Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Music From Big Pink

I pulled into Nazareth,
Was feeling 'bout half past dead.

Everybody knows these are the opening lines of The Band's The Weight.  Less known, I'm guessing, is that Nazareth, Pennsylvania, is the headquarters of the C. F. Martin guitar company.

If you search The Weight in Wikipedia (which I do so you don't have to), there's a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about the Gospel of Luke and Luis Bunuel.  Which may be true, but honestly, a person's eyes glaze over after a while.  And besides, it's all about the guitars, man.

Great article in The Times today about Martin guitars.  Worth reading here.  Fine musical instruments, more than most things, seem to have an inner life to them.  A sort of soul.  A willingness to come alive in the hand.  To quote Daenerys Targaryen's handmaidens in Game of Thrones, "This is known."

Early this year I picked up a Holland & Holland double-barreled big game rifle at the Albany gun show.  Extraordinary.  Holding the thing in my hand I couldn't help but believe that somewhere, floating around in the primordial ooze of my brain, there was a Cormac McCarthy joke that included the phrase "No country for old elephants."  But I just couldn't pull it up.  Sorry.

But enough about murdering elephants -- that sounds pretty unpleasant.  And besides, it's all about the guitars, man ...


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