Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Guitar man

Reg works casual shifts so has time to indulge his passion. He often goes down to Jerry’s on 7th Street, a two-storey music shop housing acoustic and electric guitars, drum kits, grands and baby pianos and a plethora of other musical instruments on dazzling display, seductively enticing even the most musically inept.

On the upper floor, rows of music books, arranged in genres from rock, to jazz and blues through to classical music, suited to any type of musical instrument are easily located. The books open up to the well-known tunes of pop and rock stars, inviting unrestrained pleasurable abandonment in playing a chart-topping tune.

Such an activity becomes a daily life-enhancing ritual, feeding souls and morphing into a healthy outlet as we traverse the inky landscape of surprise and intrigue, mindful in all that we may encounter as we journey and ride life's rapids.

Shelves in the music store are stocked with a range of strings for guitars, banjos, violins and cellos. The boxes line the walls close to the counter. They are neatly catalogued ensuring easy access for assistants, themselves seasoned musicians, living for music, entertaining appreciators, who know only that the sound is pleasing.

Reg takes his usual circuit around the store, slipping inside quietly, unobtrusively, not seeking to draw attention to himself. He moves casually along its sides, exhibiting an appearance of nonchalance at being in Jerry's; the jewel of music stores.

Reg's manner, however belies his true feelings. He is desperate to move swiftly to the back of the shop where electric guitars glisten and sparkle, enticingly in the dimmed lighting. An amp is freely available for those seeking a demo.

Today Reg has come with purpose. He has visited the store each week for the past six months, running his fingers across the line of guitars, settling on frets and choosing a Tele, plugging it into the amp. Each week, he selected the Tele, performing a different riff and putting it back again before leaving the store empty-handed.

Now he moves slowly towards the back of the shop giving the appearance of simply browsing and not particularly intent on buying anything in particular. He reaches the stringed instruments and excitement stirs.

He moves to the amp and plugs the Tele in. Putting the strap over his head, he pulls a pick from his back pocket and positioning the guitar on his hip, he slides his fingers up and down the neck. Selecting the middle pick up Reg belts out a well-known rock classic.

He's intoxicated and moves his body to the rhythm of the riff, grinding his hips and moving the Tele in an upwards movement. He closes his eyes and allows the sensations to wash over him, filling him with an inner confidence so powerful he feels as if he has almost supernatural abilities.

He embraces both the pleasurable activity and the metaphysical experience so intently that he envisages himself performing in front of a sea of people. Their unifying sounds of applause are so auditory, he feels the moment may further transcend him.

Reg does not realise an assistant is at his side, speaking with him until the person is standing directly in his line of vision. Reg stops the music abruptly. He pauses before speaking. "Oh man," he says, "the Tele does it to me every time."

The assistant laughs and says he has good taste and plays a good riff. Reg now having bounced back into reality, says, "Yes I'm takin' her today." They high five and connect on an intimate level known to those with a shared passion.

Reg walks towards the front counter, past the pianist twinkling the ivory keys on the grand piano.

With the Tele still strapped to his body, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his wallet. He gets served immediately and hands over the cash he has painstakingly saved over the past six months. Out the door he goes with the price tag still attached.

The shiny, dazzling Tele he fell in love with six months ago but had to walk away from each time, Reg is now taking home where he can repeat the exquisite experience he just enjoyed time...and...time....again.

Image courtesy of moggara12 FreeDigitalPhotos


  1. Hi, Allie-Millie!

    WOW! I wanted that Fender solo to go on and on because it was electrifying! "Whole Lotta Love" was a steamroller of a recording, a heavy metal monster that made a big impression on me when it was released. I bought the single and then the album.

    I can't tell if your post is a true story or fictional but it rings true regardless. Those of us who love music, make music and can't imagine a world without music are as passionate about it as Reg is. As he saved his money week by week and month after month and visited his special Tele in the store, he must have been worried that another customer might buy it before he could. Knowing the mentality (which I share) Reg would not even want another person to handle and play the instrument. Having someone else's fingerprints on "his" guitar would surely diminish the unbridled joy and satisfaction he experienced when he finally claimed her and took her home.

    I played drums and therefore I cannot relate to the thrill of making a melody with a high quality, clean sounding electric guitar, but every once in a while I came close to that state of ecstasy when I executed a perfect series of flamadiddles.

    Thank you once again for visiting me at Shady Dell Music & Memories, dear friend Allie-Millie, and have a safe and happy weekend!

  2. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    Thanks for post. Seeing the passion musicians display when playing musical instruments inspired me to write a short ditty LOL - pardon the pun (a ditty is referred to as a short song) and also shorty story :) (dite French). As it turns out I don't play any musical instruments only have a great love for music. I enjoyed the repertoire of musicians you featured on your blog, especially learning the origins of the song, 'We gotta get out of this place,' sung by Barry Mann. This song has been covered many times and I always enjoy each singer's interpretation and I also liked the Motown artists you presented. I'd be keen to read more from you on this genre, Shady Del Knight. Thanks again and stay tuned @ writing the rapids, cheers Allie-Millie