 48th Street just a few blocks from my office at 1440 Ave of the Americas. I went into “We Buy Guitars” and looked at a ’60 ‘burst, a ’54 Strat and a 58 dot neck. But, stupidly, I bought a Hamer Special across the street at Manny’s. I wanted something new-not the guitars I had already played years ago. That foray into playing lasted about a year and I put it away in ’82. I got married a couple of years later but I didn’t pick up a guitar again until my son, Mack, was born in 1987. Babies need a good bit of entertaining if they are prone to baby stuff like screaming, crying, bawling, colic and the occasional projectile vomiting. So, to calm him down I learned most of the Raffi and Tom Chapin catalogue and, of course, “Puff, the Magic Dragon” (drug references optional). I played them on the Martin of course. The Hamer didn’t come out again until 2001 when (after 8 years of piano) my son, then 13, asked if he could try my guitar and maybe take lessons. It was at that time that I started playing again in earnest. I sold the Hamer (and the D-28) and bought my first vintage guitar which, by the way was not a 335. It was an Epiphone Crestwood (I still love those old Epis) that cost me $550. My son started taking lessons and started getting to be a pretty decent player which, of course gave me the incentive to become a better player. We didn’t play together all that much but I was playing every day and accumulating an awful lot of guitars. I rediscovered the 335 by buying, first, a ’60 345 and then a dot neck 61 and a Trini Lopez and then I was buying so many I can’t remember them all. Mack is still a better player than I am but our styles are totally different and when he comes to visit- like today, I take him through the current inventory to show what cool guitars I’ve acquired recently. I think he indulges me a bit (that’s what sons are for, right?)-feigning a bit more interest than he actually has and I feel a little like Christopher Guest in Spinal Tap (“This one goes to 11”). But I do have to thank him for putting a guitar back in my hands back in ’87 and, indirectly leading me into my “second” career as a guitar dealer. It was that or the projectile vomiting.

2 Responses to “Fathers Day 2011”

  1. chinbb says:

    hey you have 2 block neck stoptails in the picture but only 1 on Gbase…is that other one not for sale? 😛

  2. OK Guitars says:

    No, the ’62 on the stand is sold and went out that day. The one I’m holding is the 64 with the defaced serial number. Everything is for sale.

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