Tommy, un-Taylors, Tenacity and Turnabout

1:09 pm Guitar, People

First I want to post a thank-you to Charles Johnson at lgf, whose recent entry introduced me to Tommy Emmanuel, C.G.P. – an absolutely amazing guitarist and performer who is just a supreme joy to listen to and watch. I’ve since picked up his new album The Mystery, which is stunning, and ordered a couple of his instructional DVDs, as I really must know how he does some of the magical things he does.

As I’ve been ramping up on the music thing, and replenishing my tools, the last major item on the list is a 6-string acoustic. A quality 6-string acoustic. I’ve been looking at Taylors. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, they are worth it. I played a few at Guitar Center a couple weeks ago, comparing them to the Martins, Gibsons and others on hand. No contest. I’ve also done a considerable amount of ‘forum research’, reading numerous posts by serious players on the Acoustic Guitar Forum and elsewhere. I’d pretty much had my sights set on their acoustic-electric 614CE, but really wanted something like that in spruce/rosewood. GC had a 914CE, which strays beyond my budget, and some other more expensive ones when I was there.

Hoping Sam Ash might have some to try – plus I needed to pick up a wide strap for the B-Bender – I stopped in there. Didn’t see what I was looking for. So I tried a few Takamines, which were kinda O-K but not what I’m looking for. As I was getting up to leave I spotted this Larrivee on the counter. Never heard of ’em. I noticed a very impressive-looking premium sibling inside the display case and thought, heck, I’d give the counter model a try. It was a D-03. Even though I wasn’t interested in a Dread’, I loved this guitar immediately. It played effortlessly and had an exceptionally bright-plus-deep sound (the one I miss from my Lyle 12-string) – easily on par in sound and playability with the Taylors. What’s more, they’re considerably less expensive. I started investigating these and have found that I can get their LV-09E from Trinity Guitars or Notable Guitars for about $1000 less than the best price I can find on a comparable Taylor. At this point it looks like the toughest part of the decision will be whether to go with Trinity or Notable.

In the tenacity department, the current score is: Patty – 1; Bureaucrats – 0. As of yesterday, the interminable controversy initiated by the ADS Coordinator at Patty’s school back in May (previously discussed here) has at least been temporarily resolved. It took getting a number of organizations involved and a lot of hours coming up with the documentation to make the school an offer they basically couldn’t refuse, but in the end they did a complete, 180-degree turnabout on their previous, “non-negotiable” positions. She WILL be allowed to continue her coursework there and she WILL be supported in pursuing this upcoming residency session remotely, which means she won’t have to deal with another Survivor experience (summer version). The executive director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission indicated that our long (but effective) proposal to the school included all the documentation needed to “state a prima facie complaint of disability based discrimination“. Apparently the school recognized this as well, as it took less than 24 hours for them to completely change their previously dissonant tune. A formal complaint to the State of Vermont is still an option, but to be honest, even after the incredible amount of emotional stress they put her through this past summer, neither of us is interested in pursuing legal avenues as long as Patty’s able to continue her academic progress unfettered by idiots who don’t know the law. As long as the stress doesn’t result in another MS exacerbation, we probably won’t take this further. Frankly, we’re both drained by the experience and don’t want to have to think about any of it ever again.

So – time to get back to doing some music!!

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