A Long Road Travelled

I had been stringing her along for years…

A kind soul who had taken any punishment I had forced upon her.  She listened and heard my joys and deepest sorrows.  She has been the most trusted of friends, having never judged even my most foolish of whims, always speaking to me in the most honest of tones. She did not cry when I left her, but bravely waited for my return. She endured the quiet darkness with me and rewarded me with the sweetest of songs upon our reunion. Still, I do not know her name. I just call her “The 810”.

She is a 1996 Taylor 810-WMB and I love her. Through the years she has waited patiently in the belly of airplanes, buses and ships to the result of many repairs, broken braces and (beautifully) cracking finish. Today she is tired and complaining of a desperate need for a re-fret and a serious vacation in a humid climate. And so it is I summoned compassion and retired her from active duty on Feb 17, 2010.

I have had many guitars over the years, most of which were merely workhorses designated for touring.  The result was that I kept my heart distant, never giving them names (as so many guitarists seem to do), in the event they were destroyed or (worse) completely un-inspiring. Of the several Taylor dreadnoughts I’ve owned and passed on or sold, I’ve only regretted the loss of one. A wound so deep, I needed only learn my lesson through one experience. There are guitars, and then, there are guitars.

Jennifer Knapp and 810

The 810 is my guitar. You have to understand, I’m not crazy, possessive or overly materialistic…I love to travel light, keep few, but potent friends and most of all, attempt reasonable behavior when it comes to inanimate objects. It’s just that I think she’s almost become a ‘security blanket’. Through this whole ‘coming back’ business I counted on her being there…she made it through the recording of Letting Go, but she just can’t do the road. I am devastated.

Before I run this blog completely off the rails into the bounds of insanity, I’ll just say this. I had to replace her, so I recently purchased a new 810-ce from World Music in Bellevue, TN. (Talk to Jason about all that’s hanging in the acoustic room. He’s a real lover of wood & steel, not to mention just an over-all cool guy.) I must admit, as I neared home, I was getting pretty excited at the thought of recklessly wailing away on an axe that could take it.  But The 810 was out on the stand. Being in such a fragile state, I didn’t want to push her over the edge at the sight of a strong, shiny new beauty, so I kept them in separate rooms.  This was going to be tricky. I needed to get The 810 into the new case without seeing ‘Honey’ (the new girl. I know, I named her, right? Man, am I in trouble!) and Honey in the Calton road case without making fun of the old-lady. Though looking a sure fool, I managed. Now The 810 rests in a brand new Taylor case, comfy and humidified without being any wiser to the gorgeous sunburst girl stealing the show outside (or so I hope!)

All that to say, is that The 810 has her place, loved and hallowed.

If Honey knows what’s good for her, she’ll keep her top rockin’ and neck straight.