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     I hear guys who play guitar complain about their wives' lack of understanding of their gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) all the time. Seriously, how many times have you heard a guy say, "I'd love to have that guitar, if only I can get it past the wife"? I've even said it myself a time or two in the past. If your wife doesn't play, she may not understand why you need (or want) more than one guitar, because they all seem the same to her. Add to that the cost (the guitars I like to buy don't come cheap) and it's understandable, as tough as it may be to take.  This is so pervasive that when Guitar Squid recently put out a (partially) tongue-in-cheek flow chart about deciding whether to buy more guitars or not (, the very first block was "Got a Wife?"  I'm guessing this is true for the non-guitarist husbands of guitar-playing women, too, but I don't know any.

     My wife is a remarkable woman.  She doesn't play guitar, or any other musical instrument, and really doesn't have any interest in music at all.  She's the kind of woman who recognizes and enjoys songs from high school on the radio, but couldn't identify the artists if her life depended on it, and can't hear any sound quality difference between a mono AM radio and a really good stereo system.  She doesn't understand why I want more than one guitar.  She isn't the artistic type.  Yet, she not only tolerates my pastime, she encourages it.  I started playing again just three years ago after a long hiatus, and I've built a collection of seven guitars in that short time (four acoustics and three electrics), to the tune of... well, a lot of money by my standards.  And after the first one, she hasn't once batted an eye.

     The impetus for writing this down came last weekend, when we were in Tucson to take our daughter to the Pima County Fair for a concert.  It was Cody Simpson, which frankly made me want to take out my ear drums with an ice pick, but that's another story.  There is a well-known music store there called Rainbow Guitars that I wanted to visit for the first time, just to look around and try out a few things.  I'm sure most of you do that - go into a store on a Saturday afternoon and spend an hour or two just trying out different guitars.  My wife was with me and not only didn't ask every five minutes if I was ready to go, but showed a genuine interest in the things I liked.  I picked up a Les Paul Traditional Goldtop and mentioned that I've always wanted one, and she immediately said, "Well, then, you should buy it."  Just like that, and they go for more than $2k.  Then I made pleased noises over a Rickenbacker 360, and she said the same thing.  At first I warned her that once or twice was one thing, but if she kept saying that I was liable to take her seriously.  Still, she kept saying it every time I found something I liked, until I eventually took a Martin J-40 (guitar number seven) home with me.  If you don't know what they cost you can look it up, but again, not cheap.

     Every time I hear a guitarist friend talk about how much he'd like to buy [insert guitar brand and model here], if only he could get his wife to agree to it, I smile to myself and think of my bride, Debbie.  What a woman!


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Comment by Mark Baker on May 1, 2012 at 1:39pm

Agree, Phil - it's not about need.  If it were really about need, I wouldn't own any guitars, actually.  I play all of mine and enjoy them thoroughly.  I'm not a gigging musician, but if I weren't gainfully employed there would be no money to buy guitars in the first place :-)

I have no plans to sell any of my guitars; I'll pass 'em on to my daughter when the time comes, and she can sell 'em if she wants to.

Comment by Phil Manuel on May 1, 2012 at 9:20am

@Mark, I've got a similar blog post about my wife. Good to hear about yours too.

@Richard, sounds like you got things worked out too.  As far as who needs a $3000 guitar, for me it's not about need so much as it is about want.  I'm gainfully employed, don't gig anymore, but you know I wanted a Martin for so long, when I found one I really liked - and had some $$, I knew the time was right.  I didn't really need the guitar, but man, I'm 60, and I'm just gonna enjoy my guitar, and not worry about re-sale value and such - that's something my kids will have to work out if they don't want Papa Daddy's old guitars. ;-)

Comment by Richard Rambler on April 30, 2012 at 10:01pm

My wife drives a new Toyota. I drive a 15-year-old pickup. She gets her toenails done every 2 wks, I don't even cut mine untill they're growing through my shoes. I never touch the milk money for my guitar addiction, but I DO cycle every red cent of my gig money, no questions asked, into my equipment, & I usually hijack half of the tax refund. I never finance a guitar, ever. It's all about compromise & common sense. If you're not a gigging musician or at least gainfully employed, what in the heck do you need a $3000.00 guitar for anyway? You'll lose your shirt on a re-sale as well if times get tough. (been there)

Comment by FloridaGull on April 26, 2012 at 10:06am

Amen, brother!  Quite the testimony! :-)

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