Saturday, June 09, 2007

You have the right to remain silent

One week into the shingles. It's getting better. I am telling myself that so I can get on with my life, but there is never a moment, even asleep, that I am unaware of it. I don't really care; I just want to be able to run/hike/kayak again.

Standing is the most comfortable, so I have spent a good portion of the last 48 hours standing, learning to play the bass. It showed up on my porch on Thursday afternoon. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning with a shiny new toy.

I messed around with it on Thursday and learned the basics.

Friday afternoon, I went down to Music Villa to pick up my guitar, which I had dropped off for an overhaul- some fretwork, a new saddle, neck adjustment, etc.

¬°Digression!--- If you live in Bozeman and you read this blog, I can't say enough good things about the guys at Music Villa. We are so lucky to be in a town this size and have a music store like it. The atmosphere is really welcoming, and you can play anything... and trust me, they have everything.

Nobody cops an attitude, because, hey, it's Bozeman. But the guys who work there are super-cool, patient ((and they are all pretty damn good musicians)), and they make it fun when you go in there. They get psyched for you when you are getting an instrument, and they encourage you to play everything, even if it is expensive and you don't know how to play it. I have been very happy with everything I have purchased there (((um... a lot))), and with their service and advice.

I was there to pick up my guitar, and they took me downstairs to the workshop to meet the luthier. He used to work at Gibson Acoustic in Bozeman. (There is a Gibson 'factory' here in Bozeman. They make their high-end acoustic guitars. The $ 5000 - $? guitars.)

He was in the middle of this two-man hoedown. He was playing a mandolin and the other dude was wearing a cowboy hat, sunglasses and a beard down the middle of his chest and playing a dobro. They were throwing down a tasty medieval groove.

When they finished, the luthier told me about what he did with my guitar. The ZZ-Top looking duder was emphatic about my guitar. He kept saying, "That's a sweet guitar, dude. I played it. Sweet." And while the luthier was talking, he would point and say, "Sweet."

I asked how long it would take to put a strap button on my bass and my twelve-string, which I brought, just in case. He said he could do it right then and there, and then took me to the "back room" behind the counter.

The back room has some couches, a frig, and the walls are full of what I assume are the owner's guitar collection. There are about fifty guitars hanging on the wall. There were some gorgeous custom Gibsons with insane mother-of-pearl inlays, gold frets, crazy tooling, and a mint, sunburst Les Paul that almost made me soil myself. With joy.

I want, I want. I need, I need. I lust, I lust. I covet. Lord, do I covet.

I poked around the store for a bit. I messed around on a huge, golden stand-up bass. That is the Mack Truck of stringed instruments.

Maybe I'll get one of those, too. And a grand piano. At the very least, I'd have a couple of nice conversation pieces.

Out on a date, in my daddy's car. We hadn't driven very far. There in the road, straight ahead, a car was stalled, the engine was dead. I couldn't stop, so I swerved to the right.

I'll never forget the sound that night. The screamin' tires, the bustin' glass, the painful scream that I



After retrieving my instruments, I ventured to the land of Bel(ls)grade to plug in and play.

Aden danced and we had fun, including but not limited to an electric bass and drum kit version of Dirty Deeds. Done dirt cheap.