It sounds painfully obvious to say it, but if you’re a Thalia fan, then you’re a fan of guitars.
And you probably own a few of them, too.
As we all know, the right number of guitars to own is always one more than you currently have. Yes, there are individuals that have a monogamous relationship with one instrument. But we’re betting that the majority of readers have a couple of six strings on the go at any given time.
We all like to buy guitars. However, not all guitar buyers are alike. In our experience, there are three kinds of guitar buyer out there. And, there are pros and cons to each approach.
The Kid in the Candy Store
When you’re a kid in a candy store, you want to sample everything that the guitar market has to offer. Whether it’s a semi-hollow, double neck, baritone or baroque guitar, you need it in your collection.
The major upside to being a Kid in a Candy Store is that you end up with lots of guitars. But, buying guitars as often as you do means making some compromises. If you’re a six-string slinger who wants a bit of everything, there’s a ceiling on the amount you can spend per instrument. Yes, you have the most guitars, but they’re not always the best guitars.
You’ve also got the headache of justifying each additional guitar purchase to your spouse. We understand why the Les Paul with the P90s is different from the Les Paul with Humbuckers that you already own. Unfortunately, they probably don’t…
The Endless Swapper
The Endless Swapper shares some characteristics with the Kid in the Candy Store, but they differ in one key respect. The Endless Swapper purchases instruments at about the same rate as the KITCS, perhaps even faster. However, while the KITCS is a hoarder of all things strung, the Endless Swapper is often done with an instrument almost as soon as they’ve bought it.
The advantage to this approach is that the Endless Swapper is rarely lacking in capital. Indeed, if they’re a savvy shopper, they’re often making a profit on their purchases and using that to fund the next instrument. As a result, they buy better guitars than the KITCS, while still getting to sample a wide range of gear.
And the downside? The Endless Swapper is almost never satisfied. They’re constantly searching for the next guitar revelation, but rarely content with the instrument they end up with. Even worse, they’re prone to seller’s remorse. You often don’t realise you’ve got a good thing until it’s gone, and the Endless Swapper is guilty of selling on axes they really shouldn’t have.
The Big Spender
Unlike the Kid in the Candy Store or the Endless Swapper, Big Spenders don’t buy guitars very often. But when they do, they do it in style.
Big Spenders favour the finer things in life; custom shop models, custom builds and vintage icons. And, they’re not afraid to splash the cash on them either. Their thinking is, “why buy a Porsche every year when I can have a Ferrari every ten?”
The biggest plus to being a Big Spender is that you end up with some seriously nice guitars. You only play the crème de la crème; the instruments in your collection are the envy of many a guitar player out there.
On the flip side, though; you don’t get very many of them. Variety is the spice of life after all, and the Big Spender never samples the range of guitars that the KITCS or ES does. Also, when you’re a Big Spender, every guitar purchase is a serious decision. Spur of the moment purchases, impulse buys and serendipitous pawn shop finds are few and far between for the Big Spender, who has to agonise over the pros and cons of each buy. When you’re spending big money, it’s not just a guitar; it’s an investment.
Which type of guitar buyer are you? And are there any other types we didn’t mention in this post. As always, share your stories in the comments.
Cal Jam doesn’t get the same love as festivals like Monterey Pop or Woodstock. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have the late ‘60s countercultural cred, happening a full five years after the summer of love reached its peak. Maybe it’s because it was staged to be filmed for television (as part of ABC’s legendary “In Concert” series). Why do I love California Jam so much? It is because it established the record for the largest concert sound system ever assembled? Was it because it featured the first ever appearance of the Good Year blimp at a music festival?
Guitar lessons eventually followed. But, classical guitar didn’t grab me in the same way that my own freeform compositions had. Firstly, I didn’t know any of the songs I was supposed to be learning. Secondly, it required the kind of co-ordination and finger dexterity that I was – at that time at least – far too impatient to master. “I read somewhere that there are these things you can use to hit the strings so you don’t have to use your fingers. I think they began with a P,” I once told my guitar teacher. “The thing that begins with a P is called practice,” he replied. He was right, of course, but that didn’t mean I wanted to hear it.
This week, to satisfy my yearning for live music, I’ve taken a deep dive into my record collection and rediscovered some live favourites. Given how much joy I’ve got out of these records, I thought I’d share them with you today. Putting together this list, I’ve tried to take the road less travelled. I didn’t want to put together a list of classic live albums that everyone already knows like the back of their hand. Instead, my three picks serve as alternatives to some of those classic albums, offering a new look at some legendary bands.