Restore or Retire?

Here you can discuss details about instruments, equipment and all those other bits that non-musicians won't understand !

Moderator: GORDON

Duvet
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:17 pm

Restore or Retire?

Postby Duvet » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:22 pm

Apologies for opening a new thread about my Bailey Guitar but this is relevant to all guitars / owners and I want to conduct an opinon poll so please do answer, if only briefly, rather than just read this post :-)

RESTORE OR RETIRE?

I have been listening to much advice and there is coming a time when I will have to decide what I think is best. Do I restore or retire this first Bailey guitar?

There are two schools of thought:

Make it playable with minimal intervention / change and restoration. Yes, clearly I could probably buy a better instrument for less than the value of this one and its restoration cost - actually not that significant - but regardless, this guitar deserves to be heard, irrespective of it's relative quality (and it's quality won't be known unless it is restored and played)...

The other camp is to case it and do nothing. Preserve it as a historic item, as an 'antique' that may have intrinsic value simply because it was JB's first.

Interestingly (to me!) is an analogous argument of car restoration (I'm a petrol head too).

A car is like a musical instrument. It lives, it breaths, it makes a sound, it has a living character that can only be fully appreciated when it is driven - not merely gazed upon.

If one has a unique, irreplaceable race car, do you put it in a museum or do you maintain it in track worthy condition and race it, thus incurring the necessity to abandon total originality?

In terms of cars I'm in the repair and race it camp - let it breathe fire, let it fulfil it's original purpose. In terms of this guitar, and faced with more than a hypothetical choice, I'm leaning towards the (gently & respectfully) 'race it' arguement but I'm not yet 100% decided.

So, Restore or Retire?

Cheers

Duvet

User avatar
GORDON
Site Admin
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:05 pm
Location: SUTTON COLDFIELD

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby GORDON » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:08 pm

David.

These are my thoughts sir. My guess is that it won't cost the earth to get it back to playing condition.

I'm a great believer in creating history with an instrument. Many of my guitars are used either in the studio or on the road thus creating a little bit of history for the chosen instrument. Sadly, as you know my Martin guitar has been destroyed in transit. I still can't believe it, and in my minds eye I can still see it intact in its case waiting to be taken out and picked. I used on on Em's tune, a tune in my humble opinion ranks alongside some of my best work. Why? Because it was written from the heart for a special person and recorded on a special guitar......now no more.

What am I trying to say here? Get it into the hands of a player who could truly do it justice, someone like Raymond Burley who is a master of the gut strung guitar. Get him to play it in concert somewhere,even just one tune, or even arrange to get him to record something on it for YOUTUBE.

This guitar IS of historical importance because it was created by one of THE great pioneers of British guitar making. John wasn't a player, but by God in his hands he created beautiful and unique works of art that happened to sound beautiful. Listen to early Bert Jansch,. Roy Harper and even me on my Visionary album and even going back to 1969 with Portrait, then Testament of Time in 71 through to the mid to late 70's. Much of it was the Bailey.

Please forgive me if I'm going off on one here but I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.Don't let it die. Let the world hear it!

Be Well.

G.

Duvet
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:17 pm

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby Duvet » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:38 pm

Hey G,

I guess that is me told eh :D

Seriously though, from my first private email to you, through our conversations, my post above, and indeed my first public post on here, my instinct has always been that this instrument needs to be heard openly.

I've taken much advice including that from your good self on the playing side and including makers like your friend Roger Bucknall of Flyde fame and almost unamimously the advice is to repair this original Bailey (with a light and gentle touch) and let this old girl have a new life. Let her sing as was intended.

So why did I post this new thread? Another Bailey owner's advice flew in the face of this concensus. He said, don't touch it, case it, preserve it as it is. Inadvertantly this kinda rattled my cage - was my instinct wrong? I guess I was looking for reassurance and, now confidence has been restored, I will put it in the hands of Roger Williams as you suggested even though RB is keen to do the work too!

It was my intention to restore it for my own use (a weirdo leftie) but I am coming to realise that this might be a mistake. I have to face the selfless realisation that this instrument needs to be played by one who's talents by far exceed my own (not difficult). She deserves a life beyond my meager abilities. She needs to be restored for a rightie. That has been hard to accept but despite a fondness for special road cars I know I am not Fangio nor Ayrton Senna and by the same token neither am I John Williams nor Raymond Burley nor indeed one Gordon Giltrap...

I'll email you privately but I hope to meet up in Peterborough on the 6th July.

Your friend

David

User avatar
GORDON
Site Admin
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:05 pm
Location: SUTTON COLDFIELD

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby GORDON » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:37 pm

Good decision sir.

Do you want me to have a word with Ray Burley?

Be Well.

G.

Duvet
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:17 pm

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby Duvet » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:56 pm

Hey G,

As per my email, here for public consumption, YES YES YES! (A loose quote from, 'When Harry met Sally')

To have Mr Giltrap AND Mr Burley play this old girl is beyond the belief of this Sunday leaguer, totally thrilling. But damn, why couldn't you have been born a leftie eh? :lol:

Cheers and hugs kind sir

David

User avatar
GORDON
Site Admin
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:05 pm
Location: SUTTON COLDFIELD

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby GORDON » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:49 pm

Looks like it's all systems go with the nod from Raymond, and Mr Wilson up for filming it.

Life is good at times isn't it... :D

Be Well.

G.

User avatar
Roger
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:02 pm
Location: Southsea

Re: Restore or Retire?

Postby Roger » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:56 pm

Duvet wrote:RESTORE OR RETIRE?

Interestingly (to me!) is an analogous argument of car restoration (I'm a petrol head too).

A car is like a musical instrument. It lives, it breaths, it makes a sound, it has a living character that can only be fully appreciated when it is driven - not merely gazed upon.
If one has a unique, irreplaceable race car, do you put it in a museum or do you maintain it in track worthy condition and race it, thus incurring the necessity to abandon total originality?

In terms of cars I'm in the repair and race it camp - let it breathe fire, let it fulfil it's original purpose. In terms of this guitar, and faced with more than a hypothetical choice, I'm leaning towards the (gently & respectfully) 'race it' arguement but I'm not yet 100% decided.

So, Restore or Retire?

Cheers

Duvet


Duvet,

Last Thursday I had a lift home from a friend. When I got home I had the biggest smile on my face I'd had in ages :D Why? Because I'd just had a ride in a 1968 Morris Mini Minor, which is a really rare, special car that is a piece of British motoring history! The owner has been advised on many occasions to have it restored, put in a museum, stored etc etc, but he uses it as his everyday car and has done since buying it new in 1968! Obviously he's looked after it very well and as result of this and it's daily usage the car still exists today and can be enjoyed by those that see it on the streets of Southsea.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you on two counts - that the rare guitar and rare car restoration are analogous arguments and that both should be used rather than retired :)

Roger

PS Nothing wrong about being a "leftie" :D, although it does pose problems with restoration, such as I can't play an old guitar that we had restored - still don't know what's best for it :?

PPS If you live in the South get along to Gurston Down!
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.


Return to “Guitar Anoraks Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests