So I’ve been having issues with my old Art and Lutherie guitar. The pick up has been playing up, making nasty bangs and pops when I plug it in and move around. Unfortunately, whenever I plug it in, I almost always move around! I love this guitar. I bought it back 2005 in the States, and despite Air Canada’s best efforts to destroy it, got it home safe and sound. I’ve gigged with it ever since. There are still tiny spots of blood inside the sound hold from where I dropped my pick while playing in Dunedin’s Regent Theatre in 2006 (playing with the Cousins, opening for Mephymology). I proceeded to grate my fingers into the guitar for the next few minutes. I remember well a young lad in the crowd reaching up with something in his hand for me. I thought it might be my pick. It was a bandaid. Nice young chap. As you can see from the picture, this guitar has done some miles. Its got a cedar top which is a lighter wood than most, and its finish is also lighter to allow the wood to breathe and age. It also allows you to play through the guitar!
So I dropped the guitar into the local Rock shop here in Tauranga to get looked at. They had a look at it and said, ‘Oh the guy who makes these is dropping in this afternoon.’
Turns out, Patrick Godin, son of one of the founders of the Godin making guitar family, was on his yearly New Zealand pilgrimage. He hadn’t come to Tauranga before, but he was today. He’d be in at 2pm, and I should feel welcome to come back and meet him. So I did. Taking a late lunch break, I dashed down, not sure how to feel about this sudden groupie like behaviour.
I entered the store, and loitered nonchalantly nearby the enthusiastic French-Canadian bloke (there was only one in the shop, I backed myself on this one).
What followed was a wonderful meeting between a guy who loved making guitars and a guy who loved playing them. He was delighted to see my banged up A&L guitar and hear my enjoyment of its rich, dark tone. He told me about features I didn’t know anything about, the kind of wood the back and sides were made of (wild cherrywood) and the neck (a special kind of maple). It deepened my enjoyment and love for my old guitar, and he seemed genuinely thrilled to find one so well (or perhaps badly) played! I asked for a photo with him, and then to crown my day, he asked for one for their facebook page! Maybe I’ll score a sponsorship deal! Here’s me with Patrick.