Sunday 2 April 2017

'73 Deluxe

I found it on Craigslist. A 1973 Fender Deluxe Reverb, all original and in good condition. I emailed, said I was interested, asked a couple of questions that showed I was a serious buyer. We talked on the phone and I arranged to drive over to Connecticut to take a look at it.

Amplifiers are a gamble - at least they are for me. Some guitar players plug into anything and as long as it’s distorted they’re perfectly happy. I’ve never been like that. If I have to I’ll work with whatever amplifier I’m given but I prefer to use my own. The sound has to be fairly clean, I need to be able to turn the amp up without it breaking up into a fuzzy mush. I need volume, displacement and definition.

Amy says I’ve been chasing the sound ever since she’s known me. She’s right. Imagine a cello without a body, just a neck that went all the way down to the tail piece - you wouldn’t be able to hear it. The body is the amplification. Without it you might say that the instrument was incomplete. Now take an electric guitar - without the amplifier it’s barely audible, so the way I see it the amplifier is an important part of the instrument.

I drove through torrential rain, mostly in the dark. The house was a bungalow. A large middle-aged man answered the door and showed me into a living room. Blue grey carpet, four seater settee, grubby white vinyl armchair, pick-up winding machine and bobins of thin copper wire on the floor, Fender Deluxe Reverb where the coffee table might usually be. This man lived alone.

I plugged my guitar into it and it sounded ok - it would obviously need some work but the price was very reasonable and I figured that even if it wasn’t right for me I’d definitely get my money back so we struck up a deal and I drove back to Catskill through more rain, the proud owner of a ’73 Deluxe.