There are fourteen guitars in the room where I am writing this. Most of them are mounted on wooden rectangles, about two-and-a-half feet by five, upholstered with muted tweed shades of green, grey, and blue. They are hung, hopscotch-style, in an ascending stair-step pattern that wraps around three walls, and terminates at the cathedral-style ceiling, twelve feet off the ground.
Interspersed between the guitars are professionally framed and matted posters –with matching ticket stubs– from a dozen shows from around the Pacific Northwest: Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp at the Yakima Fairgrounds; Leonard Cohen at the Key Arena; Kasey Chambers at the Aladdin; John Prine in Missoula, and half a dozen others.
The instruments and framed posters –all beautifully and meticulously crafted– represent the treasured memories of life-long music fans, but they aren’t mine.
With one exception, I never attended any of the shows on the posters. And, although I wish I did, I do not play or own any of the guitars nestled on their swinging hooks. There is a passion for music that radiates from the memorabilia and paraphernalia so lovingly attached to these walls, but it isn’t mine. It is that of the long-time friends who have graciously taken me into their home.
This is their music room, and I’ve come here to die.Continue reading →