Once the initial “bug” has got you when it comes to collecting guitars, it’s really hard to ever truly “shake” it off…….. although, I must admit it does sometimes tend to come and go. This is especially true since I’ve done it for so long, but what happens with any collection, is that you start to develop “collections within collections”! For example, once you get the Les Paul bug, you may never be satisfied with just ONE Les Paul…oh no……you want a sunburst to go with the goldtop, to go with the P-90 Les Paul, which goes with the humbucker, etc.
The care and feeding of all these babies also becomes important, and if you start to accumulate acoustic guitars, which I sometimes go through phases of doing, you’ll immediately note that they are far more sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, and need a good deal more attention than say, solid body electrics.
The important thing for me has always been whether or not the guitars really meant something to me from the standpoint of being something I really wanted to PLAY. After all, this is the reason I fell in love with them in the first place, and with each new, developing style, came the desire for that particular guitar to fill that need. As I got into slide guitar, for example, I noticed that I just wasn’t going to get the sound of my heroes unless I went after a National steel guitar. But then, lo and behold, before I knew it, there were 3 National steels in my collection!
There does come a point, with really any kind of collecting, where you must stop and really take stock of what you are doing, and if you are getting carried away with it! I know that even though many of them were very special, I always ended up selling the pieces that I truly had no interest in playing. You know, those guitars that stay in their cases, and only come out once in a blue moon, when you want to show someone else what you’ve got! I find that tedious and boring, and lord knows, they can take up space!
So, in the end, be sure to collect what you think will really STAY in your collection….guitars that you will really play, and that really fill a need in the sounds you want to make. The problem with me, of course, is once I think I’ve got that all taken care of, another “must have” comes along, and the old collecting bug in me gets totally reawakened! Thanks, but now I must be excused so I can continue perusing the classifieds for a vintage ES 345!!