Stupid Kid Story
Most of us do stupid stuff as kids. My generation had no idea there would be the Internet and eBay or we wouldn’t have stuck baseball cards in our bike spokes to hear them flap. I wouldn’t have given all my Hot Wheels cars to my cousin when I got too old for them. In fact, I would have kept everything I owned as a kid and I’d be rich now! Anyway, here is an example of how I made a stupid move (actually two) regarding my first electric guitar.
At age 14 my parents bought me a Fender Mustang. In 1974 the Mustang was considered a “student” guitar thanks to its shorter scale neck. It was also a budget guitar for those who didn’t want to spring for a real Strat (think Squier.) It was my first electric and I liked it a lot. Unfortunately, a few years later, on the way to lessons my guitar case popped open and it got some serious “road rash” on the sidewalk. The paint was chipped off in two spots. So being a stupid kid I decided to refinish it myself. Well, I did a fair job but the clear coat started cracking soon after. I didn’t really care much because I got a Les Paul Custom as a graduation gift shortly after that. From that day on the Mustang sat in its case unplayed.
Along comes the 90’s and Kurt Cobain. Suddenly Mustangs are hot. Original models are going for big bucks. Refinishing mine killed its value. It would have been worth more if I had left the paint chips alone. Oh well. I did eventually sell it and got way more than I expected, but not as much as I could have had I not been a stupid kid.
Still, that is not the most stupid thing...
When I was 15 my brother had a friend who was also taking guitar lessons. One day he brought his guitar over and he ask me if I would be willing to trade my guitar for his. You see, his dad decided when he started lessons that he was going to have a “real guitar.” So he bought him a Gibson ES-175. Most teenager back in the 1970’s didn’t want a big hollowbody jazz guitar, they wanted a rock guitar — a Strat or a Les Paul. I felt the same way and like a fool I said no. Stupid kid. Of course, now I would love to have that guitar!
Here’s a tip kids: keep every guitar you ever own. Someday you will wish you still had one of them, or it will be worth big bucks. The one exception: if your friend offers to trade his guitar, which is worth six times what your guitar is worth, for yours — do it!