Friday, October 13, 2006

missing an old friend

Back in the 80's I played in a band called August in Philadelphia (the band is still playing too!) We used to play at this wonderful little music club in New Hope, PA called John and Peters, often on Sunday afternoon. There was a music store 2 doors down that I would visit on breaks that had this amazing acoustic guitar hanging on the wall... I loved it but couldn't afford it.

Then one week, there was a sign in the window - "Going Out of Business Sale." The guitar was still there and the price was slashed. Monday I went back and purchased the guitar, then sold another one and broke even. It is the guitar that I am playing in the photo.

In the late 80's I switched from electric to acoustic as my primary instrument. That guitar was the only guitar I played from about 1988 until August of '99 when it was stolen on a visit to Philadelphia. I felt as if my fingers had been cut off and truly considered giving up playing. I couldn't imagine making music with any other guitar. That Lowden was "my" guitar and my sound.

The folk at Lowden were great when my guitar was stolen. They built me a wonderful replacement and a person in the company even loaned me a guitar for 6 months while my guitar was being built. George Lowden personally carved the braces in an older style that they were not using at the time and chose the inlays to match their 25th anniversary model. In those days, the large shop guitars where built by the folk who now run Avalon Guitars and George Lowden was president of the company. They have since parted ways with George taking his designs and starting a new company with the other folk becoming Avalon. Both George and Steve from Avalon were amazing to me. Thank you both.

Alexis and I have one of our rare gigs coming up (10/28 at Cold Springs Tavern outside of Santa Barbara) and I was watching an old video from a television show we had done in Albany in '98. Man did that guitar sound great! Indeed, I would say it was the best guitar I've ever owned and possibly the best one I've ever played - certainly among the top 5. Something just worked that day in the Lowden shop when they built that guitar back in '86. I love the new guitar but I still miss "my" Lowden. I'd love to get "my" guitar back someday so... if you run into a Lowden L25C serial number 271, it is my baby. And if I never get it back... I hope someone is still playing it and realizes what an amazing guitar they have.

1 comment:

Andrew Tatum said...

There used to be a function on the Lowden website that allowed you to date your lowden rather precisely. I bought my Lowden O-25 acoustic from a good friend of mine who had too many guitars for his own good. I was able to date mine to the "good ole days" when George was still, by and large, building most Lowden guitars by hand. I was so excited to know that I had such a wonderful instrument and would not live through my Lowden being stolen. It's been through so much abuse from me and still sounds amazing and it's always nice to see people who share the same wonderful experience with Lowden guitars!