Still, I clicked through and took a look at the specs. Staggering. Overwhelming. I knew I could never buy one, but I took a look at the dealer list anyway. Hmmm... my local guy has one coming. And a sunburst at that... my favorite. OK, fine, I'll keep my eyes open when I go visit him and maybe I'll get to play it. (Yeah, right )
So, a couple of days ago, for no reason *at all* I'm driving about 2 miles away from the store. Out of the blue, I am compelled (really) to do by there. I have no reason to go other than to visit as I already go once a week anyway for my kid's lesson, but the car will only go in that direction. I give in and head over. I walk in and...
There it is.
Hanging on the wall in the "good" room is the 000-42M with a sign with big letters that says "Ask for permission to touch". In a sunburst finish. Number 96 of 250. The cool Eric signature. OK, the heartbeat has picked up a bit, I'm starting to get a little queasy. I feel it coming on. You know what I mean.
It took me all of two seconds to get to the office to ask for permission. We zoomed back, off comes the belt and any other metal I'm wearing and I carefully take it off the wall. Strum one chord. Wow. I'm a goner by now and feeling *really* sick as I think of the consequences of what I know I'm going to do. I play a little more. It is getting worse. I ask for one of the other guys in the store who came in to watch me fall to the sickness to play a bit so I could hear from the other side. Wow. Even better from the listener side. And it felt so *right* in my hands.
So the owner says, "you want it don' cha?" "Oh yeah. But geez, I could buy a new Martin for just the cost of the sales tax!" "We'll work with you a bit," he says.
I'm shocked. But then again, we've spent some money there over the years. "Just how much will you work with me?" He mentions a figure. And I've already calculated which ones I'm going to sell even before we got to that point, already knowing that I was gonna cave, and now, lo and behold, I say "OK" and it is *my* guitar.
I couldn't pick it up for a couple of days because I had to move some money around, but I bought it.
It is without a doubt the most amazing guitar I've ever played. The sound is... well... indescribable. Every note is clear as a bell. It resonates like you wouldn't believe from top to bottom. Every sound is both a separate clear sonic delight and harmonious union with the others, all at once. This is the guitar I've dreamed of all my life.
I wrestled some with the cost issue and how I would feel about even playing such an instrument. In the end, I decided "what the heck", you only go around once. Enjoy it. Take care of it, don't abuse it, but play it and enjoy it. So that's what I'm doing.
I'll post a couple of pics here when I figure out where I want to have them hosted. The places I looked at tonight want Too Much Information. But trust me when I tell you that the pics don't do the guitar justice. The looks of the guitar are just as amazing as the sound. The sunburst is *perfect*, the finish is perfect, the case is perfect, everything is perfect. And in the meantime, if you want to see them, drop me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a pic package.
I've still got a "want list" of a few choice items. HD-28VS, Muldaur, Andy Griffith D-18, Woody Guthrie, a UMGF 00-18VS, 000-15S, a "Hippie" and maybe one of Jon's new custom units. But this Clapton is going to keep me happy and busy for a long while.
If anyone has any questions about it feel free to drop me a line. I'll do my best to answer, but know ahead of time that I'm not an expert. I just know what I like. And yep, it was expensive. Painfully so. Like in a different universe expensive. But I can honestly say it is worth every penny.
Clapton 000-42M (burst), 00-18V, 000-18GE 1937 (burst), OM-42 (burst), 00-16C, LXM, 000C-16RGTE, Gibson J-45 1942 True Vintage, Gibson Bluegrass Special