Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guitar Center: Six String Wal-Mart

It had come to my attention while digging at a fungus on my heel, that I had not actively done anything musical in over a year. Live, in a studio...nada. After 25 years of being in original bands as a lead singer, songwriter and sometimes drummer, and cover bands as a singer, you would think it was in my blood. You would think after writing/cowriting a mother fuckload of songs, doing a handful of tours regional and one national, not really making it but certainly taking it and generally loving to death this thing called music, Umm, You would think the massive attack of art and creation and sound and finding a voice within woodshed and craft busting trial and error would be something that would freeze my blood and wither and hack my breaths to dust if I happened to just

Wrong Em Boyo.

I'm a single dad. I'm strung out punch drunk on a never ending..not even begun domestic split that takes every cognitive thought and cold cocks and cuckolds it into the stratosphere...nothing mattersphere. Yeah, meaculpa , motherfucker, whatever.

I've got drums molding in the basement in the house in which I once did reside. Yeah, fucking mold on em. Even when I lived in Brooklyn in the early aughts and kept that pathetic kit in a rat riddled basement of a former Hasidic school and played in a hipster Americana band that did 4 gigs total, they never had mold on them. rat turds, yea, but no fungus amungus.  Saw it two days ago. Its like the fucking Swamp Thing's been practicing his paradiddles on em.

The guitar I used to strum on every other Tuesday every 4th month of every year was a nice acoustic...I was actually breaking bad past that pesky barre chord barrier that I failed to purge my digits thru, a fuck of a  million times over....when the house of cards went up like a shit brickhouse. Poof. Poop.  Yeah, and said axe happens to be my ex wife's.  She claims to have been in a band for a half minute in NYC in the late 90s as a singer. I can vouch for her having a decent set of pipes, but I never once saw her pick that thing up and strum me some femme empowerment rock.  So it sits there in that house. All covered in bitterness and cat hair. It's not even furniture. Its an accessory. Goes well with those nice hardwoods. Spider webs swinging from the neck and all.

I had another acoustic guitar in that moldy chasm of a basement, and I included it in my exit strategy. It was an Alvarez, late 80s, missing a tuning peg, needed an intunation fix, new strings and some TLC. I broke it out soon after I moved into my new place in Mar/Apr and figured I'd take it to....well, shit I'm in the Guitar Center in Plymouth Meeting...a suburb of Philadelphia.

Then life bitchslapped me around in a mad dash for a vehicle, furniture, insurance, lawyer fees, toddler clothing, utilities,summer camp, foodstuffs, and work related travel. I forgot about the guitar. But hadn't received a call from Guitar Center. But in late June, I did receive a letter thrust at me by invisible lawyers and letterhead telling me in legalese that if there was no response within a month, it would result in the "forfeiture of your property".  I was contacted again by the guy who I presumed fixed my guitar during the first week of August. I rehashed the letter and he claimed by "talking to him" I could be assured that it wouldn't be put out on the floor.

Let's cut to the chase. I went in to this local Six String Wal Mart last week to pick up my guitar. This ...cavernous box store for suburban musicians....that never has had more than ten people total inside of it, including personnel...just a smattering of classicrockasauruses and kids practicing Shinedown riffs in front of a stack of transistor shit.

A semi nice bloke with a good case of the male pattern baldness an equipped with a British accent...IN suburban box store PHILLY??? took my inquiry, referred to the the computer and went off to "check the back".  He  came out and relayed the bad news. Not only was my guitar "out of the back" it had been put on that ever- vacant floor less than a week before and actually had been sold.

Wow.  OK.    So , yeah, I told him. I did get a letter, I did speak to some low rent guitar tech, but did they really need to PUT MY FAIRLY WORTHLESS ALVAREZ on the FLOOR?  You mean to tell me they were running out of ROOM......IN THE BACK? Was this a pressing issue?  Or some hack employees following strict policy from the higher ups at the Six String Wal-Mart. I remained as calm as I could with a heady mix of embarrassment and anger.

So then I went in to barter mode. I had my son with me. I had told him that we were gonna pick up Dad's "other" guitar because I got it fixed so I could start playing it at the apartment. I wanted to leave there with a guitar. Mine was gonzo. In the hands of who knows who.   I presented a scenario to the bloody ' burban bloke that he offer me a deal. The value of what the guitar sold for, minus the repairs I sanctioned....towards a new...USED guitar.  The daft knobjockey offered me 10 percent off of any USED guitar. Final Offer.


We left in a huff.
Sans anything.

I'm still angry. Ashamed of myself. 10 less iced coffees and a grip on a short attention span in that time period would have laid that Alvarez somewhere in this room tonight.

But I'm still befuddled by the practice of business. I doubt the inventory...IN THE BACK was ever effected by my guitar taking up space as much as the result of Guitar Center's stupid policy putting another dent in my creative ego done got me good.

I could be practicing those barre chords again. Going somewhere muse-ically and musically. Filling in the escape minutes that I spoke of in my last post with rugged finesse, or just going acoustic tri-tone crazy as I strum along aggressive to Sabbath's debut .  Possibilities= endless.


  1. pamela11:27 AM

    Wow, mold in the basement. Sounds toxic. Hope it doesn't affect your son. And don't worry, unlike your recent situation, I won't post anonymously. This is your ex wife. This post like so many of yours makes me feel sad. Why? Because despite everything that has ever happened between you and I, I love and care about you as a human being. As the father of my beloved son who wouldn't be who he is without half of you in his DNA. But sometimes you are just so stuck in your own self pity that it kills me. Why didn't you jump into action to do something about the mold? Why didn't you at the very least alert me to the mold situation? Why didn't you do anything besides feel sorry for yourself in this situation? Why does a post that's ostensibly about you missing being musically active have to include a cut on me? Why do you assume if you ever asked for the guitar - which btw you haven't - I wouldn't willingly give it to you, since to your point I don't play, nor did I ever say I did.

    Let me know what you want to do about the mold situation, Sean-o. I'd sure hate for Hudson to get sick and I'm sure you share my concern, drum kit aside.

  2. I guess your ex reads your blog? Well, since she's pretty much offering the other guitar, I'd take her up on it. It doesn't seem fair at all that they sold your Alvarez. I understand your writing and though it may seem like self pity to some, I don't see it that way, I see it more of your way of telling a story with emotion and creativity. If I only wrote when I had something "upbeat" to say I'd never write at all. I've been accused of being depressed and feeling sorry for myself and am guilty as charged some of the time. Its just the nature of being human. We all have different temperaments. So get the guitar and start strumming.

  3. Anonymous2:15 PM

    "Well, since she's pretty much offering the other guitar, I'd take her up on it."

    You can't dump this on her - from what I'm reading, it isn't that now, finally after all this time, "the guitar is on offer". Apparently it was always available and seano just didn't take it for whatever reason he had. Pamela - would you have objected at any time to Seano's taking it?

  4. Blogging is so much fun.

    I didn't take the guitar because it wasn't mine.

    Stay tuned for dumbed down, boring reviews of albums you'll never buy and safe fakery. Nothing thought provoking, and nothing written that goes anywhere beneath any surface of any kind.

  5. seano....cmon buddy. stand up for yourself. sounds like you are married again by your last comment. she is offering...take it without thinking twice...then it is yours.... wow, never thought i would hear from your ex here on your blog...doesnt surprise do have child together and i know you DO CARE about your son... now be the parent/ex hubby you need to be.

  6. BTW pamela. mold is only toxic if you inhale it....sounds like seano has been protecting his child from that toxicity and he has probably already cleaned it up!

  7. pamela9:46 AM

    Didn't realize my comment would inspire such a firestorm. Just to respond, not that I owe anything to any of you:
    1. Sean does feel sorry for himself. Ask him sometime. I know him better than any of you and stand by my assessment
    2. He can have the guitar anytime he wants and he knows that. Drums too.
    3. Why is it so surprising I would read my ex husband's blog? Is the world so black and white for most people? He's going to be in my life forever regardless. We have a 5 year old together. I have always supported his writing, why would I stop now just b/c I don't wear his ring?
    4. No Dan. He didn't clean it up. Perhaps you'd like to come by and take care of it for him.

  8. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Yes Dan, I'm sure it would be very apreciated. seano is too busy shamefully medicating his ADD with iced coffee to take care of the mold.

  9. Anonymous10:42 AM

    (I take that back - I meant to be funny and it just came out mean - sorry!)

  10. @ Pamela
    1.I never suggested he did not feel sorry for himself. I dont know him well enuff to make that assessment. I do know I went thru a divorce recently too and offered what I could to help him thru his. Btw he never has denied feeling blue...just ask him.
    2.I hope he takes you up on the offer and I also hope you give it up with no drama because your input here appears to be a bit dramatic.
    3.supporting his writing and demeaning him on his blog are 2 different things....see also my answer in #2.
    4. I would be happy to help a friend out if I lived closer. I am half a country away and can only offer my help with encouragement. How have you helped out Pamela?

  11. pamela12:36 AM

    @Dan. I hope lashing out at me, a person you literally know less than zero about, made you feel better. I also appreciate that you assumed every one of my responses was directed at you only. Even the comments on this blog are toxic and self serving. Unsubscribe.

  12. Jim B.1:21 AM

    Seano, I also married and bore a child with a bitch. Love my kid, but it's hard being tied to that woman for life. Good luck to you man.

  13. Jim B.1:45 AM

    P.S. I had much better luck the second time around, makes it all easier. Hope that happens for you, you seem like a good guy.

  14. Lots of drama here. I honestly didn't think this post would veer in this direction. Pamela. Thank you for the offer for the guitar. I may take you up on it. The actual point of my post was to reminisce and yeah, feel sorry for myself. I was a tortured artist long before I met Pamela. I miss being an active artist. Like many artists, regardless of their medium or level of involvement, sometimes life gets in the way of tapping into that joyous feeling of creation. This feeling can obviously be diminished or enhanced by a life changing event such as divorce.
    I write to cope, to vent, to release. As I said before, I write for the possible conversation. I wont be censored here. I've got to write what I feel like writing. But I think I'll stay away from anything "domestic " in nature. Too much potential collateral damage and psychological shrapnel.

    Pamela is gonna defend herself. its normal behavior. It is what people do when they are accused of anything they don't agree with.

    But please don't attack her. It will be better for all of us.

    I've got way too much on my plate to referee a fight between people who don't even know each other.

    I've got a son to raise.

  15. Pamela11:31 AM

    LOL Jim! You just made my day! Being called a "bitch" by Eeyore is quite flattering. I'm sure you were horribly and wrongly victimized by that awful woman the entire time you were together and that after giving it your all you just couldn't take it anymore. I'm sure that was it.

  16. sorry for defending you Seano. I shoulda just kept my mouth shut. I know what it is like to not be able to speak my mind for fear of stepping on the wrong toes. the thing is I think i do know her much better than either of you think. it doesnt take too long to form a good opinion of someone even from a string of words. thanks for continuing to write what you feel. I hope I have the honor to read your words for a long time.

  17. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Yeah, I agree Dan. The internet is really good for getting to know the real person behind the facade.

  18. while, of course, we have no idea who you are Anonymous....LOL