“Honest, I wasn’t planning on collecting guitars. They just came along.”
I have got my first guitar when I was about 11. It was made in Mexico and purchased at Gibson’s. It didn’t last long due to the neck being unreinforced and me being 11.
The next time a guitar came along was when I was 29 and married with a 2 year old son. I bought a 1976 Epiphone FT 200, USA Bicentential model, at the Melody Shop in Tyler, Texas. (I am telling you, I LOVE MUSIC STORES.) The FT200 cost about $350. I played it and help to lead worship for Young Life in Tyler. My wife, Linda, and I were counselors for Young Life.
The next guitar came along in 1986? maybe (age 39). Not sure when but I’ll never forget how. Garage sale…. I was looking for a guitar case for the FT200. They had a case – $50. I’ll offer $25, of course. I picked up the case and it had a guitar in it. A Sigma SDR 28, a Japanese made replica of the Martin D 28 ($2500). It was brand new. The couple had been given the guitar by an uncle and they didn’t play it — ever. I offered $25 and it was mine.
The next guitar came along when I was 43. My friend owned a pawn shop and right there in the front of the store was a Martin D 12 20, Dreadnought 12-string beauty with my name on it. Not really, it had the Martin name on it but I know you know what I mean. Just $500 dollars which I didn’t have so I traded the FT 200 and the SDR 28 for it. Not a good idea. The neck was warped and a 12-string is hard to play. Kept it about 2 years and sold it for $500 to fund daughter’s school trip to New York.
A Time without a Guitar
After I sold the Martin, for first time in years I was without a guitar. It was 1993. I felt lost without a guitar in the house. It wasn’t that I had played the guitars I had every day but at least they were there if I wanted to. LIFE LESSON.
Then in 1994, at my 10th Anniversary at my church, my brother gave me a guitar. It was unbelievable. It was my first high end guitar, Fender 1200 SX, with a real authentic heavy duty case with a lock. Up to now it had just been chip board and black vinyl cases or nothing. And it was a gift from my little brother, aka, my younger brother.
Next was the Baby Taylor. I purchased in 1994 to take to Romania to play for Vacation Bible school in the Northern Romanian mountains. The children loved it and they would sing in English.
The next guitar I bought had a very unusual shape. A real innovation in guitars. It was made by Martin Guitars. It was the only Martin I could afford. It was the Martin Backpacker. Sounds really good for a small guitar.
- Learning Guitar Now
- 1976 Epiphone FT 200 | click to hear FT 200
- 1994 Fender 1200 SX
- 1994 Baby Taylor
- 1991 Martin Backpacker | click to hear the Backpacker
- 2003 Mandola made in Romainia
- 2009 Collings D3 | click to hear the D3: sample 1 | sample 2 | sample 3