Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Re: Smashing or setting fire to instruments on Stage
While I don't like the smashing of guitars, I used to "hate" to see non-playing collectors buy up the good stuff only to be taken off the market and be put into the lonely world of investments. Nothing seemed more disgusting or an affront to all things music. I had this visceral reaction against collectors when as a non-playing collector myself (or really sucky player) I actually started to play and focus on music, not instruments. It was at the end of my collecting days that I met and befriended many a player who were far better than me who had no gear or insufficient gear. I think the real eye opener was when I met a couple of famous guitar players who actually had so-so gear. These people could take a barn door and play a song with it better than most could with the best, most expensive gear. He or she played their so-so gear and lined their walls with gold and platinum records while I sat there just getting better gear than them. I would trade places with them in a second!
At a certain point I stopped getting certain expensive gear because it had a certain desirable logo or certain odd vintage lacquer and found that these things, vintage or not, can be used as tools to make beautiful music. There's a certain fun and scavenger hunting ethic that collectors have that make them far more likely to find the good stuff before a player does. I would get my collecting buddy (also a minimal player) and we would put thousands of miles on the car (pre-eBay) and get all the cool stuff we could find. Real players used to be astonished at what we had and it's their admiration of the gear we possessed that kept us going. At the end of the day I realized that I had a refined version of some hoarding disease. I basically took that passion and energy and redirected it to playing and lo and behold, a hack non-guitarist like me can actually play if I put my time and energy into it. I am still not as good as the monster players I met in my youth, but I am the best guitarist that I can be given what time I devote to it and that's as good as it gets. I don't even waste time hating the hoarding collectors anymore because even the energy that takes wastes my time. I have talked to a few nice folk here who admit they don't play much and like to collect anything and everything top of the line Ibanez, and I let them be and enjoy it.
It's my hope that the same muse that turned me around will find them. Maybe they can sell off much their large collection and build a small, soundproof Pro Tools studio, enlist a great guitar teacher for a year or two, or use that money to get an AA degree in music at the local community college. Gear may come and go and with the ease of eBay it just takes money, but once you reach a certain level of skill which actually involves serious effort, it's with you for your entire life. Yes, it's a lot easier to collect and not seriously improve as a player, but the sweat it goes into becoming the best player you can be is something that helps you realize that you did something truly worthwhile.
Last edited by 63Blazer; 05-28-2014 at 11:32 AM.