December 05, 2013
I just sold a Gibson banjo today. This was the first Gibson banjo I had, actually the first Gibson instrument I had. I do have a fake Gibson banjo which I am holding on to. I have had two fake Gibson banjos in my time, one a kind of crappy but kind of expensive copy I sold. The crappy but totally inexpensive one I kept. That particular fake Gibson sounds every bit as good as the fake Gibson I sold, think. I still have a fake Gibson guitar and a real Gibson guitar too. The fake Gibson guitar sounds like a piece of shit because it is a piece of shit. But the real Gibson banjo sounded good. It sounded perfect, in fact. It was freaking loud. It was a plectrum banjo, so the real question I kept returning to is--who the hell needs a plectrum banjo, good sounding or not? And a really loud one, if you are not playing Dixieland? And who needs a Gibson plectrum banjo? Many questions. For a time I thought I did, now I have decided I don't. A friend of mine had a good line--the best instrument is always the one you just sold and the next one you are about to get. I think about this all the time because I like to buy and sell stuff, keeping an even flow like the flow of water over the gills of a shark. I was feeling that faux-nostalgic way about the Gibson today before I shipped it out. But I'll take the folding money over that particular banjo.