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Why I own lots of guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TG, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 23, 2004
    The wild west of Ireland
    I'm going to indulge myself a little and share a nutshell history of myself.

    Born 1961 in Canada so lots of good music around while a child.
    Started guitar in the summer of '69 (really) as the magical fascination of guitars that were 'electric' was just too strong to resist.
    Teenage years in the 1970s full of learning Zeppelin, Beatles, Aerosmith and all the rest. Guitars cost real money then so the best setup I managed to get was a Gibson L6s and a Traynor 70w head and 4x10 cabinet. Played in a few bands.
    In the 1980s lost interest in electrics (the shred and poodle hair thing lost me) and focused on acoustic playing. Travelled and settled in England. Family happened.
    1990s moved to a field in Ireland. Chickens, goats, built my own house, etc. Rediscovered electric guitars and amps with quality tone (as did many people then) and kind of fell into gigging bands. Found myself being a semi pro musician and did thousands of gigs (and discovered Telecasters coincidentally).
    As I was still raising a family my guitars were mostly functional and I could justify 2 at a time. Main and backup.
    The last 10 years the gigging has tailed off, became an empty nester....then marriage ended....then found a new gal and am now retired early due to arthritis and (finally) diagnosed autism.
    We have a cottage in Ireland and an apartment in Virginia.

    Now I find myself with about a dozen guitars.
    Here's the point of this thread.....WHY do I have lots of guitars now when I rarely play outside the house?
    Main reason, I suppose is because I like them and because I can.
    I like modding and tinkering. I like playing them. I like looking at them....and that has become about as important as how a guitar sounds and plays. Just seeing them on the wall is awesome, and a beautiful guitar makes me want to pick it up...which I often do.
    I have 4 strats in different colours, just for the colours. Last month I had a Squier Bullet strat sent from a shop in Italy for no other reason than it was turquoise.

    I'm unbelievably grateful that I can do this, but I had to do a bit of self-counselling to allow myself to just have guitars for its own sake instead of for practical reasons, ie, gigging and making money.

    Does all this resonate with anyone here?
    harleytech, bcorig, nicknklv and 36 others like this.
  2. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 26, 2012
    Sydney NSW Australia
    They are things of beauty and I am with you all the way
  3. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 10, 2016
    Bay Area/California
    Happy for you to find solace in guitars.

    Much better than drugs and gambling.
  4. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Half-decent guitars are so cheap these days that it's hard not to accumulate.

    Many of us can afford a new guitar, albeit in a limited price range, every year. I'm 2.5 years clean now, but that's only because I live in a shoebox and don't have room for more guitars.
  5. galtjunk

    galtjunk TDPRI Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    New Mexico
    "Here's the point of this thread.....WHY do I have lots of guitars now when I rarely play outside the house?
    Main reason, I suppose is because I like them and because I can."

    It makes perfect sense.
    I figured out back in the 80's that if I bought a guitar or amp at the right price, I could play it for a while and turn it for a profit later on.
    A few were so good that I still have them today.
    This even used to work with vintage guitars and amps back in the 80's, 90's and 2000's.
    Not so much anymore.

    I have 401k and about 30 guitars and 40 amps.
    The guitars and amps are much more fun than the 401k and they are worth more.
    I don't get a thrill when I look at my 401k statement. I do get a thrill when I pick up a guitar and play it.
    Deeve, richiek65, stantheman and 7 others like this.
  6. Mick Sullivan

    Mick Sullivan Tele-Meister

    Jan 6, 2019
    United Kingdom
    You only get one life.

    Indulge your passions.
    T-Bone, harleytech, DavidP and 7 others like this.
  7. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Holic

    Apr 30, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I am about the same age and have about the same number of guitars. I still play a lot and gig occasionally.

    Not all my guitars are expensive but they are all good players - when I do get to play out I really have a hard time deciding which guitar to use. It's often a Strat because its so versatile but just as often its a tele or a Gretsch.

    My favourite is probably a cheap parts-caster that just sings. I really like the mystery of not knowing precisely what makes a guitar great. Some expensive guitars are just duds and some cheap ones are great.

    When one you put together yourself turns out to be magic it is a real buzz!

    All the best!
  8. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2019
    You deserve them all. My dad is 89 and has 10 guitars for the same reasons. He used to play but only displays them now as he likes to look at them nowadays. I said to him only recently, they are also art.
    Hopefully your love of guitars will spread to your children or others.
    Great work & best regards.
    SparkleFart, Pat. Pend., TG and 2 others like this.
  9. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2017
    ... I like them, and I can. well.... there it is
    T-Bone, Pat. Pend., TG and 1 other person like this.
  10. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Why do we feel so much guilt about having multiple guitars?

    I have about 500 books. No one hassles me for the thousands of pounds I've spent on them - quite the opposite.

    I have a mountain bike. If I also owned a road bike people wouldn't call it excessive.

    Maybe it's because of the austerity of past decades, when guitars were expensive and you owned ONE and you felt lucky that you did - and it was probably some no-name piece of junk.

    I started using this forum 8 years ago, when I owned a Hohner electric and an acoustic. I was genuinely surprised that so many people owned more than one electric guitar, and that so many people owned more than one tele!! Why??? What was this insanity??

    Pat. Pend., Bill, TG and 1 other person like this.
  11. aleski

    aleski Tele-Meister

    Jun 11, 2020
    The Know
    TG and t-ray like this.
  12. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    Only a Dozen ?
    DavidP, TG, blowtorch and 1 other person like this.
  13. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013

    This more or less .. Just bought my 8th electric a few weeks ago. Did I need it, no ... Do I gig, no .. Do I even practice a lot, not really

    But I like them and they make me smile, so now a jazzmaster has joined the flock ... had I spent that £1000 on a painting no one would bat an eye ... Don't know why we insist on having to justify guitar purchases :)
  14. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 13, 2018
    To start with, I don't think anyone needs to apologize for owning lots of guitars. With your background, and where you are in life, you definitely do not need to justify to anyone why you have about a dozen guitars -- which is not an insane number all things considered. If you enjoy having and playing them, get yourself another dozen.

    My personal belief is that instruments want to be played, so even if I had the $$ I would never buy a guitar as purely a collector's item. I mean no disrespect to any collectors out there, this is just my personal philosophy and I make no judgment as to how other folks feel about this.
  15. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I own many guitars, not very many amps. When I see one that interests me, I wait and think about it a while, perhaps a day or two, then if I still can’t get it off my mind I get it.
    In the last 5 years only once did I buy one I regretted.
    It’s like brand new having only been play a couple of hours. Even the case is like new, so why do I continue to keep it, why not sell it and buy one I want. This is the mystery that I struggle with, I can’t bring myself to get rid of one even if I don’t care for it.
    SparkleFart, TG and brookdalebill like this.
  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have a baker’s dozen.
    I once had nineteen.
    I haven’t owned less than ten in as long as I can remember.
    I use em’, and enjoy them as art/sculpture.
    I have very few other indulgences.
    Glad it works for you, too!
  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    yeah, that's not lots.

    get back to us in a few more dozen
  18. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

    May 25, 2007
    St. Croix, USVI
    I’ve never owned a lot of guitars but have nothing against those that do. The most I’ve ever owned, I think, is 10. I currently have 5 that are playable. Only 2 get played much and not that much.
    I love a wall full of guitars. A version of art unlike paintings or photos. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
    TG, richiek65 and frank a like this.
  19. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 15, 2010
    Two of my herd are there because they’re just dang-near “perfect” for what I want out of a guitar.

    One is there mostly due to sentimental reasons/value.

    A couple are there because even though they’re not my “first choice,” they sound, look or play great.

    Several are there for a variety of tone/sound in recording or live performances...also, the “need” for a bass, single coils, P-90’s, humbuckers, different scale lengths, steel string acoustic, archtop acoustic, nylon string acoustic, 12-string acoustic, resonator, etc.

    I have similar criteria for pedals.

    A couple were purchased by and/or requisitioned by my daughter (who uses them mightily). Several of them were gifts from other people.

    In the past, I‘ve been forced to whittle my guitarsenal down on a couple of occasions, due to financial difficulties (at one point, it was down to two electrics and one acoustic—real first-world problems, there).
    Fortunately, I’ve been able to build it back up...now, in the spirit of simplification (unburdening myself of things that are “weighing me down”) and preparation for the next stage of life (plans to retire and do part-time missionary work in five years), I’m getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t fit into the any of the above groups.

    I don’t apologize for what I have.

    My selfish and idiotic brother has criticized me at times for being too materialistic. He stopped that when I pointed out that he has two Conex boxes full of tools and equipment that he hasn’t used in ten years...and that it wasn’t HIS money I spent on MY possessions...and that he was welcome to shove his opinion up his, erm, Conex box...I finished that conversation by pointing out that he truly is an idiot.
    He hasn’t said anything about it since. I guess he’s not so much of an idiot that he can’t learn something...so maybe he’s just a moron?

    I digress.

    Truth be told, I’d get by just fine (even gigging, whenever that starts up again) with just my avatar Telecaster, the Vibroverb amp and my old Fender F250 acoustic...the rest are fun luxuries that I can afford.

    ...and there’s nothing wrong with that.
    stantheman, drlucky and TG like this.
  20. bonzo898

    bonzo898 Tele-Meister

    Sep 19, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Does a painter own just one paint brush?
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