Here’s the story.
Wednesday night, I noticed my neighbor was working on his 1967 Buick Riviera (a rare car), a car he has ben restoring for the last year. I walked over to his house to check his progress. While chatting with him in his garage, all the while inhaling the carbon monoxide fumes from the running car, I noticed a Taylor acoustic guitar leaning against the workbench.
“That’s kind of pretty” I said as I picked it up to check it out.
My neighbor Juan (name change just because that’s what everyone does when telling stories) explained that he got it for his ten year old son so he could learn to play. He also said that now the kid is learning to play drums, and doesn’t pick up the guitar much anymore. The strings were strung on the guitar wrong, and they were black, probably from the guitar sitting in the garage for months as Juan intermittently saturated the garage with car exhaust. The finish was dull and the fretboard was oxidized. It was quite obvious it hadn’t been used at all in a very long time.
I let him know that if he ever decided to sell the thing to let me know.
Fast forward to Sunday. Greg and I were loading the Subaru wagon with stuff we were taking to Goodwill. I saw Juan across the street and went over to ask if he had anything he might want us to take to Goodwill. While I was there, I made an offer. I proposed that we trade acoustic guitars. I explained that mine is already strung and ready to play, and it’s probably not as expensive, so it won’t be so bad if the kids scratch it or bang it around, a concern he expressed the other day. He wanted to see my guitar, so I went home and fetched it. When I brought it to Juan’s he held up the Taylor and said “You know what, you can have it. The kids will just break it, and at least I know you’ll use it”.
Taken aback, I re-offered to trade my guitar. He insisted that he wouldn’t take it, since his kid has lost interest in learning, and besides, he bought it a a garage sale for twenty bucks. In retrospect, I might have heard that wrong.
Wow! OK. So now I have this free guitar, probably worth four to six hundred bucks. I know Taylors can be a bit pricey, but since he got it so cheap, I figure it is probably one of the lower end guitars. I bring it home, set it down, and me and the Sonic-Mate go to Goodwill and go shopping,
A few hours later we’re done shopping and get back home. I pick up the guitar to give it a better inspection. I look at the model number then go to the intertubes (that’s internet for non-republicans) to see just what kind of deal I got for this free guitar.
I normally don’t curse on my blog, but in this case I’ll make the exception. I almost SHIT my pants. This can’t be right! But it is. I got a $3000.00 Taylor 614CE…. For freaking free!!!!!
I restrung the Taylor with Dean Markley Alchemy strings, and I gotta tell ya – this guitar plays like butter. It is sooooooooooo smooth. Makes me seem like I’ve been playing guitar for years. If I were to sell it, I could get at least $1300 easy, but I’m keeping it. Even if I had the money, I would never think to spend that much for a guitar. What can I say – I’m a cheapskate.
PS. I wanted to post about this yesterday, but I was not convinced that I would be able to keep it. In the real world, you just don’t come across an instrument like this in this fashion. I had to make sure to the best of my ability that the guitar had not been stolen. My neighbor would not have stolen it. Hell, he (and I, for that matter) had no idea what he had. But since I know he bought it ubercheap from a garage sale, and that is where a lot of hot instruments are sold, I had to be sure. I know what it’s like to have a favorite instrument stolen (yes, I still cry over my missing Peavey DynaBass, burgled in 2000) and if this Taylor was taken from someone else, they should get it back. I checked the guitar serial number with an on-line site and with the police department data base…. and it cleared. The Taylor 614CE would appear to be mine!