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This weekend was a nice, sort of lazy weekend. Got some housework done yesterday, dicked around a little on my manuscript last night, and this afternoon, since Tara already was away with her mother, I was going to meet my own mother (LVP) for dinner in Wilkes-Barre, and decided to leave a lot earlier and go to Guitar Center at Montage and look at guitars and amps, as in the back of my mind I'm contemplating getting a new electric guitar and some sort of small amp at some point. My beloved 1979 Fender Stratocaster needs a good fret job (which I don't know how to do and would have to pay a specialist [after finding one] to handle), and I'd like to change the electronics and get new volume and tone pots in it. And my Stooges-autographed guitar is not meant for playing, period (whoever assembled it after attaching the signed pickguard didn't really now how to set up a guitar anyway). 

Anyway, probably with no thanks to Steve Jones and Robert Fripp I figured I'd look at Les Pauls, or rather the Epiphone line of Les Paul guitars (Epiphone is a subsidiary of Gibson). Guitar Center folk tend to be very freindly and open about folks trying out the instruments, which helps. The first one I tried was a black Les Paul not dissimilar to this one. It was nice enough. The next one I tried was this beauty in black, which I liked the sound and feel of even better than the first one. There was an Ibanez Les Paul-style guitar nearby that I gave a few minutes of attention to as well. After those, I started looking around at Fenders, trying unsuccessfully to find a Jazzmaster (I would LOVE TO have either this one, this one, this one, or this one but they are all out of my present reach moneywise to begin with!), when I happened to see the Fender Joe Strummer Telecaster hanging nearby. I plugged that one right in and tried it. Very nice and I don't mind the delibrately distressed look (those closest to me might think otherwise) but the guitar they had there is $699. Now, if I am going to do this I am not planning on spending more than $700 altogether for guitar and amplifier. We'll see.

When I was trying out the guitars I played punk riffs pretty much exclusively (Black Flag, Clash, Sex Pistols, Stooges - Morning Musume's "Yuujou" was the only exception, and that's a punk song in style and execution, too!). When I was trying the Joe Strummer Telecaster, the one clerk that told me I could try out any guitar I wanted saw me picking it up, having overheard what I was playing on the other guitars, and said with a smile, "Now there's the guitar you should be playing the Clash on!" And yeah, chopping out the opening chords to "London Calling" on it felt pretty good... Still, we'll see. If I had the money now and was going to make a move this week I'd probably go with the second Epiphone Les Paul. Amplifier-wise, I only need something small, maybe with some built-in effects, that I can also plug headphones and a CD player or iPod into, on the assumption that when I get this it's gonna have to go with me to whereever Tara and I move into next spring, and there's a ton of possibilities there to get into. But again, this was and is all just a little thought in the back of my mind, I'm not making any moves just yet, just seeing what is possible.  

As I was leaving Guitar Center, another clerk there who  was manning the table by the door and had overheard me playing told me how much he liked the fact that I was playing a lot of punk stuff.  

Whoa, getting late, better rack - another work week starts tomorrow. 


Reina Tanaka 'Hello Internet!'
CJ Marsicano (CJマルシカノ)

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