By Jim Downey
I’m 62 now. I bought my first guitar (a Goya nylon string) as a knee jerk reaction to seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. And I mean seeing them! I was in the audience for that history making show. Remember when you first started playing? The pain, the seemingly impossible barred F chord and the millions of dissonant choices that eventually fell away as we fell in love with the guitar. Today, I can say that I appreciate the guitar just as much as when the romance was new. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to own some pretty great instruments. Examples by Dana Bourgeois, Richard Hoover (Santa Cruz) and Bill Collings were each stars in their own little universes. Oddly, I found myself dismissing Martin as a true contender. Sure, a pre-war D28 will certainly humiliate any banjo in its path and once you get up into the more deluxe models, a new Martin will still hold its own against most contenders. I guess, ashamedly, I’d become a guitar snob.