30 August 2019

Summertime Blues

A short tale of spontaneity, and a bargain buy for the camping season.


It’s summer time…

It’s a week pending until our camping extravaganza. The Mrs is away, and I’m on mission bouncing between tip runs and sourcing DIY materials. It’s a nice day so I decide to do what dads do when they are liberated. I’m getting a KFC.

Tucking into a scrummy chicken twister. I begin contemplating the short holiday we are about to embark upon, when I have a brilliant idea.

Being a musician, of sorts, and by that I mean jaunty dad guitarist, I can think of no better way to spend time with my son than introducing him to a little sing-a-long around the campfire – I’m buying my boy a guitar!

The thing is…

I’ve never used my kid as an excuse to buy myself presents. I was tempted a few times by Star Wars action figures, but I resisted. This time however, I was like a little boy myself; giddy and sort of silly feeling. There was no stopping me.

I set myself a budget and a specification, £30 or less, 1/2 size or 3/4, nylon strings, must play well.

Deep inside I knew it would be a fluke if I found one that ticked all boxes.

Nevertheless, I set out full of joy and bounded through Aylesbury’s only music shop, absolutely full of enthusiasm and positivity.

I was greeted instantly so I commanded to the man…

“Shop keeper, bring me your finest cheap but good guitar, it’s for my son, we’re going camping”.

“Come this way and we’ll have a look” said the man.

I followed nervously…

Do you remember in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, and the Holy Grail turned out to be a grotty old rusted goblet, surrounded by beautiful glistening ornaments. Well it’s a bit like that.

He picked up a bashed, chipped, second hand 3/4 nylon Stagg C536, which at first glance looked like a piece of s**t. But then he reeled out a funky little flamenco lick, and it sounded simply amazing.

I took hold of it, and did my best to play something bluesy fully expecting for it to vibrate and buzz into anti climax, but instead it worked. It played brilliantly. This was no dud.

“£25.” he said.

“I’ll give you £15.” I negotiated

“£23…and I’ll throw in a case.” he said

“Done!” I accepted.

I thanked the man, and minutes later I was walking down the street feeling rather chuffed with myself. This actually just happened.

The buzz died down eventually, after the sobering thought that I had to explain this to the Mrs.

But what a cracking buy this was, a real gem at £23. Totally perfect.

So, thank you, kind gents of Aylesbury Music, you served me well and I’m sure my little boy will love hearing his daddy play around the camp fire. Thanks to you he will take home a few more memories.

A shout out

To Aylesbury Music. Pretty sure these guys are the only dudes to sell brand new american made Fenders within a stones throw of the Chiltons.