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February 29, 2012
Keys to the kingdom (of rock)
On my fortieth birthday my wife gave me something I had wanted since High School... she also gave me this Gretsch White Falcon guitar with a Bigsby tremolo. (I will apologize for that joke now. I am sorry) It has often been said that money can't buy happiness and yet this guitar refutes that claim every time I open the case. Unless my wife didn't buy it. In which case need to get to know her better because she's living a far more interesting life than I am currently giving her credit for.
What makes this guitar special to me isn't just that it's a well engineered piece of *Ameican 50's glam used at one time by **every guitarist that has ever mattered to me. But that as a work of art it is aspirational. It has dreams of it's own. It challenges the player to not just be good but to in fact be magnificent. Am I magnificent? Not even. Do I aspire to be? Yes. This guitar took a 40 year old dude and pulled an eclectic surf and ska flavored band out of him. It took the David Lynch meets the Skatelites at a Dick Dale show nightmare out of my head and made it real. It raised my spirits in a time when hopes had been dashed, and It makes my life better just for being. It's the first guitar you hear on the track Fanfare For A Well Dressed Man on our debut record. The Reigning Monarchs. (Hear it)
Great art is meant to give you the keys to the kingdom... whatever that might be for you! Find something that moves you and let it tell you to be great!
**Here is a list of every guitarist that ever mattered to me.
Matthew Ashman (Bow Wow Wow)
Marco Perroni Adam and The Ants
Chris Cheney The Living Things
Brad Sheppard The HooDoo Gurus
Billy Joe Armstrong (Plays the Silver Falcon)
Tim Armstrong Rancid (Now has his own model)
John Frusciante Red Hot Chili Peppers
*In late 2002, Gretsch and Fender reached an agreement giving Fender most control over marketing, production, and distribution of guitars. Gretsch also introduced new models consistent with its heritage but aimed at modern players, with features like premium pickups manufactured by TV Jones, locking Sperzel tuners, and ML bracing designed by Mike Lewis of FMIC and Masao Terada of the Terada company in Japan, where all Gretsch pro-line guitars are now built.