For more than 15 years I've been torturing myself with pilgrimages to this guitar show. Sellers from across the country bring their mountains of new and vintage equipment and lay it all out for us gearheads to behold. Look, there's an absolutely stunning Gibson Byrdland, priced at $22,250. Wow, check out that cool-as-hell Jazzmaster, it's only nine grand. Wait, this is what I really want, a 1957 tweed Champ for a mere $1,400. Man, this is crazy. Too much to take in. GET A GRIP, DUDE.
And who buys this stuff anyway? I witnessed a few minor transactions but the place still looked overstocked to me, two full days into the three-day shindig. You could sense a looming desperation creep into the conversations. My buddy Matt inquired about a small Supro amp at one of the booths. "How much do you want for this one," he asked the distracted dealer, who was thumbing something important on his iPhone. "Four or five hundred was what I was thinking," the guy said, "but I might blow it out for two seventy-five."
Going to this show does two things: It makes my heart yearn hopelessly for equipment I'll never be able to afford while it simultaneously reminds me how much I appreciate the pretty decent gear I already own. Sure, it would be great to wallow in my own personal wonderland of overpriced vintage guitars, amps and musical whatnot. But I'm a reasonable man, you see, and over the years I've come to almost accept the fact that you don't need to overdo it when it comes to gear. Seriously, I believe that. Mostly. I think.