Monday, December 26, 2011

My First Guitar And Amp

13 years old, dad rents an office space somewhere downtown and finds an old Sears Silvertone 12 electric guitar and Sears Silvertone amp.  The guitar has 6 strings on it, and they are so high off the fingerboard that it's unplayable - especially for a kid who has only spent a few months playing the ukulele.  Didn't know it was possible to adjust the neck and string action, so I thought it had to go.  I also don't know how to turn the amp on, much less what all those knobs are for.  I call a friend, he calls his big brother, shows me how to use it.  The amp was one of those piggy back things - probably 60 tube watts or so, and a 212 cabinet.  Both the guitar and amp are ratty looking.  Well, being that they weren't shiny and new, I did some trading around, and ended up with a Watkins Rapier guitar and some awful electronics store guitar amp - probably 30 watts and 3 10s - I would have been so much better off with the Silvertone, but well, I was an American kid who thought that shiny and new was better than old and worn - all that western society crap, ya know.

I used that shiny red Watkins thing and the no name amp for a couple of years - playing at 8th and 9th grade school dances - till the other guys in the band got sick of me, my uncool fingers, and my Creedence :D .  I also played a few little drinking parties in Palolo Housing (the projects) with a guitar playing uncle who took a liking to me for some reason - I didn't drink, I just played.  I seemed to get banished to my room a lot of the time by my parents back then - mostly for things I didn't do, but it got me to spend a lot of time with my guitar.  I ruined most of my Creedence records, and my little portable record player, learning one note at a time.  I always waited till everybody was out of the house before I plugged in a played, but step mom said I was a showoff.

So, that was my initial learning time.  When I was about 17, after my summer job that year, I went to Harry's Music Store and bought a classical guitar - it was their house brand, Kahala, and I paid $89.95 for it.  Carried that thing around with me to San Diego, Georgia, back to Hawaii, L.A., and back to San Diego again.  I finally had to get rid of it because the bridge had torn off of it, I bolted it back on with 3/8" nuts & bolts, then it became unplayable.  Didn't touch a guitar again until about 1979 - which started a whole 'nother musical era for me.

More later.

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