This video was posted in a comment by reader JimBob. I’d seen the video referred to in news broadcasts, but this was the first I’d seen it.
It struck a chord (no pun intended) with me, because I used to travel by air with my beloved Gibson Dreadnaught, which is forty-five years old (pictured here). I even foolishly checked it with regular luggage a couple times, only to watch it get bounced around on the luggage carousel. I learned that it is way better to “gate check” it, but even then it is at the mercy of airport luggage peeps, and, as the story in the video points out, sometimes that amounts to a giant FAIL.
I decided I needed a traveling guitar – one I could bring on planes and to blogmeets without worrying about it. Having admired a guitar that the Late, Great Rob “Acidman” Smith played at a blogmeet in Jekyll Island, Rob explained that it was reasonably priced and he said, “I can get you one like it if you want.” I said, “Sure,” thinking that it was a bit of blogmeet bluster.
I few days later I got a call from Rob who was calling from his buddy’s music store. He said, “Jeeyum, I found you a sweet guitar. Listen to it.” With that, he played it over the phone and observed that it “Played real nice.” He concluded, “Buy this guitar, and if you don’t like it, I’ll buy it from you.”
I bought the guitar (here is a picture from the web), intending that it would be a knock-around – don’t-worry about-it-guitar. That was in July of 2005.
I brought my Travelin’ Guitar with me to a Blogmeet in Austin, where I got the chance to play with Rob again. He was thrilled that I was happy with the guitar that he hand-picked for me. That was in May of 2006. Little did I know that Rob would be dead the following month. I wrote about his death and our improbable friendship here.
As you may well imagine, what was to be my knock-around, don’t-worry-about-it guitar is now precious to me. I have since bought another Washburn (similar, but not the same as the one Rob picked out), again from Rob’s friend’s store in Georgia, and it has become my travelin’ guitar. I think that Rob would agree that it “plays real nice.”
Strange how that humorous video brought all that back. Go figure.