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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by raysachs, Jun 8, 2018.
He's got more stock than the music stores I grew up with.
Why is it
As mentioned son after the OP, Willie is pretty much the only big star that plays only one guitar.
If you want to call the entire universe of Strats or Teles 'one guitar' , well, which one?
It isn't his vast collection that bothers me. I think it's incredible. I love that he shares it with people via media, etc. Looking at it gives me anxiety though. Hell, looking at my own does to an extent.
It's his bland music that bothers. It's just so middle of the road. Great guitarist sure, but I want something with balls. He's the eunuch of blooz marketed appropriately.
What's up with us? (What’s ‘wrong’ with us?)
What's up with us, AND with most big star guitarists is that many of us very much enjoy having a variety of guitars, even if they are not ALL our #1 guitar.
I am fortunate to have an extensive variety of guitars. Some I don't play very much, but I appreciate having them all nonetheless. I don't have a #1, as I appreciate a number of them very much. Nor do I have to satisfy an established "sound" nor set-list-defining "tone" for anybody other than myself. So, I enjoy the variety and play them as my mood guides me.
If I were still performing, or touring, I would probably only take two or three guitars with me - there wouldn't be a need to bring all of the guitars that I happen to have or appreciate. And that would be an unnecessary burden.
Ray "MOST really huge identifiable players SEEM to have one basic guitar" is the key here. “SEEM”. Though they may appear in public with one guitar (much or most of the time) there can be no doubt that backstage there are other guitars, if for no other reason than as "backup" insurance.
And well beyond that, they are quite likely to have numerous other guitars at home that never go "on the road", for a variety of reasons (too special, too valuable, too rare, un-needed tone qualities for the set list, not practical, etc).
I wear the same pair of flip flops most of the time I appear in public, so those who see me out and about might assume that they are the only footwear that I use. That would be an incorrect assumption!
My hunch is that most well-known and very accomplished guitarists have far more guitars that they dabble with at home than the general public has any awareness of. (Aside from the extreme cases like Bonamesa, who exhibit quite an extreme in acquisition.)
And finally, a great many people (famous and totally unknown) really enjoy great variety in their guitars, their cars/trucks/SUVs, their motorcycles, their cameras, their flashlights, guns, their shoes, their hats, jackets, knives, their eyeglasses, purses, the list is endless. And some other people make do or are perfectly content with very limited choices.
There is no right nor wrong here, just different strokes for different folks, and for people of different means.
I really only count this as just one guitar:
The number of guitars that a guitarist has bears no correlation to their ability to play guitar.
I think there are many guitar 'collectors' that can barely get beyond fingering a cowboy chord.
And at the other extreme, some incredibly accomplished and talented players who may have only one or two guitars.
And, for the most part, there is a massive grey area in between these extremes.
Does it matter? I don't think so. We each do as our desires and our means allow, and for the most part, the world and its moon continue to turn right on schedule!
Brian May comes to mind. In fact, he may even be famous for playing the same guitar throughout his career. Premier Guitar did a Rig Rundown several years ago and they talked about his setup and guitars. Mostly, he plays the Red Special, but some songs are in different tunings or require a slightly different stage sound, so he has a few on tour. They are for pretty specific songs. For example, he has a Red Special replica in green I think that is kept tuned to drop D for Fat Bottomed Girls. He mentioned that during recording of Bohemian Rhapsody, he exclusively used the Red Special and worked all the different switches and settings to create all the multilayered guitar tracks.
I think I recall something similar about Angus Young. He has his SG and he plays the hell out of it. He has a backup or two, but he has that one guitar he always plays.
I was going to say, I remember seeing him with a bunch of Fender amps that were not in that photo.
The number of Fender amps (including MANY duplicate samples) that he has is absolutely mind boggling! Sure seems like it has crossed into a serious obsession/compulsion disorder on his part.
this guy has the right sized collection not sure if he can play good though.
I think it's a combination of having lots of disposable income + having just ONE hobby to spend it on.
He even laughs about it himself
Remember he started collecting as a 12 Yo or so
I can atest that your statement is a missnomer, I have yet to work at a show where a big name star has only one main guitar , one that comes to mind was Johnny Winter minimum 5-6 Lazers 3-4 firebirds and that was a small show, black Crows had a few dozen ( all big name or vintage instruments) , ZZtop 300 + but only 15-20 on tour , Bob Dylan, Billy Talent, Hedley. Heart, Kiss, John Fogerty, Toby Keith ,Allen Jackson, collective soul , Dave Gilmour, each one used a plethora of guitars , Billy G has a main guitar and a spare of each one plus a main rig and a redundant rig that can be switched on with any one noticing.
I say smoke if you got 'em.
Just one or 20? Are you any good? If you are good it doesn't matter. If you suck it only matters how loud your amp is.
Oh and Joe, that blonde bassman is way too high it would be a shame if it fell off for a photo op. Respect your gear sir.
I think Joe has perhaps up to 100 Fender amps, or more. Typically a dozen or more, seemingly mostly identical, of each model, all lined up in rows by model type and color, in a large room. Just rows and rows and rows of them. That I really don’t understand... no matter how much disposable money he has. What is the point of that? Perhaps a bit of a “display” thing? Some kind of compensation going on there, I think. Perhaps an O/CD thing of a sort. Maybe he’s worried that his money may run out one day and he can start selling amps to survive? We don’t have enough information to know.
Of course it’s his money, his life, and as long as he’s happy, it’s not my place to say it shouldn’t be? But, sheesh!
Wasn't Brin May a one guitar man for a long time?
Is there a “right” sized collection? That should apply to everyone?
Carlton may only have seven or eight guitars; does that mean that other players should limit themselves to seven or eight?
Larry mentioned that many of his friends have 50 or 60 guitars, though he only has perhaps 7 or 8. Just different strokes for different folks is all.
Some people use guitars as wall decor. They’re awesome for that purpose, even if they don’t get played. My music room walls are lined with guitars. I spend many hours a day, every day, in that room and it’s great seeing the available guitars to play all around me. Some people may view that as extravagant. Others, not. It isn’t in the extreme. Certainly some of my guitars get more play time than a few others, though I do happen to play them all. They really add a wonderful visual element, decorating the walls in a music room.
You start a thread and it’s not up to you where it goes, but just a couple of quick thoughts after seeing where it HAS gone.
First a lot of people seemed to take it as more of a criticism of US than I intended. It was an observation that I honestly didn’t intend to put much VALUE on one way or another. And I didn’t mean to imply that there was an inverse relationship between one’s ability and the number of guitars they have - I have relatively damn few and I’m the farthest thing from a great player! Just that (obviously, I thought) you don’t have to own a lot of different guitars to be a great player...
Also, I didn’t mean literally (there’s that word again, but this time I actually am using it right) ONE actual guitar. But maybe their backups are more or less them same as their primary or maybe there are a couple ready for alternate tunings. I’ve seen Springsteen switch teles but I’m not sure I’ve seen him play any electric BUT a tele on stage.
BTW I’ve seen a very similar thing with cycling, another hobby I was waaaaay into for a number of years. Most big time competitive cyclists didn’t have huge collections of different bikes. Their team car would follow them around with several spares of the same bike and several wheels and such. And at home they might have a few for different purposes (a few road bikes (again, usually copies of the same bike, set up identically), a mountain bike, a cyclocross bike, maybe a town bike. Whereas a lot of guys like me who just rode a lot had a whole variety of different bikes just for the variety of experience and feel each one brought to the table. Big time racers were usually extremely picky about HOW their bikes were set up and they didn’t want any variation between em (with the exception of different disciplines, like time trial bikes or a lot of climbing specialists would have specific climbing bikes for mountain stages), but they didn’t care that much about what make or model they were on as long it was a well made light racing bike... And all set up EXACTLY as they like em.
And, again, I wasn’t implying that someone who plays largely the same guitar all night on stage doesn’t have more than that at home, just that they’re working tools are generally pretty specific and somewhat limited.
Finally, it was never intended ad an anti-Joe thread, but I guess any thread can turn into THAT around here!
While "collections" were not a large as today most professional players had more than one guitar..
Hendrix had multiple Strat's at any given time and according to Eddie Kramer "none of them were any good" he also had a SG Custom and a V plus at lest one (Epi) acoustic.
Skydog had at least two Bursts a resonator, and an acoustic (hummingbird?) at the time of his death.
Clapton had various LPs a 335, the Fool SG and a FB I by the end of Cream, IIRC he also had Brownie by then.
Guitars were not really more expensive used name brand and what are now "vintage " guitars were actually less expensive, however the actual cash most successful players had access to was surprisingly limited, I believe DA had to pay for his reso on time.
We have more because more is easily available, as is credit; good playable guitars that are budget versions of iconic designs, approved by the makers of those guitars that would have cost next to nothing if available at the same pricing in the early '70s were non existent. You might get lucky and stumble across a $50 used Tele in the early 70's but going in to a store and buying one new ( about what a CV would cost adjusted for inflation) was not a option.
The idea of the Credit Card was just getting rolling even highly successful businessmen held "Diners Club, Carte Blache (remember those?) & American Express CHARGE cards which had to be paid off each month. If you bough a guitar or amp on time you mostly likely had to apply for a small loan from a bank, it may have been thru a store but the money often came from a local bank. The idea of the average person walking around w/ the equivalent of 5, 10, or even 15 K worth of credit on a card was unheard of.