My pal John Rollins recently posted something that I think you might want to read…
“You know, I will be 69 next month and have had so many guitars go through my hands. I have owned many of the old instruments when they were not old. I love old guitars, though – even though many of them have been at best “so-so.” Many were simply worn out and played to death. Some were heavy as tanks. The frets were too small. The radius was small. There was no “magic”
in many of the old guitars. But from time to time, a special guitar would come along – usually an old strat or tele for me … light, wonderfully resonant, guitars that had that “dry and airy” tone with a tele that was slightly microphonic and made me think I was Roy when I turned up the little 5-watt tube amp to the max. I had a brand new 1964 strat that was heavy as hell and I loved it. But my love came not from the fact that this strat had “magic,” but simply from the fact that I did not know any better. I kept that guitar close to me and actually fell asleep with it very close on a couple of nights. The Black Diamond strings were railroad tracks.
Over the years, I have come to realize that I am always looking for and will never find “the one.” Many of the new guitars that I have played are wonderful in so many ways. Very gifted people have learned to make what are, in my opinion, “better” guitars. Frets. Radius. Pickups. Wood selection.
Tones. Woods. I keep looking for the “the one” and now know that it is the quest, not finding “the one,” that is most important. I also realize that I have made some fine friends along the way. I expect that it is the friendship that is more important. Along the way I have had conversations with trading friends about family and life and loss and joy. As I grow older, I appreciate more fully the importance of such friendships.
It is a joy to be part of a community of people who love guitars and who are looking for “the one” and really do not want to find it. Such is the journey.”
Amen! Thanks to Johnny “Purple Hayes” Rollins for his well formed and eloquent musings!