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I’ve never posted a Diamond Diary entry. I actually have never posted a ‘story’ per se’ on IAIS – just regular posts here and there. But I had occasion to tell Eydie this funny little story and she suggested I post it – so here it is kids.
Among other things I do and have done in life for careers / jobs, I’ve been a musician all my life. Started on piano at age 4 / guitar and singing at 14. Neil has been my biggest influence, inspiration etc… since about age 9 when I first heard Cherry Cherry. When I was about 18, I got up enough nerve to go out and start playing and singing in bars. Back then it was just me and my guitar. Keyboards came about 4 years later. I never intended back then to do music for real or as a career so I would do all cover tunes – including and especially Neil’s stuff – LOTS of his stuff. I also never intended or set out to impersonate or emulate Neil in any way. But because he was my hero (still sort of is even at my ripe old age of 51), I found it fun to sing his songs and even copy some of his stage moves.
Now skip ahead, After doing the aforementioned for a good number of years, I guess I started to sound like him (so I’ve always been told – not bragging here). I basically have no problem with that. But here’s where it starts to get humorous. Let’s say for example, I’d write a new song. Well, the theme or some certain distinctive line in the song would oddly enough show up in some form or another in one of Neil’s upcoming or later songs (long after I wrote mine). This happened more than a few times.
Back in and around 1978 when Neil was playing his Ovation Adamas guitars (he had a 6 string and a 12 string version of this in blue … they made four different versions / colors of this guitar back in 1978 +/-). I saw this guitar and of course had to go check on out and see what the big deal was – why someone as great as Neil (and Glenn Campbell, Roy Clark and others) were playing these rigs. I went to a local music store in Boston (where I lived at the time) and played one. I fell in love immediately! These guitars were the best of the best back in that era. So I saved my pennies and eventually bought not one but two: one 6 string and one 12 string. But Ovation had just come out with a 5th version of these guitars that was black. I bought both guitars in black – looked cool! 🙂
So that was in about 1979-1980. In 1982, I go to see Neil in concert. Guess what guitar(s) he’s now using? Yeppers – BLACK Ovation Adamas guitars.
Skip to about 1983-1984. Ovation guitar company started to import this brand name of guitar called “Takamine”. I played one and could not at first accept the fact that these guitars when plugged in sounded better and more natural acoustic than the almighty $1500.00 Adamas guitars. The Takamine guitars back then went out at about $400.00 – $600.00. But alas, I finally succumbed to the fact they sounded better and traded my beloved Adamas guitars in on two new Takamines.
In 1984, I go to see Neil. You already know what I’m going to say but – – – he AND THE GUITAR PLAYERS were all playing (you guessed it) Takamine guitars!!
I’m getting too long winded so I’m gonna leave out some other humorous coincidences. Skip ahead to 2008. It was time for me to upgrade guitars again. This time around I said ‘screw it’ – I want a Martin guitar. For those that aren’t guitar players, Martin is one of the oldest and classic names in guitars. Been around for a few centuries. I went out and bought a Martin 6 string with a certain brand of pickup in it (Fishman). When I got it home and put it to some real tests – and further, when I did a few shows with it – I was astounded at how good it sounded even plugged in. I bought that guitar about 6 months ago.
On one of the online videos from ND with him singing one of the songs from HBD, I noticed Hadley appeared to be playing a new Martin guitar. I was able to confirm via D-Ville Discussions with a message from him that it was in fact a Martin wit a Fishman pickup etc…
Skip ahead to January, 2009. The other day (January 8th to be exact), I went out and bought the 12 string version of the Martin guitar I previously purchased 6 months earlier. Again, a beautiful guitar to say the least.
So today (Saturday night January 10th), I’m reading the posts on IAIS and a few people made references to “Neil’s new guitar.” Eydie was kind enough to put up a post / picture of Neil playing this new rig. She said she’d been told it was a Gibson guitar (another fine guitar). I looked at the picture and to me, it surely looked like a Martin headstock but I couldn’t tell because the picture was a little blurry (concert photography is tough! LOL). I decided I’d try and post a carefully worded message (question) for either Hadley or Tom on Diamondville Discussion asking if they would be kind enough to shed any light on this. Tom graciously and quickly responded telling me the story. The whole NDRRT had chipped in and bought Neil this high end, custom made guitar with his name inscribed on the fret board etc… They presented it to him at sound check just prior to the final show of this tour. Tom sayd they just placed it Neil’s guitar stand. Neil went to pick up ‘his guitar’ and realized it wasn’t his regular axe. Neil was speechless. He picked up the new guitar and rocked out and jammed with the band with it for quite a while. Again, in Tom’s words, “A great way to end the tour.”
Oh – did I mention the brand name of this new gifted guitar? Take a guess? M-A-R-T-I-N!!!!!!!
Someone play some Twilight Zone music here will ya’. LOL
Anyway that’s my Diamond Diary entry & story. Hope you found some interest and even more humor in it. I’ve been chuckling at all these coincidences for years myself!
Mike – “The Documentorian”