One of my favourite possessions in the whole world.

In this day and age of digital ownership, crazy things like record collections or having enough books to fill a library are frowned upon by certain people…I know, who knew? Not me thats for sure! BUT there are some items that are simply irreplaceable.

A TV, Xbox, Playstation, phone, laptop…I’ve often seen these items described as ‘things I couldn’t live without’. I totally disagree with that, because they only provide access to information and interaction. They do not have an ‘impossible to replace’ quality. Smash your iphone? Go get another one. You can get one that should be exactly the same very easily (I didn’t say cheaply though).

What am I getting at? Well, I’m a guitarist/bassist, have been since I was 16 years old. I’ve owned at least 15 different instruments over them years (still got 9 of them) but there are 3 in particular that mean the world to me and nothing in the world could fill the void in my life if I lost any of them.

My first guitar: the one I learnt to play on, gigged, recorded with and has had almost every original part replaced on it. This is pure emotional attachment to the piece of wood. My Dad (also a guitarist/bassist) told me that if I sold my first guitar I would regret it for the rest of my life, as he has/did. I will never sell it. EVER.

The second guitar in question belonged to my uncle. My aunty gave it to me just after he died. Regardless of the fact that it is a 1964 Hofner Senator Gold Top (basically a seriously special guitar) I could never part company with it because I have always felt it keeps my uncle with me.

The third guitar is the one I want to tell you about: my 1994 Fender Jaguar Baritone. What makes this one different? Well this is the only one I bought and had (stress, had) no emotional attachment to when I bought it.

I bought it from a friend after a trip to London. I almost spent my rent money (and more) on one in a shop on Denmark Street, but had an attack of rational thought which said, “You can not afford this! It doesn’t matter how much you want it!” A few weeks after the London trip, thanks to a local message board and few phone calls, this one came up for sale for less than half the price of the one in London. I got the call from my friend around 3pm, by 5.30pm I had bought it and taken it to Gamlin’s Music Centre for it to be set up the way I like my guitars.

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What makes this one special?

I’m not sure. I’m really not. Every instrument is different, they can be similar, but they all have a certain something, the pieces of wood that go into making it, the day it came of the factory (we all know we work better at certain times of the week), the wiring…I wish I could put my finger on it. My guess is, every factor was right at the right time and this was the guitar that came off the assembly line.

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Every person who has played it is blown away by how well it plays, sounds and feels. When I contemplated selling it to exchange for a different model, I was called insane by one friend, had 3 or 4 other people trying to tear my arm off to buy it, the gent who does my guitar work said, “DO NOT EVER SELL THAT! YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANOTHER ONE LIKE IT!” and last but not least my Dad said, “If you ever think about selling that, I’m having it.”

I’d realised midway through the week this went through my head, that I was being daft, and yes I’ve decided never to let it go. In fact, I’ve pretty much decided to never let it out of my sight. It has become my ‘living room’ guitar, if I’m sat on the sofa, it is literally within arms reach. This is where its been for 2 years.

IMG_8086I recently loaned it to a friend for a month, honestly I was lost without it! I tried 4 of my other guitars in the living room spot and none of them came close to satisfying the itch this one does.

The magical thing about being a musician is picking up/sitting down to play for 5 minutes and then realising it’s an hour later. My brain could be in a complete tailspin and 30 minutes of playing this and everything is better. I guess that’s the power of a beautiful instrument.

I can not tell you how many times I’ve been late simply because of this guitar. To my friends and family, I guess you now know why I’ve been late soooo many times.

I’m sorry, it wasn’t my fault, it was the Fender Baritone’s.

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04. March 2014 by Michael Partridge
Categories: Changed my life, Music, Personal, Photography | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Keep the guitar, but you need new shelves, those are about to collapse!

    If it’s a baritone does that mean it’s tuned down halfway to being a bass?

    • The shelves will stay until they actually collapse! Those units aren’t cheap!

      Baritone is a halfway, if you tuned a guitar down to BEADF#B it would be similar, but the baritone has a longer scale neck so the strings don’t get too ‘flappy’.

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