What did I do with the guitar during the hurricane?

10 Sep

Some people wanted to know what I did with the guitars during the hurricane.

For those of you new to the blog, here’s the history.

I own the world’s most famous “1956 Shell Pink Fender Stratocaster”. If you Google those exact terms, you’ll see it’s number 1. Here’s the search results

I used to have quite the collection. I now only have four guitars. I don’t play any of them anymore because of my neck. But they remind me of things. The shell pink strat is the most famous. It’s a real 1956. I have a 1957 Fender 50th Anniversary Edition Reissue that I gave to my stepfather when he was diagnosed with Leukemia. He played the guitar in his rock and roll band for four years before he died. He gave the guitar back to me right before he died. He was my step father for 38 years and I was there when he died.

So those are the two guitars that I care about – because they are associated with people and the guitars are highly collectible. I keep the white one on display to remind me of my stepfather, AL. The shell pink one was always an icon associated with me – not for playing. The guitar iconically represents for the following reasons 1) for collecting guitars and knowing an instruments history and provenance 2) for my work with Hard Rock (although the guitar did not come from them) 3) for my attitude about always trying to be number 1 and 4) because iconically the shell pink strat was most famously associated with Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix is an icon of God given talent that none of us really understand. There are certain people in the world who are given gifts beyond explanation. He was like that. He could not read or write music. He was left handed and played the guitar strung upside down. Wrap your brain around that for a moment. It’s impossible not to respect him in light of all that.

Hendrix actually had two shell pink strats. He played the “left handed” version. It’s now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The right handed version went missing. He didn’t play that one.

I was once photographed with the shell pink guitar standing in front of the Porsche that I redesigned and replaced the electronics inside. Hands down, anyone who meets me tells me that is their favorite photo. That photo represents different things to different people. The men find it very sexy. For the women, they tell me it symbolizes empowerment and intelligence. (I am referring to the one where I face the car and the focus is on the guitar.) There are other shots where I face the camera and with the guitar but the photos don’t quite have the same symbolism.

For the white guitar, I can tell that I don’t keep it because it’s collectible, I keep it to remind me of someone.

The other two I have a regular strat and I have a Yamaha acoustic that also belonged to my stepfather. It was one of the guitars that he purchased. I grew up listening to his music. He was a Ph.D. with a hobby for music and always played in a band.

So during the hurricane, I obviously take them off of their stands in my dining room. It’s the only time they go in the case and then they go on the top shelf in the “bunker.” That’s the closet that is comprised of 3 firewalls.

So that’s what I do with the guitars during a hurricane. Where ever I go, they go. It’s not a monetary thing.

In terms of the shell pink strat – after I got the guitar, wrote about, made artwork and owned it for years, Fender decided to make their first 1956 Shell Pink Reissue based off of that guitar. She is special. And she is worth it.

There are two things that are really special about the color Shell Pink. It’s the rarest of all the Fender Strats because they didn’t make very many of them. And the second is that Jimi Hendrix said the Shell Pink was the only guitar that he couldn’t set on fire. It was truly the guitar of a genius. And a very rare one.

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