February 10, 2012


As you are well aware, Mrs. Martin has fled the Buckeye State for a girls' weekend in Nashville.  I'm sure some of you could understand how it might cause her musically-inclined husband a fair amount of sadness to be left at home.  Don't worry about me, though.

In the spirit of Music City, I thought I would seize this opportunity and write about one my most favorite topics... GUITARS.  I don't consider myself to be the kind of person who gets obsessed with things (as opposed to my best friend, who has battled his video game addiction by periodically selling his consoles, throwing games in the trash, or even smashing them).  My love for guitars may border on obsession, but I'll be damned if I ever smash one of my babies.

I bought my first guitar, an old Yamaha acoustic, when I was about 15.  I think I spent about $150, which was a mild rip-off, especially since it lived under my bed for the next four years without interruption.  I took it with me when I left for college, and I eventually started getting it out and hacking away on a regular basis.  Pretty soon, I had a couple of buddies in my building who also liked to play, and we would hold impromptu jam sessions on the porch in the wee hours of the morning. 

Sadly, I don't have my first guitar anymore, although I do have an even older and more weathered Yamaha that I really love.  And even though I have had lots and lots of practice, I still consider myself a hack.  But that hasn't stopped me from buying, selling, and trading a lot of different instruments over the years.  I love guitars for a lot of different reasons.  Some of my favorite recordings of all time have been solo performances with acoustic guitar and vocals.  The guitar is the perfect, portable accompanying instrument.  Guitars (the finer brands) are works of art.  The craftsmanship funneled into a real hand-made guitar is something special.  The coolest thing is that they're all unique and have their own history.

I've already racked up more text than I planned, so let's get to the good stuff: some of those axes that I find fascinating.  There are countless artist-instrument combinations out there- Slash's Les Paul, Angus Young's SG, and Jimi Hendrix's upside-down Strat among them... but I especially love when a rich rock star shows loyalty to a single guitar, even when buying a new one for every show is financially possible. 

Neil Young
Neil's Gibson Les Paul, nicknamed Ol' Black, is a charming Frankenstein-job with tons of modifications adding to its uniqueness.  This baby has been around the block (and that's the same strap!).

Chrissie Hynde
Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders is a loyal Telecaster player.  Let's be honest; Fender's first solid-bodied electric was an ugly hunk of wood.  Hand it to Akron's own rock goddess and it looks a helluva lot cooler.  

Josh Homme
Okay, maybe he doesn't exactly fit on this list.  Rather than endorsing a single manufacturer or creating a signature model, Josh Homme uses a broad spectrum of inexpensive guitars, many of them on the obscure side.  You may occasionally spot him with a Gibson or Fender, but you're much more likely to see Josh rocking an Epiphone or Yamaha semi-hollow, an Ovation solid body (yes, they made such a thing for a couple years), or something truly bizarre, like the Christocaster or the satellite dish thing pictured below.

Kim Thayil
No, that's not a Gibson SG.  Soundgarden's Kim Thayil has sported the Guild S-100 over the past few decades.  Similar to the SG in style and sound, the S-100 is just a little more rugged, and a lot harder to find.  Production stopped in the late 90s, which will make my quest to buy one even more exciting.

Next time I write, I will attempt to tie my guitar obsession to my wife's decorating flavor. Stay tuned!


  1. Nice Job Mr. Martin!!!

  2. i'm immpressed with you blog today. you have done your pretty little wife a solid by giving me something to read even when she is out of town. thanks Mr. glad to hear your musical input for the day.