This weeks post comes from London, a place from my past which I haven't visited for many months; a city I dwelled within for over 16 years. Most of the time I lived in London my working occupation was that of guitar sales person, managing an instrument shop in the Westend, near Soho, formerly on Manette Street & latterly on the famed Denmark Street. That all came to an abrupt end late in 2013 when the company I worked for finally closed its doors to the public. This, it turns out, was the ejection I required to embark on my life as a photographer, but not without it's financial pitfalls, & by summer of 2014 I was working for a while, once again, selling guitars, but in a new company in Shoreditch, east London.
I was there for about ten months before leaving England for a new life in Barcelona. Now I return for a brief stint of two weeks to work, selling guitars old & new, in what is undoubtedly the coolest guitar shop in London, 'Vintage Guitar Boutique'
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Guitars are ace! Simple. No matter where you find them they are loved. If they are neglected there will be someone come along to resurrect them, if they are injured there will be someone come along & patch them up with affection; for guitars are symbolic of freedom. Yes! The freedom to express whatever it is that is flowing through your life in the moment. Guitars represent the portal to a world within, which is both personal & universal.
I've sold alot of guitars over 13 years working in the trade, hundreds at least. Cheap & new, expensive & vintage, beautifully crafted pieces & absolute dogs; there is a guitar for everyone.
I've owned many guitars too over the 29 years I've been playing, but have now only one, a trusty companion to aid in articulating my wordly woes, joys & passions. For that's what guitars are for no?
...expressing that which we may not feel adequately equipped to do in other ways. Guitars can become home to any manner of personalities we choose to project upon them. For some they are sacred, or merely tools, for others they manifest romance or dream realities...
...and for some of them, the electric ones, an amplifier is required. I love the sound of electric guitars, when played by some particular individuals, but find acoustic guitar more suited to my sense of expression; a little closer to the bone.
Vintage Guitar Boutique, where I am currently enjoying a few days working whilst catching up with my London friends, has other stringed variants of the guitar too: lap steels, resonators & ukeleles are also popular instruments of modern & bygone eras. And there is a large selection of contemporary electric & acoustic guitars for all styles & levels of players. (There's my bit of proper blatant advertising ;) )
Well, my first trip back to London since my move to Barcelona has proven to be exactly what I imagined it would be: busy, noisy, cold, dismal, competitive & unyielding. Thank you to all my wonderful friends for making it bearable!
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