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Doctor Frankensteinway

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Saturday there was the annual flea market Jim Everett park at the university. Perfect hot, sultry summer morning. Swallows darting among the magnolia scented trees and flying low over the grass. All around the perimeter of the park, vehicles up on the grass, a table beside every car or van.


Nothing too spectacular. Lots of salt shakers. Crocheted doll clothes. Broken toasters. Baseball cards. Lots of strange brass ornaments that you only ever see at garage sales.


Something caught my eye. This guy with the 1966 Rambler station wagon (original sea-foam & white two-tone paint) has a mess of stuff. Hey, looks like an acoustic guitar there. Okay. Usually these guys want like $100 for some early '60's no-name thing that barely tunes and is all warped to hell.


I pick the guitar up, not even really looking at it. Seems to play okay. Say, this one is a 12 string. Cool. Missing some strings but it is a 12 string acoustic.


"How much?"


"Ten bucks"


Cool. Usually these guys want $100 for something shitty just because it looks like a cowboy guitar Gene Autry might have used.


"Sold" I hand over ten dollars.


As I am walking away, I look at the guitar. One broken tuning peg ~ right at the shaft. Fine, I can have that fixed. Hey wait a minute, this is a Stella 12 string. As in Leadbelly 12-String Stella . . . . . cripes, what the hell am I walking around with?


I don't even dare look back at the guy with the '66 Rambler Sea-Foam wagon. He must have made a mistake. I dare not look left or right, lest I catch the eye of anyone that might be the true owner. Or worse, maybe a collector. Maybe Eric Clapton is just ~ at that very moment ~ adjusting his glasses, taking bead on the headstock and muttering "what the f-?" and about to sick Cheryl Crow on me.


I walk briskly but easy-going-like. I smile as if yes, it is a nice day, and yes, those are most interesting salt shakers by the exit.


I do not run. I walk carefully, so as not to trip and fall and smash the guitar. I make like a bandit in the open vault of First National where the guards are sleeping.


~ ~ ~ ~


So I ramble on down to our 'Vintage Frets and Folk music' kind of guitar store. Good old place with well worn wooden floors and friendly guitar freaks. As soon as I walk in, the whole shop sort of goes quiet and hazards a casual glance to see what I have brought in. One or two eyebrows raise.


Everyone is intrigued but playing it cool, real cool. These are, after all way-cool-guitar-hipsters, not so easily impressed.


"Hmmm," says the store owner behind the counter, "Interesting guitar."


"Yeah, I'd like to get a new peg for this guitar" I say as innocently as I can.


"I think we can do that. Nice guitar." says the owner, writing up a work slip. "That will take be ready in about 4 days and set you back about $30. Mostly for labour to find something that will match."


"Yeah that's fine I suppose." I say. "I just picked this up at a flea market this morning. Thought I would fix it it. Seems to play okay"


"Flea market eh? How much?" asks the store owner with a little twinkle in his eye.


"Ten bucks" I say, "Was that too much do you think ? "



Well, I can hear jaws dropping all over the guitar store. Somewhere in the back room a guitar string snaps. The store's young Blues Enthusiast trips over a couple of Martins on his way to the front.


"You just paid TEN BUCKS for a Leadbelly Stella 12? I HATE YOU!!! ..by the way, when you get this back you can tune it to B because that is exactly what Leadbelly did. All those cats. Did you know that Stella became Harmony and both were suppliers to Sears? Man, I hate you! Oh man, I don't think I have ever seen one of these. Harry have you ever seen one of these? No. No way. I hate you . . . "



I think that made my whole weekend . . . http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif


This guitar (and you will no doubt see me on the Antiques Roadshow very soon) could be worth anywhere from $300 on up . . . supposed to be very rare and quite collectable . . .


Saturday Morning Breakfast Bagel: $3.45

Slightly Chipped Salt Shaker Set: $1.25

Stella 12 String Leadbelly Guitar: $10.00

Look on the face of guitar shop guru: Priceless

Oh yeah? That's fine for you, you're an accepted member of the entertainment community. What about me? What about Igor? Marginalized by Hollywood yet again. I want my Mummy . . .
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Okay, so next door neighbor Ashley's friend Kathleen was bouncing over in their yard last night. Big deal. These are former Super Models that yes, do live next door to me. They are all around 30 and still . . . very much arresting to look at.


Sure, Kathleen was decked out in sandals featuring maroon painted toe nails, like that is supposed to impress anyone. Yawn. Sure, Kathleen is tall and leggy with firm little A-cups that undulate under that cotton summer dress like terns behind flags during a gale force wind. Big deal.


Sure, Kathleen is all smiles and boo-boo kisses over Walty the Bloodhound, bending over and scratching his ears and revealing her violet & bumble-bees patterned panties and totally shaved body. Big deal.


Sure, Kathleen, another boring former < yuck > super model was out on the back lawn with Tiffany, Yuma, Kimberley, Nu Nu and Ashley, all playing badminton and jumping around giggling and getting sweaty in the late afternoon sun. Big deal.


Seemed to be a lot of popsicles being sucked on as if that was supposed to be symbolic or anything. It was hot I figured and they were thirsty. Big deal.


Sure, then Kimberley started passing around the ripe, juicey peaches and necterines she brought with her. Fruit juice was dribbling all down the slender, tanned necks of every one of those boring, typical former super models. Fruit juice that would trickle from their lapping, circling tongues down their smiling and laughing lips and slowing around the chin, then speeding, speeding, speeding down the slippery neck until ~ pausing to pool just above the tanned and toned breasts. Big deal.


I got the Stella 12 back yesterday.


< sigh > Stella is so yummy.


They did a nice job. The tuning peg matches perfectly. I can't tell the old 1936 pegs from the replacement. This instrument is drop-dead gorgeous. They put on a new set of strings and dusted it off nicely.


Not only that, but when I was paying for it, the guitar-shop owner's wife comes out of the back of the guitar shop and says "hey, wait a minute, stand that guitar on the ground for a second" I do. "We have this old classical-body case here that I know will fit" and it does.


So after me and Stella get home, we and sit down and have a little play.


Oh man. I have heard the term "plays like butter before" but never knew how good that could be. Stella sounds sweet, rich and ribald like a lady that has lived, ya know? Hey, I don't ask what kind of life she had. Stella is teaching me stuff.


I couldn't get my fingers to stop playing. < sigh >


Stella has hips you know. Not some skinny little concentration camp, runway-model ass. Real hips and a real ass you can grab as she moans and utters something deep from the river delta soil.


Stella has this low, D-tuning, throaty whisper that cuts right through any of the giggles from next door. Stella speaks and I listen, hanging onto every story in song she tells me.


< sigh >


Is it natural to lust after a guitar this way ?

Oh yeah? That's fine for you, you're an accepted member of the entertainment community. What about me? What about Igor? Marginalized by Hollywood yet again. I want my Mummy . . .
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Had a friend who ran into a 58 Les Paul in a similar way. Paid pennies for it and eventually sold it for a bunch (before values really sky rocketed tho) Rick Neilsen is supposed to have it now. This guy always found this kind of stuff. The best I ever did was a 1956 Fender Pro amp for $75 back in 1973. It's a great amp and I wouldn't part with it for anything. Only thing I've done to it is recapped it and replaced the original leather handle that was half way tore through when I got it.. Original Alnico speaker and the tweed is in remarkable shape for it's age. No big tears or rips. Way to go Doc!! Congrats on you find!!



Visit BooneRock.net - Play the Rustech Blend'r-great amp, great tone!

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