It was my first 12-string, however, that I fell head-over-heels for. I'd been wanting one for over a year and I finally found one at "Disco", a forerunner to today's Walmart or Kmart. After I saw it, I knew I had to have it, so I saved the $42 it cost from money I made working in a local music shop after school. Deni's Mom took us, and I came home proudly hugging "John Dylan Bumagy" (pronounced boo-MAH-gie... long story). That guitar took me to San Francisco, Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, and across country on tour. I played it in concerts and on television, in schools and prisons, weddings and funerals, nursing homes, and coffeehouses.
It wasn't until 1973 that I got a really nice 12-string, a Takamine. Unfortunately, that was stolen in 1978 when my house was burgled, and John Dylan Bumagy ended up getting auctioned off (along with all my other instruments which included a Martin 12-string, a Story & Clark piano, a clarinet, a 5-string banjo, some penny whistles, Indian flutes, and recorders, an Irish bodhran, and a bowed psaltry exactly like this one) in The Big Dump of 2001. My heart breaks when I think about it, so I just don't. Moving on...
So you see, I have a certain idea of a musical instrument being a kind of sacred space, where the music grows and swells, then bursts through the sound hole to fill small rooms and concert halls alike. Recently, I found some photos that just amazed me. They were taken by Bjoern Ewers for the 2009 season of the Chamber Orchestra of the Berlin Philharmonic. Fantastic views of the inside of musical instruments that make them appear to be sacred spaces—cathedrals—dedicated to the one truth that is Music.
Inside a Violin
Inside a Contrabass
Inside a Guitar
"So next time you are holding your guitar (or any instrument) in your arms, close your eyes and think about the space inside. Imagine yourself there. What an amazing sanctuary to contemplate the music uniquely yours to express, the songs uniquely yours to sing!"