When You Understand Why We Cling To Things

Blog Post created by jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 on Jul 18, 2017

You will understand why smoking is difficult to let go.

I'm going to give it to you in one word.


Smoking is a big part of most memories we have.

We hold onto things because we believe that will help us retain our memories.

I still have the same guitars I bought in the 60's and 70's.


Because I spent thousands of hours playing them and creating with them.

They are "old friends" but they don't suffer the ravages of time and living like we do as smokers. They don't get cancer or have heart attacks or strokes.

They get better with age. They gain value with age.

Each One Has A Story. I'm going to tell you 4 of them just for the heck of it.

If you're not interested, feel free to move on.

My first guitar worth saving was handmade by a Japanese Luthier named Kazuo Yairi. He was the premier luthier in Japan.

I spotted it at a 7 story music store in Tokyo and I took the subway 30 minutes each way daily for a month to play it. I didn't have any money to buy it so I sent a telegram (yes a telegram) to my parents and asked them to send me $100. They were reluctant but, my dads dad sent the money. We were with ABC records and when they got wind of the story, they had a limo take me to the store to buy it.  :-)     When I got home and took it to the local music store, Barbara Mandrell's

dad offered me $600 for it. No, I couldn't part with it.


My first electric guitar was a Fender Telecaster.

It was the late 60's. It was hippie time.   :-)

I had left a show group that played Vegas, Tahoe and the state fairs.

We were forming a new group with an old groups name. Our manager had been with the New Christy Minstrels and had secured the name of a group that had had a hit with "Frankie and Johnny" which she thought she could get some mileage out of. We spent 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks that summer learning songs and putting three 45 minute "sets" together.

The Greenwood County Singers - The New "Frankie and Johnnie" Song (1964) - YouTube 

We then took our show to Korea to play for our soldiers, tighten our show and develop our onstage interaction. We traveled all over the country including the DMZ.  Our equipment had been left out in the rain in a stopover in Fiji and all our amplifier speakers were ruined from the humidity. So, no amplifiers, no sound system. The promoter took me on an equipment hunt in Seoul and we bought one $50 amp which we ran two guitars and a bass through. I would take apart the juke boxes at each place we played and wire our vocals into the preamp section.

Another thing that humidity got was the finish on my brand new guitar.

There was deep cracking in the finish so, after I returned to Los Angeles, I called Fender and told them my story and they let me come down to their factory in Fullerton and gave me my choice of any guitar in their showroom.

This was my choice.

I used this guitar for my 1st 1 1/2 years as we toured the states. I needed a backup for when I broke a sting so I bought the red one below from the local music store when I was home on a break. I finally learned it was safest to change all strings weekly on my day off.

And while traveling through Provo, Utah, on our way to Portland Oregon I spied this, a 1955 Martin D-18 for $250 at a violin repair shop.

I didn't have but $100 so I asked them to hold it until I sent them the money in a week and they shipped it to me under a Greyhound bus in a cardboard box.

I still have the memories and the recordings I made with them.

Even though they have increased in value, it isn't their monetary value that makes me hold onto them, it's the MEMORIES CONNECTED TO THEM.