Takamine EN 20 “Old # 1″

Made on January 17, 1990

Now, this isn’t the first guitar I ever had, but, it is certainly the first that I’ve kept.
My first guitar was a Peavey T-15 in May of 1985.
From May of 85 to May of 91 I had strummed G, C and D on…
A jet black Aria Pro ll.
El Degas cream coloured “Les Paul” knock off.
A black 1968 Gibson Les Paul that I foolishly let slip away in August of 1987.
A candy apple red Mexican Stratocaster (traded for the Gibson… ouch)
A hot pink Hamer with a Floyd Rose wang bar.
A 1988 Ovation Collectors Series 6 string.
A black 12 string Ovation.
A sunburst Telecaster.
In May of 1991 I was doing a two week stint at the Neighbourhood Inn up on Fort Road in Edmonton.
It was my birthday and I was killing time that afternoon at Mother’s Music down on Whyte Avenue.
My buddy Jeff Egert worked at Mother’s and just so happened to be on shift that day.
We were standing around listening to a song I’d never heard before called “Willin’” by a band I’d never heard of before called “Little Feat”.
It was the greatest song I’d ever heard and could still very well be.
Jeff had to help a customer, so I started snooping around the store.
I saw a Takamine jumbo body acoustic guitar sitting there on a floor stand.
It had a cedar top and was as plain as plain could be.
No fret markings.
No pick guard.
No nothing.
It did have a pick up on board, so that meant I could play it live.
It also had a ding on it about 3 inches behind the bridge.
Something about the guitar looked comfortable, so I picked it up, strummed a few chords and fell in love with it.
And because of the little dent on the guitar, I got the “floor model discount” and they knocked the price down a couple hundred dollars.
I think I paid 400 bucks for it.
This guitar made me feel like a rambling singer-songwriter.
I wasn’t one yet, but I sure felt like one.
It just had that no nonsense look to it and it really does now.
At the end of the first night on stage I noticed it was starting to show some wear where a pick guard should’ve been…
As you can tell, it’s worn in like an old pair of jeans.
I’ve had it re-fretted a couple of years ago.
I’ve also lacquered the hell out of it to stop the corrosion…
I wrote the bulk of “Songs From A Northern Town” on that guitar…
In fact, everything but “Eldorado” and “Daisy’s Dream” (which were written on my Guild “Old # 2” ) and “Something Or Someone To Hold” (which was written on my Ovation in a hotel room in Saskatoon on December 28th, 1988.)
All of my acoustic guitar tracks for “Song And Dance, Man” and “Simplify” were recorded on this guitar.
It’s really only been my “main guitar” for for a year and a half from May of 1991 till October of ’92 but it’s always been around waiting in the wings.
There has been years where it didn’t come out of the case or just sat on a stand waiting to be played.
Earlier this year I dubbed her “Old # 1”.
So I carved her name just behind the bridge and with a nail file to make it forever…
In the summer of 2010, my Dove had the headstock broken off it during a flight and “Old Number 1” stepped up to the plate and has been my “go to guitar” ever since.
Regrettably for “Old #1” the Dove will make it’s way back to the starting lineup.
But she knows that one slip up and “Old # 1” will swoop in to take her place.



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