Monday, May 28, 2007

I have GAS

Once I got in an argument with my mother and she complained to me that I would never stop wanting to buy guitars. I told her that no, I won't buy more guitars, I have a good working set now and I basically have all my bases covered. Well, I suppose mother may actually know best here, because I have a serious case of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome at the moment, without money to finance the habit.

This morning the apple of my eye was the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R, a very classy low-to-mid-range acoustic guitar in the style of Gibson's classic J-45, with all solid construction and a nice, plummy low end. Today also happens to be Memorial Day in the US, which means Guitar Center (their spelling, not mine) has its annual Memorial Day sale. I told myself I'd go early in the morning to buy a harmonica or two, nothing more; deep down, though, I knew that if I saw that guitar for anything south of $450, I'd buy it. I still have not forgotten that argument with my mother, and damned if I don't want to prove her right. Moreover, if I'm being really honest, what I really need is an amp. However, I figured it was defensible as my very nice Martin acoustic is languishing unplayed at home in PoCo, and all I've got here is a beater beginner's Yamaha which comes from the time before beater beginner's Yamahas were actually good guitars. Even above and beyond that, the neck is frustratingly narrow, which precludes me from good clean fingerpicking.

As it happens, I didn't get an early morning start on account of mild food poisoning, which led me to not return to basic function until 2PM today. I viewed this as a positive, as the more I thought about that Epiphone, the more I wanted it. This is good, I told myself (although that's about the only good thing that this current bout of food poisoning has done for me today). Yes. I am master of my urges.

At 4PM I went to Guitar Center and made a beeline for the acoustics.

There was still one AJ-500R on the shelves, and sure enough, it was still as nice as I remembered. I thought about checking out other, cheaper, acoustics, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I've been playing for a long time now. This guitar deserves to be owned by me! Just as a reference point, I picked up a used Gibson J-45 and plucked a few notes on it. Very nice, but for $1600, that's not happening.

The salesman dude who helped me the last time I was there saw me playing that and said "Wait, $1600? That's not right...." I put the guitar down and went back out to buy a harmonica, but the salesman found me and said "Hey, if you like the J-45, it's eleven with case".

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa.

I didn't snap it up. And remember that guitars are way cheaper than just about every other kind of instrument; saxophones, pianos, violins all cost thousands upon thousands. And don't tell me you've never had GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) yourself. A new graphics card for your computer. Seasons 5-7 of Friends. A new pair of shoes. A new dress. You've not had my life -- don't judge me.

But now I am telling myself "Hey, $1100 for a guitar that will last a lifetime is pretty decent. The Martin might get damaged in transit if I tried to bring it here. This guitar works better with my voice than the Martin anyway. It's not even a top-end Martin. It's still technically my dad's guitar. What I said to Mom only applied to electric guitars. It'll retain its resale value. This guitar deserves to be owned by me!"

Damn you, Gibson.

Current Music: David Bowie - Andy Warhol


Anonymous said...

Do it. Follow your heart.

brad said...

This is why the savvy girls don't go for guitarists, they know they can't compete.

So was the food poisoning Sichuan food-related? 'Cuz then I should really stop recommending the place.

Dickolas Wang said...

Vince (I assume): You're the poster boy for GAS, I'm taking your advice with a grain of salt.

Brad: I think it was. I'm, like, 99% sure it was.

regan said...

hahahahah. i miss your stories. :)

now... that's only the price of a new computer. on the other hand, you might as well give it up and buy that cheaper one you weren't going to. lol

goddamnit! i never wanted to be a "savvy" girl... now I know they know better than me in this respect :'(

Dickolas Wang said...

Oh Regan, you're worth a new Gibson J-45 to me. With case.