I was doing such a good job of getting out a post every week, and then I didn’t. I’ve been super busy. I’ve got some blog posts floating around in my head that I meant to write by now. I’m working on my garage, working on my house, work has been a bit crazy, and to this day I have practiced my guitar every single day this year. Haven’t missed one day. I took my guitar to Seattle, I’ve taken it to Ottawa, I’ve taken it to Disney World. I’ve got a pick or two in my pocket at all times, and there are portions of songs that actually sound halfway decent.
All this started out as a New Years Resolution to read something other than the news during my Executive Time, but of course I can’t stop. I have found, bewilderingly, that one of my favorite parts about re-reading my old blog posts are the little timestamps that I drop, so here we are. CIA Director Mike Pompeo just met with Kim Jong Un, Paul Ryan quit, Congresscritters that lost their minds when Obama said that Cambridge police acted “stupidly” whilst arresting Harvard professor Henry Gates, which culminated in The White House Beer Summit, are now completely silent about presidential attacks on FBI Director Untruthful Slimeball, Michael Cohen’s law office got raided, Zuckerberg had a booster seat for his Senate apology tour, and Seth Myers delivered his baby in his building lobby. What a time to stop drinking.
Things that don’t involve Washington are much more agreeable to my mental health. So, I started exploring what there is to explore in the way of guitar info online. There’s a lot. A LOT! I had no idea. I have spent a lot of time on Ultimate Guitar looking at tabs, since, well, Ultimate Guitar started putting out tabs, and I used to get guitar magazines way back in the day. Middle School? High School? It’s been a while. But I am a bit surprised about just how much is written about just about every aspect of everything to do with guitars and music. It’s blissfully overwhelming.
I have found that when I type in /r/guitar instead of news.google.com, I have a much greater chance of being thoroughly entertained. A lot of that entertainment comes from looking at gear that I want. Now, picking a guitar out of a catalog is a lot like buying a car without driving it, but that’s fine. In my mind, they’re all amazing and I’m Eric Clapton. Here’s some of my more oddball favorites.
PRS John Mayer Silver Sky
Look again. Check the bird inlays and the 3-by-3 headstock. That’s a Paul Reed Smith John Mayer Silver Sky. People that care about these sorts of things passionately hate this guitar, and I can’t decide if I hate it or love it. I think it’s both, which is why I want one.
Here’s the beef: John Mayer was a Fender artist. Now, to back up a couple steps, when I want a guitar, I go to a music store, I impress the salesman with my maad skilz, and he tells me not to scratch it and offers it to me for the low low price of whatever’s on the sticker. If John Mayer wants a guitar, he used to just call his buddy at Fender and they’d send him 20. John used to get free Strats, specified any way that he wants it, Fender gets their guitar in John’s hands, people in the audience think they’ll be able to pick up girls playing Your Body is a Wonderland, which is probably true, and Fender sells a lot of guitars. Especially Artist Series guitars. So, about 3 years ago, John Mayer had a public break with Fender and signed on as a Paul Reed Smith artist. Two and a half years of close development between luthier and artist gets you… a Fender Stratocaster. And it’s expensive! $2200. You can spend whatever you want on a Stratocaster of course, but unless you get to the Custom Shop, your Strat is probably going to be considerably cheaper than John’s PRStrat.
Esoterik DR1 (Natural)
Gah this thing looks so cool! They have a matte black version, but I just love the look of the wood. Just look at it! Esoterik started as a Kickstarter to make the Ultimate Guitar, which, you know, there are some pretty good guitars out there. But, they had a cool design and people dug it, so these mad geniuses Kickstarted their way into the business.
Esoterik doesn’t make downmarket or midmarket models, so you pick the setup you want and they fill it out with all top-notch hardware. The guitar and neck are one layered piece which looks freakin’ cool. I love the way the strings come through the front, I love the bridge, I love the Seymour Duncan pickups, the wicked headstock. Just so cool.
Every one of these guitars are set up just for you in the factory, so you get to pick what you want. There’s about a 6 month wait for these, and they’re only a grand. Or, half a John Mayer Notacaster.
Parker Fly Mojo Flame
I want a purple guitar. But I’d take their green or black, if you can find one. Parker Fly’s are mostly only sold in specialty mom-and-pop distributors. There are none in Atlanta, but next time I’m in Seattle, I’m stopping by at Northwest Guitars and I’ll report back.
Parker Fly guitars are unique in that the necks are reinforced with carbon fiber, so they’re (relatively) super thin. Fretboard is carbon fiber and the frets are glued on. I used to watch a guitar instructor shred a Parker Fly online, I forgot his name, but it was before YouTube. I’m pretty sure it was a subscription service that I paid for. He was affiliated with an awesome program that I loved, now discontinued and forgotten, called Guitar Vision. It was kinda like Guitar Pro except that it would walk you through finger placements. I love Guitar Pro, but it’s still not the same. I digress…
I’ve loved the cool look of Parker Fly since the days that I had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on the wall of my bedroom. Nothing was good enough for Parker Fly, so they made their own tuners, bridge, tremelo set, everything. The only thing not custom to a Parker Fly on a Parker Fly are the strings. Nobody can work on it, you have to send it to Parker Fly for a simple fret job, but, come on. Look at it. It’s gorgeous. Which brings me to…
Duesenberg Starplayer Custom
It’s a Doozy.
Before I die, I am going to have a gold-on-black f-cut hollow body guitar. Seriously. BB King’s Lucille (Gibson ES-355, right about 4 grand) is beautiful of course, but there is nothing in that category more gorgeous than this Duesenberg Starplayer Custom. It tips the scales at $2700, or in other words, just a Stratocaster north of John’s guitar.
All I need now is more money, more wall space, more talent, and more time to play. And then maybe I’ll take a spin in a new Silver Sky Ferrari.