Friday, 21 May 2010

Old Faithful

Some time ago, I brought my old guitar to Cyprus where it has remained for playing purposes whenever one visits. It's a Fender F-15 acoustic that I bought in 1972 at the Fender Soundhouse in London, for £29. Incredible price really, even for 38 years ago - it was 'shop-soiled' i.e. the finish on the neck is scratched and there's a small dent in the back. Made in Japan.
Any road up, it has provided amazingly good service over the years. I've just been up to 'Nicos Musical Instruments' and bought some new strings - Dean Markley HDXL - and given the guitar a wash and brush up and it sounds great. Still stays in tune, only a slight amount of warping in the neck (not so's you'd notice unless you were a guitar geek). The saddle on the bridge is plastic - I reckon if this were to be replaced with one made from bone or synthetic bone, it'd sound even better. But I'm afraid 'Nicos Musical Instruments' does not stock such things.
I got engaged in a conversation with 'Nicos' and it turns out he spent 34 years in London working as a guitarist and bouzouki player before returning to Larnaca. Quite a cool person musically, but he exhibited the xenophobic/racist attitudes that are becoming prevalent in Cyprus these days. According to Nicos it seems all life's problems can be attributed to the existence of 'Arabs' and 'Musselmen'. (That's an old-fashioned word for Muslims). I mentioned Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam as an example of a cool musical Greek Cypriot 'Musselman' but the point was lost on him.

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