When I’m not making jewelry and hair accessories, when I’m not hitting thrift stores, tag sales and estate sales, when I am not reading, working, or running my household, I am a musician.
In fact, everyone in my family is a musician. My partner Randy plays acoustic guitar and a little mandolin and banjo. He can pretty much pick up anything and play it well within a few minutes. Tyler is 17 and plays violin, bass guitar and drums. Ryan is 15, and he used to play trumpet but now plays electric guitar almost exclusively. He can sit at the piano and listen to something and figure out how to play it by ear. I don’t have that “ear”, I took piano lessons starting at age 4, and I can play okay if I practice but I’m rusty on keys since I’ve been mostly focusing on acoustic guitar, and I can also play a little mandolin and banjo. Randy and I are an acoustic duo – we’ve done some gigs and open mikes in the past and have been practicing lately hoping to get back into that, we really enjoy it. Tyler and Ryan jam with other guys constantly and call themselves a band, but they fight more than the Kinks and Oasis combined, so they have yet to play out.
I say all this because this past weekend, I hit the MOTHER LODE of AWESOME when I went to an estate sale of a former guitar teacher. His whole basement (which was a late 60’s time capsule house) was his studio. I wish I took photos of his house – there was molding and woodwork to die for, built in alcove shelving units that were back lit, a long built in bench in the “waiting area” of the studio – just amazing.
What we have here are several “bridges” for various stringed instruments, violins, mandolins and banjos – we happen to have several of each of those instruments in our house and if we ever need to replace or repair the bridge, we’re all set.
We also have a VERY large box full of various thumb picks and finger picks for banjo players — some of these we’ll probably sell, we’ll probably keep a couple sets for ourselves.
I jumped all over that music holder clip over there on the left also – we have a few music stands but it irritates me when the pages go flying off, so this solves that problem for me, and I never even thought to buy one of these new! The second I saw it, though I grabbed it.
What’s not shown – the huge amount of music books that we were able to procure at this estate sale – mostly instruction and “drill” books for the piano since I want to brush up. We have this amazing Hammond Organ in our basement that the boys’ grandmother’s boyfriend gave to them – a Hammond Freakin’ Organ – and I want to be able to play it without embarrassing myself.
Being that I’m a huge nerd for vintage clocks, I threw my jazz hands up in the air when I saw this beauty for sale — all it needed was a new battery, it’s now gracing my kitchen wall near my Kit Kat Klock.
There was this amazing lamp that I regret not getting despite how horrified Randy was by its gold crushed velvet lampshade. It was a gorgeous hideous monstrosity. I was telling Randy that he needs to get on the jolie laide bandwagon.
Our big find was this great Polytone Mini-Brutal III Bass Amp for only $50. We jumped all over that, too – it’s a tube amp so it has a nice rich sound and amps like these usually go for $300 retail:
It shakes the whole house.
The whole family is off for Cape Cod this weekend, I look forward to hitting The Antiques Center in Dennis, MA and the various Mid-Cape Thrift Stores. I also plan on parking my butt on the beach and reading and eating lobstah rolls and playing vicious smack-talkin’ Uno with Randy, the guys, my brother and my brother in law until the wee hours like we tend to do.
I’m also leaving you with a video of the boys performing at the National Guitar Workshop last week — we sent them at the last minute and they called the experience “Life Changing”. I think Randy and I might sign up for it next summer. I haven’t been to a summer camp in over 30 years!
Ryan is playing lead guitar and Tyler is playing bass: unfortunately their penchant for wearing all black and growing their hair down to their knees means they got to be good-looking cuz they’re so hard to see.