I finally got an acoustic guitar I’d been waiting for this week. It took 2 months of shopping to settle on it. It ain’t easy finding a $500.00 guitar that’s worth recording.
There are a lot of cheap guitars that play well. Seagull, Simon & Patrick and Alvarez really stood out, but they all used composite woods that just didn’t really have the tone. For that matter, even Martin makes a cheap composite.
Epiphone makes a dreadnaught with a solid mahogany body, spruce top, and rosewood fret board for $500.00. I did something I swore I’d never do; I ordered one from Guitar Center. These supermarkets cater to parents who want t o spend a fortune on their kids, but have no idea how to do the necessary research.
I didn’t want to buy one on EBay because I wanted to play it first. Sure enough the strings buzzed when I ran through a few scales. I had their tech adjust the neck and all is well. The D string is a hair flat at the 12th fret, if anyone knows how I can adjust this, please comment! I think it’s only noticeable with a strobe tuner though.
My search began when I transferred my old 8mm films to digital. I found footage I took of my girlfriend Lora in the 70s.
Last year when we did the Wax Theatricks reunion, I dedicated the song Conversations to her. After the show Dominic told me he didn’t know I’d written it for her. Fojammi jumped in, “He sure did!” Danny was there during that whole period.
At that time, Danny, Dom and I were taking trips out to Sullivan to visit. She was dying.
The great thing was, we all had a chance to tell her how much we loved her. I just went through that experience with Danny, but Danny said it first.
Last fall we had a service for Lora in Forest Park. My friend Kay gave me 2 books I’d made for Lora as birthday presents. I posted The Oddity earlier and uploaded a flip book that ran through it on YouTube.
In the back of the book were the lyrics to Conversations. There are a few differences from the version the band did that were interesting. We recorded it for our last LP, but it was too fast. The band had a very excitable chemistry. Sometimes we wouldn’t even notice how fast we were playing. The performance was great though.
We’re thinking about rerecording it, if we do a studio CD. I’m in the process of recording a personal version for the film. That’s where the guitar comes in. I wasn’t happy with my guitar, I borrowed Danny’s daughter’s guitar, and I even borrowed my son’s Alvarez. Nothing worked!
My plan today is to finish the song. Tony Patti has agreed to help me finish the video. Danny was going to, but he’s dealing with other things at the moment.
Pic of Lora by Matt O'Shea