NGD: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Happy Enchilada

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Many moons ago when I was a much younger and hairier guy, I went off to college and made friends with a guy in my dorm who also played guitar. By the time our sophomore year rolled around, we decided to put an act together and play local coffeehouses and bars. I forget what kind of guitar he had to start with, but I had a Yamaha FG180 that I'd had since eighth grade. My abilities had outgrown it and I wanted to upgrade. The trigger came when my buddy came back from Thanksgiving break with a Guild D25 he had gotten at Axe In Hand in Dekalb, IL. It was an amazing guitar and I vowed I would get myself a Guild. I sold my Yamaha to a kid in the dorm for $20 less than I originally bought it new, and over Christmas break I visited the Axe In Hand in Decatur (my hometown) and was instantly awestruck.

There on the wall hung a pair of big beautiful curvaceous blonde jumbo Guilds - a matching pair - 6 and 12 strings. I opted for the 6 (much more utilitarian), which cost me a whole $400 (it was gently used, as was the 12). But if I'd had the moola, the 12 woulda gone home with me too. So for several decades I wistfully thought of it as "the one that got away."

I played the snot out of that big jumbo JF 30. It was my constant companion and my best friend. We played in coffeehouses, student pubs, and even one "family restaurant." And one magical night when we were having a party and the power went out. Met all kinds of ladies and even made enough $$$ to purchase a pair of kangaroo skin Tony Lamas. Then decades hence following my divorce, I was forced to part with it to make rent. I regretted it daily since. So a few years ago when I discovered Guild had seceded from the evil Fender empire (acoustics was something Fender never got right), I was elated. I rushed down to my local guitar merchant and put in an order for an F55. Then Ren Ferguson shut everything down for about 2 years to get production up to his lofty standards ... and I ended up waiting 2 years and 5 months for my new Guild. And it was worth every second - it's an amazingly well crafted and surprisingly light TONE CANNON. But I digress (frequently).

So a few days ago I stroll into the same local guitar merchant's shop MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS and there hanging on the wall is a big beautiful curvaceous jumbo Guild 12 string. The clouds parted and a beam of sunshine enveloped me and the guitar. I took it down and strummed a few cowboy chords and was instantly smitten. So I enquired.

It came from the estate of an older local gent who passed and his widow brought it in. It had a few hairline finish cracks and one down the top on the lower bout end of the bridge, but as luck would have it, my buddy and luthier was in the store at the time and assured me that was no big deal. So I asked the price and we came to an understanding. He wanted a mere FRACTION of what Guild wants for new ones. Plus I had a couple guitars and an amp on consignment, and this was a great way to clear the decks. Went home and snatched the cash out of my gun safe and went back the next day and now it's MINE!!! Here's some cheesecake for ya:

The 1991 Westerly-made JF 30-12 by itself:
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The F55 together with it (sorry about my foot and the cat toy and my son's game controller and awful lighting):
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... and here's the money shot, which I call "Babies got back." Nothing like a nice piece of maple ...
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So much for "thinning the herd." But at least I got rid of some things I wasn't thrilled with and got something I'll treasure.
And for a GAS addict like me, that's a good day. Plus my wife is very understanding, which is good since overnight temps are dipping down into the 20s lately and my truck isn't all that well insulated. So I'll be fouling the air on my back porch soon as I learn the chords to "The Wreck of the Ella Fitzgerald."

Cheers!
 

Happy Enchilada

Friend of Leo's
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God's Country
Wow. That is gorgeous!
Thanks! Nothing I mean NOTHING beats that curly and birdseye maple on the back and sides of these Guilds.
And they play as good as they look. The F55 has a skosh nicer wood and a bound neck and headstock, but other than that, they're about twins. I wish Guild would bring the F30 back - it would offer all the nifty things about a Guild jumbo without the upcharge for the jewelry. They make an F40, but it doesn't have the maple back and sides. Pity.
 

FMA

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Apr 29, 2003
Posts
5,597
Your story reminds me that years and years ago, I saw a Vox Phantom in a pawn shop, priced at $50. I looked at it and thought, who the hell would want one of those things? Now, decades later, I wish the younger version of me was smart enough to snap that thing up. Oh well, live and learn...

Anyway, nice Guilds. Always loved Guild 12-strings. They are beasts.
 




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