Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out of the ashes - Baby is well

Thank you Linda, for prodding me to do this. I may never have put any of this together without your asking.

Sometimes we need to just kick off our shoes...socks too, and grab the guitar, noodle around and do some simple stuff.

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Maybe not quite as laid back as Grayson Capps, especially if you're female, but you get my gist? We complicate our music so many times and then wonder why it is we can't relax with it.

It's funny y'know, but from the moment I picked up my guitar so many years ago now, I wanted to play what I was listening to on the radio - or what I was hearing from my albums. Just exactly like I was hearing it. Little did I know as a kid that this stuff was multimixed! The sound was manipulated and the tracks layered! And then mixed some more.
I anguished for years, thinking I would never play as well as I wanted to. I had fun doing what I was doing but there was always that feeling of inadequacy - sad huh?

Well, fast forward a few more years to my band years. Though I was playing an acoustic guitar I was still required to use a pick up and amplify the guitar. Not the soft sound of thumb or plectrum on the strings - no, it still needed to be artificial sound.

Then an event happened that took even that minuscule talent away from me. A monumental event that sank me for a number of years. Many on you who read my blog regularly will know what I'm referring to, but for those who don't, I had a brain aneurysm which paralyzed my left side and meant learning all the things I'd learned as a baby over again - things like sit up, walk, talk and use my hand and arm again.

But I've always been resilient - I don't take any credit for that - I just am. And my determination to get better made many of these things return fairly fast. Within four years I was doing everything again and while not climbing mountains or playing hockey due to an noncomplying leg, I am in the process of learning to play my guitar again. Perhaps the luck of the genes.
But whatever it is, I'm now in the long process of climbing out of that damn deep pit I was put in.
Odd too, because I truly believe that if my dear old guitar hadn't been hurt bad, I may never have attempted coming back from my own hurt. There you have it though - the mystery of the way life works sometimes. From something bad comes something better. You hear people say it all the time, and probably have even given that advise out yourself, but until it hits home, you don't realize just how true it can be.

Once I got my guitar fixed I could not wait to play it again. But being a 45 year old instrument it needed a little more than just the cracks mended and a shine up. As I soon learned, there was also a matter of tuning keys that actually tuned. The old ones slipped, or snarled and wouldn't turn. Yes, we can buy those things in any good music store, but what do shiny new and modern pegs look like on an old guitar? Not right. Not at all! I did not want to replace 1964 tuning mechanisms with 2009 anything!

So I wrote to the Framus company in Germany asking them if they could recommend a place for me to get replacements.
After some correspondence with historian and descendant of the Framus founders family, Dr. Christian Hoyer, I was told that, yes, they were happy to announce - they could replace them for me themselves! They needed to see photos of my guitar as well as the tuners themselves and they would go from there. They still had access to them from their shop in Markneukirchen Germany.
Not only that, but because my guitar is a model they don't have in their museum, they were interested in having pictures of mine for the museum as well as a second edition of Dr. Hoyer's book about the Framus company - Framus: Built in the Heart of Bavaria.

The tears I'd shed at seeing my guitar destroyed by careless people became tears of joy. And so now thanks to the expediency of the Framus company the tuners are sitting beside my guitar awaiting installation. It cannot happen too soon!

Thank you so much
Dr. Christian Hoyer for your assistance in this. Without your help, the guitar would be destined to sit idle, a reminder of things that used to be.

In the meanwhile though, while waiting, I was still without any guitar at all. Nothing to play...not any way to make my fingers work or make music at all, complicated or otherwise - Without a guitar, even a simply two chord lilt was impossible.
So something had to be done.

Since I've played a 12 string guitar for most of my life, there were times I thought I'd like to invest in a six string as well, but finances never allowed that to happen. And I would absolutely never give up the 12 string for a six. Once you get all that sound from a guitar you're just not willing to give it up.

So - while all this was happening, Christmas was approaching and someone in my life was taking serious notes of all this. Subsequently on Christmas morning I found myself the happy owner of my new Martin D-18.
If someone had told me five years ago that any of this was possible I know I would have rolled my eyes and thought them a bit daft. Well, guess who was wrong? And guess who is very happy to announce they were wrong?

This post is a bit of a ramble I know, but I just wanted to tie up some loose ends and remind people that there is always a silver lining to things even if it looks bleak. Never assume that reaching the bottom means you will stay there.
Now if you don't mind, I think I will go and make a little music...


Len said...

I'm looking at 3k of guitar laying there, right? Awesome! My fingers itch.

Bethany said...

Thanks for the update, Ginger. I was wondering how everything turned out after Gary said you'd found a guy to fix the Framus for you. I guess you couldn't have asked for anything better. Good deal girl! I am so happy for you. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving human. <3

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