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#33: This Machine Kills Fascists

February 4, 2009

My sister and I have a lot of competition when vying for our father’s attention. Of course it’s not with each other, no, it’s with the other girls. The guitars.

Dad collects vintage guitars, with some new and reissues sprinkled in.
I am hardly equipped to discuss them in detail and wouldn’t ordinarily spend the energy focusing on them here, but it’s for a particular reason that I’m so inclined to ogle and leer at them.

The wood on these is textured beyond telling, and takes my breath away. A trip home is never short of its oohs and ahs. Dad explains that back in the old days of making guitars (through the mid-60’s is my guess) much of it had already been laying around in factories and warehouses aging, sometimes for decades. So, the wood on a guitar made in the 1950’s or 60’s could easily be 100 years old. All that character is also makings for the perfect sound.

The wood expands and contracts with the humidity in the air, which causes the “checking” effect in the wood pictured below. Dad says this drives him “crazy”, in a good way. Me too. The most beautifully aged items always seem to be of natural origins (wood, leather…)

Early 60’s Epiphone
epi
Close-up
epi2

Early 60’s Gibson Hummingbird
Hummy

Sunburst Les Paul
LP

Late 50’s Les Paul Junior
LPJ
Close-up
LPJ close

And this little one is perhaps my favorite for personal and aesthetic reasons. It makes me want to learn to play like Mama Maybelle.
1930’s Dobro
Dobro
But anyone who knows me, knows that if I learned to play I’d also no doubt take to singing… and in “these difficult times”, no one needs that.

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