Saturday, February 15, 2014

Yamaha Stolen

  • Repaired Guitar Plays Better
  • Repaired Guitar Stolen
  • Natchez Returns

After having let my guitar sit for 24 hours to let the glued neck set, I strung it with new strings and gradually tuned it up to pitch and it played better than it had been playing; though I only wound up making about 10 bucks.
There is a new duo of resonator guitar and mandolin in town who play uptempo bluegrass type stuff.
They were set up about a block down from Lillys stoops after midnight.
After I took a break and then returned, they had moved even closer and were in front of the stoop of the Lawyer who had asked me to move about a year ago and who has come out and run other musicians off since then.
He must not have been home, or he may have been giving them about a half hour of grace before coming out and running them off, or maybe he loves bluegrass.
They had a small crowd around them, mostly female, who were enthusiastically complementing them "You guys are SO good!" and throwing them who knows how many 20 dollar bills, until the boyfriends of the girls, who had wandered away, returned and just about dragged them away.
Their uptempo Bluegrass was a stark contrast to my more Pink Floyd type vibe, but the leads that the mandolin was playing weren't much different from what Jerry Garcia might have played.
They had a Gibson guitar and an expensive mandolin; both of which looked new.
That style of music seems to be in high demand. I recognized most of their music from every other band like them that has come around. I think they teach each other a set repertoire, so that musicians can be interchangeable. There are the "12 Bluegrass songs that every Bluegrass player should know," written somewhere.
Guitar Stolen
Then, at about 1:30 a.m. I stopped at Rouses Market.
I put my pack down and leaned my guitar against the wall, and in the time it took me to shine my flashlight in the bins and pull out a couple items, it had disappeared.
Still there was my pack and the drink which I had placed next to it and a young black guy, whom I have seen before, who was standing there with the tell-tale smirk on his face.
He was surely anticipating enjoying my reaction to finding my guitar gone, but I didn't give him the satisfaction.
I knew that it would be wasting my breath (and giving someone more time to distance themselves from the scene) to even speak to him.
I acted as if there never had been a guitar there.
It seems like those types want you to know that they just ripped you off; and are ready to become belligerent at any insinuation to that point; and looking to rub salt in the wound...what are you gonna do about it?
Had I confronted the young black guy, then I would have had to do so with one eye on my backpack; because once the floodgates are open; and they can smell blood in the water; then it can turn in a free for all.
I just picked up what stuff I had and walked off thinking "I'll have another guitar not long after you've spent the 20 bucks that you'll get for this one."
And thinking about someone trying to pawn the thing with its neck obviously having been broken and then repaired.
And thinking about how my own neck has been stiff lately and I have been having numbness in one or the other hand or arm, based upon my sleeping position, and how it has kind of been mirrored by the guitar.
"You can't speak?" is what it sounded like the young black guy said to me as I walked past him.
My lack of response was probably unsettling to him.
I wished I could have pulled out a small electronic device and pressed a red button on it and us heard the sound of an explosion coming from near Jackson Square.
Then I could have stood there with a smirk on my face...what are you gonna do about it?
So, this (Saturday) morning, I woke up to discover that the Natchez is back at the dock.
I had to sneak out of there.
How To Get Another Guitar
My plan is to
A: Tell "everybody" about the theft.
I have already told the Hokum High Rollers, whom I had just shown the repair job to the day before, and who would hence, recognize the guitar "...oh, it's still in the Quarter somewhere" said their guitarist, and then added "That's my biggest fear; that my guitar will get can have everything else, my money my other valuables, just leave me my guitar!" He plays a $2,000 resonator.
"You'll get another one," he said.
I have told Brian Hudson, who asked me how much money I had.
"About 21 bucks."
"What happened to the 200 you made last weekend?"
"I bought patchouli oil for 8 bucks, I bought a bag of Kingsford instant light briquettes for 8 bucks, I was out of work for a day while the glue set; I was out of work 3 days before that which were too cold to even let glue set; I spent about 12 bucks a day on cigarettes and beer; I got a new tiposaurus, plus some African hair conditioner and..."
"Yeah, I can see how 200 bucks can whittle away in a week," he admitted.
I told Tanya and Dorise, whose reaction was sympathetic but who were at the time busy with selling a bunch of CDs and were negotiating with, or making change for, people.
And that is who I have told so far.
B: Try to find a guitar that I can rent from someone for a set fee each night, until such a time that I can pick up another one at a pawn shop; or until such a time that I own the one that they are renting to me.
C: Ask Tanya and Dorise if they would lend me the money (and give me a ride) to get one at Guitar Center.
This seems like something that Tanya might do, as the Chinese seem to measure "true wealth," to a degree, in terms of who they can benefit charitably. Howard said that, when he was in China, rich families would order way too much food in restaurants and not even come close to consuming it all, as a way to show all that they had money to spare.
D: Find a suitable guitar somewhere and then, basically go around passing a hat, telling all my friends just how much more I need at that particular point to get it; and promising to pay them back.

"Dorise has all kinds of instruments," Brian had said.
E: Make a sign to sit on Bourbon Street with which might read "They stole my guitar; anything helps!" or any other clever thing that I might come up with.
F: Go on Facebook and my blog and call my mom and my brother and try to get some money wired.
Who Are My Friends?
It might just take some time and a little bit of faith that someone will come upon a guitar and think "I know just who could use this!"
There is supposedly a place called Tipitinas which is a foundation which could give me a guitar, as they support "artists."
And, one of the preachers from Vieaux Carre Baptist church, after I told him about the repair that I had made when I ran into him on my way to play and added "Now, I will see if it will hold!" answered me "If it doesn't; let me know..."
That's interesting, too.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Tipitinas is a restaurant/club/venue that shows up in every episode of the HBO series Treme. I've also seen more of Doreen the Clarinet Queen, but no other recognizable characters in the background.

There *are* musician's aid societies there, they might be more oriented toward the kind of music that's "at home" there like jazz, blues, bluegrass, etc., and help people who play in that style, rather than people who just play generic Boomer rock.