Taylor Guitars - A True Story
It almost seems like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my family's living room one evening, just a kid at the time. Our next door neighbor had dropped by to say hello but that wasnÇt the only reason for his visit. You see he had brought a guitar case with him, not just any guitar case, but a Taylor Guitar case with a slightly blemished 510 Taylor acoustic guitar inside.
The year was 1987, and my neighbor, a carpenter worked in a small woodshop complex in Lemon Grove California. The neighboring shop to his, was a little known, but still respected guitar manufacturer called Taylor Guitars. At that time Taylor was just about to move into their modern and current facility located in El Cajon California.
Back in those days, guitars that had any minor imperfections, but if still playable, made their way through production, the price reduced, and the guitar was sold to the first person to be interested. In this case the guitar had a small knot in the wood no longer then an inch and no wider then a hair. The guitar still sounded great, and there was little to no effect made by this imperfection. I donÇt know for sure, but I think mine may have been one of the last "blemed" guitars to ever leave a Bob Taylor owned factory.
"I know your son is learning to play the guitar" I remember my neighbor saying, "well Bob has this one here for half price because of this minor flaw. Would you guys be interested in it?" I remember that my parents asked me if I wanted the guitar. What a silly question, at that point it was going to be the nicest piece of gear that I owned, instrument, toy, period. I greedily nodded my head with approval, and my folks worked out the price for it.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure, there is something special about the smell of a new Taylor guitar when the case is opened. To this day that smell reminds me of the day I got my first and only Steel String acoustic. This sweet smell (probably just glue) permeates the air and you just know that there is something special in the room with you.
To be honest I was pretty lucky, at my age and ability the guitar was far more then I could really handle. The steel strings were much stiffer then any classical guitar that I had played up to that point. But my parents knew a good deal when they saw one and also felt that sooner or later I would come around and be able to play it.
I remember being bound and determined to play that guitar at a recital I had at a La Mesa guitar shop. I was still playing a starter nylon string, so it was quite a change for me to strap into that big olÇ dreadnought and hold those heavy strings down. I donÇt remember what or how I played; I just remember the smell of that guitar while I sat on that stage it was heavenly.
As any kid does, I got into playing the electric guitar, and spent most of my Junior High and High school years thinking I was going to be a rock star. Still that Taylor sat in its case in my bedroom. I would open it up every now then (mainly for the smell) and play it a bit. Then put it away and try to learn some Jimmy Page solo, or dream about a new distortion pedal.
When I went away to college the Taylor came with me. Through my years in school my Taylor was never far from my side. The guitar was with me when I was feeling up, when I was feeling down, and especially when there were girls to try and impress.
When the opportunity came for me to travel, the first thing I packed was my guitar, and extra strings. My 510 and I circled the globe (literally) and the guitar held up better then I did. The whole time we traveled I was able to make new friends and play music with whoever could strum a cord. My experience was made that much better because of my Taylor.
I turned 30 this year and my only acoustic guitar is that same 510 Taylor made in the Lemon Grove factory. The smell has faded, but as I have kept with playing, the sounds are much better then they ever were. I managed to get a job with a Taylor Retailer so I have plenty of opportunity to see and smell all the new and wonderful models of that keep coming out of that modern and constantly upgraded El Cajon factory. I dream every now and then of moving into a glorious Thirtieth Anniversary Model, or being able to plug into that full sounding Expression System. Then I realize that I still have MY Taylor, it means more then any of those other guitars because we have aged together. Playing anything else would be odd somehow.
So just remember when you see your kid's eyes glow at the sight, or even smell of a new Taylor, there is a possible lifetime of experience, comfort, and quality waiting for them. It would be hard from me to imagine my life without my Taylor in it.
Sorry for the lack of recent updates.