Beautifully Abandoned – by Tony Kidd
I bought myself a new guitar today. Well, not really new: an old Gibson J 45, rich and deep on the low E and A strings, with round shoulders, a wine-red finish and tortoise teardrop pickguard.
He was standing in a city pawn shop in reverent silence. I imagine his maker reclaimed the wood from an old church pew to make him. He came with an exile’s suitcase and a belly filled with songs.
The music just lives in these old guitars. If you really want to write a song, if you have no ideas and can’t go thinking or don’t want to, go to a pawn shop. Go ask a guitar. Buy one used, because he has music in him.
Think of him as your grandfather’s cane, take him on a walk. He will talk to you. He’ll tell you about places he has known, the wrong turns he’s made and who he’s seen. About the café chairs he’s rested on, and baggage carousels he’s ridden, his wild ways. How one night in a downtown club, he found grace. And why his strings are sad and full of regrets.
Tune him up and, warbling out the old, he will begin anew. Tell him to find you a B minor, A major song. Maybe the next day suddenly you’ll have something.
People will turn to see where the beautiful notes came from. They’ll feel transfigured. Those that heard will say the holy spirit spoke to them as from an eternal tree. Anyway, that’s what my new song will say.