Eulogy to my little Guitar Amp.
February 27, 2009 6:47pm CST
You weren't the most powerful amp in the world, but you had the power to fill my home with sound. A Fender Frontman 15g Amp isn't much, in fact it's just a 'bedroom' amp. The kind of amp you get with those kits you see in music stores for beginning guitarists. You weren't even one of those when I found you. But that didn't matter to me. For I knew that it isn't the amp that makes the guitarist, it's the guitarist that makes the amp... and I knew we could become more than the sum of our parts. No, I didn't find you, all brand new in a prestine guitar shop. You didn't come to me complete with guitar, strings, gig bag and assortment of picks. You were unceremoniously sitting on a garage sale table, stuck between old magazines and paperback books. Your former owner was done with you, but as they say... one man's junk is another man's treasure... and after I plugged in and got to know you a little better, you became that treasure to me. You must have been confused, maybe even disappointed or lonely when I brought you home. You must have wondered why on earth anyone who didn't own an electric guitar would even bother with you.. or bother you in the first place. You must have felt completely rejected and dejected, going from the garage sale scrap heap to the dark corners of my closet. However, you didn't complain, whine or scream out at the apparent injustice. You simply bided time until the "someday" you hoped would come. And come it did; nearly 9 months later. The light of a real living room must have been blinding after so long in the closet. Did your resisters and capacitors ache, being thrown into action after languishing so long? Did your speaker cry out in pain with the sudden movement forced on it by the reintroduction of power to the magnet? If there was pain, you didn't let on. You simply jumped into the action you were born to. Iron Man, Run to the Hills, Kryptonite, Prince Caspian or a few licks and riffs of jams you never experienced before... and no it wasn't a "No Stairway" zone... which I suspect you appreciated as much as I did. A couple of years, and countless hours of decible laded joy later, your age started to show. Your muscles creeked and your bones popped as you did your best to keep your head clear while playing along in our musical game. But today, when I plugged in, you just let out a few gasps and then that death rattle I haven't heard since my paramedic days. I had no paddles, no Normal Saline or IV needles, no External pacer. But those are the toys of another trade, used to save lives unlike your own. My life so far hadn't equipped me to save lives such as yours. My only real regret is that you didn't live long enough to join me at our first paying gig at the Funky Bean. http://www.thefunkybean.com/ So my aged, fried out friend; I bid you farewell. I don't mourn for my own loss of your power and spirit, but for the future memories that will never come to pass. I don't know how long it will be before I can meet my guitar's next electronic partner, it may be a while... but whenever that may be, it will never replace you because you always remember your first. In Your Honor, I played "Funeral For a Friend"... I hope somewhere in the great beyond, you heard it and appreciated the gesture.