Two days in… my original Many Fish To Fry target guitar has sold and a huge list of you have already ordered the new album from po.st/pledge. THANK YOU.
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to say a few words about this fine companion – a Tanglewood TW-12 – as it heads for a new home.
In September 2007 I was sitting on my bed writing a new song called ‘I’ll Be On My Way’. In hindsight, it involved singing nothing of importance and then passive-aggressively muttering the title. The guitar part involved tapping – that’s the technique where you produce a note just by pressing the string against the fretboard without using another hand to pluck it. It was by all accounts a tricky guitar part. I couldn’t see the frets very well so I tried turning the guitar over flat on my lap. It was a revelation to me – like I’d found Narnia in the back of my wardrobe.
Thousands of these get churned off cheap production lines in China, others are expensively handcrafted by wizards and in themselves they mean absolutely nothing and have no intrinsic value.
We make them valuable by virtue of what they bring to our lives. Some people name guitars, but they’re tools not people. A guitar is like a screwdriver for reality. Not to be framed or respected but used.
Music is often projected as something celebrities make for money rather than something everyone makes because it feels wonderful. It wasn’t always like that – music is central to every culture in the world and in every tradition everyone joined in.
I’d love to urge you to make music, whether that’s hitting things, singing along while someone plays three chords on the piano or buying a cheap Chinese guitar from someone down the road who doesn’t use it anymore.
It’s a proven way to connect with significance. In my case after 10 years of writing songs on this one, playing 6 open mic nights a week with it, hacking the strings up til my fingers bled after my old man died, finding my career with it, travelling all over the world with it and customising it with different pickups, frets, stickers and graffiti, I can honestly say it has helped me find great joy, clarity and meaning in my life.
I wish it well in its next adventures and I wish you well in yours