Saturday, August 26, 2006

Out of the Ivory Tower

A trip to the local music store only reminds me how little I get out and what a bubble I live in. It also brought home a truth or two.
Recently, a friend I hadn't seen in ages innocently asked:
"Do you still play guitar?"
"Well, back when I cared, I did."
Silence. Puzzlement.
"Oops! Did I say that out loud?"
I tried to make a joke of my oblique comment and told him that it was a long story.

When you play the guitar and truly love it, you are going to go through phases with it, just like anything. For me, a few lines from Sting might quickly clarify my attitude:
"I must love what I destroy
and destroy the thing I love."

I have been reinterested in my beloved guitar as of late. Of course, the guitar is as hard a master as anything, but also forgiving as a saint. Kind of like coming home and being forgiven for all your trespasses and negligence with nary a word of admonition.

Mel Bay (Yes, Mel Bay publisher of the many bad things) has recently published this new arrangement of the Bach Cello Suites. So, I went out to local music store in hopes finding this new publication.

After sifting through a confusing display of sheet music and finding not a solo guitar catagory, finally a salesperson approached.

Dressed in alternative grunge style clothing with the obligatory "tats", piercings, bracelets, rings and other paraphenalia signifying his allegiance to his tribe, he opened with:
"Uh..can I help you?" His enthusiasm for his job was barely containable.
"I am looking for some gee-tar music." Looking for perhaps a brother of the six-string, I use this cute variation.
"Gee-tar music?" I have puzzled Sir Tat-A-Lot. This is going well, methinks.
"Guitar music."
"Well, here's our guitar books."
After a quick look-see, it is clear we are adrift in the sea of beginning guitar books.
"What I'm looking for is this new transcription of Bach for guitar."
"Bach for guitar?" I say nothing, but shake my head "Yes."
He goes to a computer to search for a title, but the internet is down. Flustered, he looks around for help with this most unusual request. A second salesman, who is otherwise engaged with a cocky, balding-with-a-ponytail (why is the cliche always so true?) guitar enthusiast, excuses himself to resolve this dilemma I've unwittingly caused.

"Look man," (finally someone I can relate to) "the music that we have here is what was left over from the closing of the Huntington store. What you're looking for, we'd have to order and that usually takes us a long time to get. So, your best bet would be to try so-and-so."

I thank him for his candor and thank him for not wasting my time searching and ordering something that would have taken weeks to order.

I should have just gone to Amazon in the first place.

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