So you’ll have noticed the lack of posts on the blog in the past week or so. I haven’t forgotten about you all, nor have I stopped caring about updating this blog and the contents within.
Nor have I died, fallen ill with a life-threatning disease or (god forbid) lost access to the Internet. But we’ll see what happens with that when this Digital Economy Bill comes into force…
No, my friends, I’ve been away to none other place than the Big Apple! That’s right, NYC, New York, the concrete city where dreams are made, etc. etc. etc.
It was my first time in New York (and the US) and it was simply amazing. New York is a stunning city with such a rich variety of things to do, and it looks simply beautiful, especially at night.
The sheer scale of buildings absolutely everywhere totally surpasses anything we have over here in the UK, and they’re simply breathtaking to look at.
Central Park, for example, can’t help but offer stunning views (whether of nature or architecture) in every direction.
But enough of that – I hear the question on the tip of your tongues. “Did you check out any guitar stores?”
Well, I’d be mad not to! Given my ambition to see touristy things as well, I only checked out a handful.
The first was 30th Street Guitars, which was conveniently tucked away only 10 blocks from our hostel.
The range of stuff on offer was slightly limited, but what they did have was amazing. One very large, long wall of incredible looking guitars.
From high-end Fender Teles to a massive array of custom Gibson Les Pauls and a huge variety of stunning semi-hollow body guitars thrown in for good measure, all underscored by dozens of incredible vintage amps running underneath.
The icing on the cake was an incredible red Marshall JVM half-stack (with matching cab, no less) – that thing was amazing, and had I the dollars left over I would’ve wheeled that thing out of there and worried about how to get it back home later!
Next on our list was a trip to Times Square, which inevitably led to searches for guitar shops. We found the jewel in the crown – a whole street of music shops. They were mainly guitar stores, but there were a few other cool music shops too including a pretty sweet looking brass and woodwind shop blasting out some smooth saxophone jazz.
Time was tight, and the number of stores down this street was a little overwhelming so we went for the big one – Sam Ash. They had two shops right across the street from each other. One housing enough drum gear to make Vinnie Paul jealous, and the other with all the guitars, basses, amps, acoustics and assorted keyboard equipment.
This was by far the better shop. Not necessarily the most impressive, but in terms of variety (both of types of guitars and price rangers) it excelled.
There were walls upon walls of different guitars. From vintage to metal, to bizarre and old-skool 80s; check out the tiger print LTD ESP superstrat – is it not fantastically glam? You might say it’s…glam-tastic! …I think I’m still a little jet-lagged.
Anyway, we moved through the array of amps (in which I felt oddly proud as a Brit to see so many Marshalls) into the artist’s room. This was a much quieter, more sophisticated feeling room to the rest of the store. It had the store’s entire selection of very high-end signature guitars.
Me and my band-mate (the other guitarist in our band) were guitar-struck at the relic’d, limited numbered, black Dave Gilmour strat. Real Fender, real USA, real custom shop.
And real money; this thing will set you back several thousand dollars if you feel like owning quite possibly the ultimate piece of Pink Floyd memorabilia.
So in summary, does NYC have more to offer than our humble British shops? Absolutely. Did I see it all? Absolutely not.
I guess I’ll just have to go back and visit again – next time with more days, more dollars and more cases to bring it all home in!