While on a road trip with my teenaged son this summer we made lots of stops at music stores. When we started off I had to take it easy. My son was not interested in basses and such but was much more interested, to my chagrin, in checking out firearms and cacti. We at least the cactus part was okay.
We drove from Vancouver to as far as Flagstaff Arizona then over to the coast and back to Vancouver. The whole trip was about two weeks.
For the trip, my son had loaded his iPod full of music. Most of which he’d never heard before but loaded them because his 70’s rocker parents had suggested it.
So for countless hours of driving from town to town we listened to Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and almost all of the Beatles studio albums and and six CD’s of Anthology.
By the time we got to San Jose my thirteen year old had been converted. He had become big fan of 60’s and 70’s music and now thought that John Lennon was one of the coolest people ever.
Each evening, from the hotel, I would Google the local music stores trying to find something of interest, while keeping in mind that his attention span for hanging out in music stores was not too long.
I came across Guitar Showcase as a possible store to check out. The website was not too flashy and even the name of the store didn’t lead me to hold out hope that this would be a great store to see.
Driving toward the store it seemed rather unassuming. It really looked like just another small store in a strip mall. But, once in, I was rather pleasantly surprised. Once past the front part of the store I found that the store was actually quite large.
But the real surprise came when looking around the corner in the back of the bass section. Another room. A rather large room with three walls of glass cases filled with rows and rows of vintage guitars.
Suddenly I’m a fan and now I know why this is called “Guitar Showcase”.
For some reason I didn’t bring the camera into the store, but take my word, this is yet another great location to search for cool, interesting and collectable basses and guitars.
So with all these great instruments, and I guess the many hours of classic rock, something twigged in my son. He wanted a guitar.
Now you have to know that I’m the one that often slips outside the bounds of rational financial planning and frugal and reasonable spending. On this trip I swore to myself that I WOULD NOT BUY A BASS (I will not buy a bass. I will not buy a bass…) So what do you do when you see a budding Jimi Hendrix? What if his mom didn’t buy little Jimi a guitar? What if the worlds most innovative guitar player never got started??? Maybe, flash forward to 2021, and my son is filling those stadiums with screaming teens. Then, while accepting his Grammy or Juno, no Grammy, he says, “I owe it all to my parents for buying me that first guitar back when I was thirteen.” How could I mess with fate???
So there we are facing a wall of Stratocasters. Or should I say Jim Hendrix guitars. The one that catches his fancy is bright red. Actually two, one with a maple neck, one with a rosewood neck. I suggest the rosewood. The one he likes has two humbuckers instead of the traditional three single coil pickups. It’s a new issue called a black-top. (No black on it?!) But its the one he wants and fortunately it’s a Mexican Fender. A really decent guitar for someone starting out.
While playing the guitar he noticed a buzz in the nut on the A string. The salesman in the store was awesome. (Sorry I don’t remember your name) He took the guitar to workbench in the back, adjusted the neck, setup the bridge and did an overall setup on the guitar. Really nice of him and so good for my son to have a nice guitar that was nicely setup.
So strictly speaking, I DIDN’T BUY A BASS. But who could say no to get their son their first guitar?
On Guitar Showcase, I have to say its a really good store. Lots of selection from student to serious player or collector. And most of all staff that cares enough to make sure that even the novice player get a good guitar.
BTW The cost of the guitar was not an expense. It was an investment. My son says he’ll buy me a house when he gets famous!