I've told the story many times, how, given the circumstances of our getting together, Lynn thought for the longest time that a "telecaster" was some kind of high-speed modem, and that when we finally got that sorted out, she'd tease me that if I ever got her the "sling-ring" (the engagement ring so big and heavy you'd need your arm in a sling to hold it up), she'd buy me a telecaster. In due course, she got her ring (presented in the middle of the appetizer tray at lunch at Gian-Peppe's, one of the few times I've seen her speechless). And for the next few months, wherever we were traveling, we'd stop in guitar stores and I'd try out telecasters. We found the '73 Thinline at the Guitar Shop in DC. During my last year with Liquid Prairie, that's the guitar I played.
A few weeks after we found the Thinline, Lynn and I were traveling somewhere and as we walked past a guitar store, I said, "Oh, let's stop in here..." She gave me an annoyed look and said, "But I just bought you that telecaster..."
"Darlin'," I said. "D'you think that ring is the last piece of jewelry you're ever getting from me?"
A few years later, when we were at Doug & Nancy's wedding, Ferd mentioned that he was selling off his guitars, including the '52 Telecaster, which he'd brought down to L.P. gigs a couple of times for me to play. Lynn worked out a deal with him on the spot, and a few days later, the '52 arrived in Birmingham. But I was working primarily as a solo act by then, and so the ever-reliable, nearly indestructible Takamine had become my utility guitar. The telecasters didn't see much action, although I'd bring 'em out every once in awhile.
I've been to five continents with the Takamine, treating it as checked luggage. If it ever gets lost or destroyed, I'll mourn it, but then I'll replace it. The '52 and the Thinline, however, are not replaceable, so I don't fly with them. Over the past few years, whenever I've been able to drive to a Bearded Pigs gig, I've brought them along, but I've still relied mostly on the Takemine. For the Atlanta gig in October, however, I wanted to play more electric, given the direction in which the band has been moving. So we loaded up all the gear in Marian's van, and I ended up playing the '52 exclusively, while Bruce stuck with the Thinline. It was a great night, but when it was over I knew I needed a new telecaster -- one that I could fly with.
So it was quite fitting that for my birthday last Friday, Tambourine Grrl gave me a brand new Nashville Deluxe. It's a pretty guitar, with a sound that I am just beginning to explore. It'll be a great guitar for the Pigs spring tour.
Speaking of which, we've just started accepting Thicket Society memberships for the coming year. SG has the website updated, the PayPal link is working, and we've got the membership form posted for people who are sceptical of PayPal (and, of course, we accept cash from those who prefer not to leave any paper trail at all!)
This weekend we have no big plans. Marian & Josie will come over for the traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and I presume we'll watch a movie or two and go out for a boat ride. But I'm going to spend a lot of my time working the kinks out of that new guitar.