Double neck acoustic guitar

This is not the one designed for Acoustic Avalon

This is a 12 string / 6 string combo


From time to time I am reminded by my wife of something that didn’t happen nineteen years ago.  She can’t let it go and I can’t change the past.  Typically, this happens after a few drinks, after I have gone to bed, and is often associated with her watching the movie, Alien.

I don’t know how Alien is associated in her mind with the event.  It may have to do with her admiration for Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ripley.  A lot of women have a fascination with Ripley, I think.  My wife tells me that it is her “kick ass, take charge” attitude that attracts her.  Ripley is certainly a strong female character; stronger than any of the men but the android.

Most of the time I am awakened by the blare of the television and go to the den to ask L to turn it down, or off and come to bed.  It is then that I am given what for about the past sin.  Of course, there is nothing I can do to change the past, and there is really no way to make up for it in the present or future.  I just have to endure her scathe. 

I have heard Alien at least a dozen times, and seen it several.  In fact, I can quote many of the next lines now.  One I use away from the den is, “Oh, Man! I didn’t sign on for this, Man.” a line uttered by a space marine facing the Alien monster mother.  I imagine that we have all had times when that line would have been perfect.

Appeasing someone we love for a past injury is never easy.  Sometimes it is impossible.  My wife has had a lot of disappointments and unmet dreams in her life, and I and my marriage to L are the reason for some of them.  She wanted to travel and see the world, and that is not very compatible with the usual medical career.  She and our older daughter did go to Europe in the mid-‘80s, and though she enjoyed it, she would have liked to have made the trip with me.  She had plans to open a business at one point, and my career path changed and she wasn’t able to do that.

The sin of omission is much worse than any of these things.

Last evening we went to Wayfarer Chapel, a small church belonging to a Unity congregation, and saw and heard Acoustic Avalon.  This was our first time to hear them and the couple gave a fabulous performance.  He plays guitar and she is a cellist.  One of his instruments is a double necked guitar that he designed.  It is unusual in that one of the necks is a banjo.  Both the guitar and banjo have extra strings.  The most amazing thing is that he has worked out a technique for playing both necks at the same time.  I watched closely and I still don’t know how he does it.

She is a very accomplished cellist, and much of their performance featured pieces that they wrote.  She comes from a long line of musicians, one of whom, her grandfather, designed and built instruments that are in a museum now.  They played everything from Celtic music to Bohemian Rhapsody to Stairway to Heaven on guitar and cello.  She was the storyteller, and told us that they played half a mile deep in a salt mine in Germany, and later this summer are going to play in a rubber boat in an ice cave in the Faroe Islands.  She invited us all to come along.  Of course, we would be paying our own way.

So, today is Mother’s Day, and L watched Alien last night. 

She was obviously anticipating disappointment.

Views: 111

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 12, 2019 at 5:06am

Happy Day all you Mothers.

Comment by koshersalaami on May 12, 2019 at 5:25am

Real friends don’t let friends buy Ovations

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 12, 2019 at 6:00am

I agree.  They never sound better and I find that rounded back an unpleasant nuisance.

Comment by alsoknownas on May 12, 2019 at 8:43am

I can remember the nonsense I'd hear from people who did buy Ovation guitars back when I sold them at a store around 1970. It was all non-musical tripe about sound wave improvement from the plastic backs, wood doesn't have the blahblah etc. It's the same as the online guitar forums these days. Soul less drivel from guys hell bent on mansplaining everything. I avoid golf, pro sports, and car talk too. 

Comment by koshersalaami on May 12, 2019 at 11:02am

Once in the 1980’s I think I had reason to be brought on sales calls to music stores in Nashville. (Very unusual for me as my living is territorial, but I was helping a manufacturer.) I went into one store and there was a fish tank. In it, along with fish, was an ovation cut in half the long way and placed cut face down, obviously no strings. I complimented the owner on knowing what to do with an Ovation. I’ve seen some guys like them as electrified acoustics but as pure acoustics they sound like crap. And, Rodney, you’re right, the domed old-European-mandolin-style rounded back is a pain in the ass. Well, the stomach. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 12, 2019 at 1:02pm

For a while music stores tried to convince folks that "punkin' seed" mandolins had a better sound, using the same mumbo jumbo you mentioned, AKA.  From a physics standpoint it seems to make sense that sound would be projected right back out the sound hole of a hemisphere, but it doesn't seem to work that way in reality.  I have an "A" type Epiphone, and I've had bluegrass musicians say that my mandolin sounded better than their mandolin players Gibson.  The proof is in the pudding.

The cellist had a commissioned cello built from wood that had been used to make a cello with just the right voice.  It was in an "airline accident" and both front and back were split, so she had another built from wood from the sme tree.  I don't know how that works, but wood makes a difference.  That's what Martin guitar said, "We just make the guitar.  God makes the wood."

Comment by Boanerges on May 12, 2019 at 1:30pm

Got three acoustic guitars, none of which I play especially well. One's a four-string tenor, another is a six-string Fender Catalina and the third is a Yamaha 12-string. All of them sound OK, and all of them sound better than an Ovation. Never understood the hype.

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 12, 2019 at 2:50pm

This is Junior Brown using his "git-steel" to find an amazing variety of sounds and styles.

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 13, 2019 at 5:35am

We had an anti-climactic Mothers' Day.  There is a farm which has a small restaurant that offered Mothers' Day Brunch near here.  The menu didn't appeal to L, so we went nearby and had a brunch on the deck.  It was a mildly uncomfortable venue due to a chill wind, but the deck was full, and one woman had roses delivered to her as they ate.  The daughters and granddaughters called to wish L a happy day and thank her for being a good mother.

My own mother has been gone since 1993, and if still here would be 102 this year.

I think she was a very good Mom.  My wife saw her as cold.  I could never see her that way.  They just showed their affection differently.

Comment by Anna Herrington on May 13, 2019 at 7:50am

It almost seems like two or three different stories going on here, music and instruments, triggers of resentment from a past 'injury,' mixed with the common issue of two people trying to get their lives lived in a fulfilling way within the compromises and structures of marriage/partnership. ... I think there are a lot of spouses who might be living with unmet dreams and goals, it seems to come with the territory of two people trying to blend their lives together with all that entails, add in careers or even one career that requires a lot of dedication and staying put, and compromises enter in, delays, changes of plans, surprise issues/events... and some dreams and goals get lost, traditionally it's often the women's dreams and goals and expectations, especially in longer term marriages.

I think about how many women say they've truly begun to find their own way only after a divorce, but also wonder what about those who don't want to leave their spouse in order to get some of their dreams and goals to fruition??

It just gets tricky and complicated - some  married friends of ours seem to have separate lives, separate vacations, others divorce, others stew in resentments, others in sadness and maybe fear that their own life isn't fulfilled and why has so much of my life been 'his' life? ....landmines/triggers show up, others fight all the time, others seem to love the same things....

it's all a bit tricky.

I did kind of laugh a bit at Alien being a movie watched repeatedly and triggers getting set off.... there's a lot one could dive into with that, not really knowing the story...

My husband's is motorcycles... he's dreamed of them since forever but has always avoided buying a motorcycle since I've known him as we had kids and he thought he was being sensible and not risking horrible crash/death/permanent injury while main breadwinner... but he practically drives off the road when a sport bike zooms by, or he speeds up to keep up with them in his dad van (when we had one), then he'd kind of 'disappear' within for a few hours - he watches whatever those races are, Isle of Man, on and on, at night, endless noise to me but the thrill of a lifetime for him that he's missing out on, stuck with responsibilities, work, Dad Life....over years, friend after friend has crashed on their bike with varying injuries that have stopped them in their tracks - so far I'm just breathing a sigh of relief he hasn't just bought one and gone crazy on these mountain hills, leaving me behind with 'his' life all around me...

At the same time I (kinda sorta) want to buy him one and let him get some of that fulfillment he missed out on.

Mine was to be an archaeologist, a life long dream, but don't quite see myself starting that plan at this point - I just found work as a wanna' be, and also I write stories using archaeological framework, inventing possible worlds. Will have to do.

Mother's Day was a good one this year, all three sons surprised me by showing up in town for the day. That was worth a lot of the compromises, right there.

Maybe all this to say:  I feel both of your pain  : )


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