My First Guitar
Updated: May 26, 2019
I have been playing guitar for 53 years since I was 12 years old in 1965. I bought my first guitar from a pawn shop on Federal St. on the North Side in Pittsburgh. I remember it so well. One of the few things in my life that I remember that well at that age. I had saved $47.50 from doing odd jobs and caddying at a local country club. That was really hard work at that early age. I was so excited. My Dad drive me down and he waited in the car. I remember him asking me over and over again whether this is what I really wanted. And I kept saying yes. There were other guitars that I liked a lot downtown at Volkwein's Music, but this is what I could afford and I wanted it badly. I couldn't wait.
I got out of the car, with a bunch of ones, fives and change in my hand. And my Dad said very perturbed, "Put that money in your pocket before you lose it it or someone takes it." It wasn't the best neighborhood. So I ran down the street as fast as I could and walked into the pawn shop with my heart beating a million miles an hour. I still remember the man's face. He asked me if I had all the money and I said yes. I had been in there 5 or 6 times before checking it out and getting the exact price with tax. I remember we went behind the counter and down these old dark steps. A little scary. We walked down a tight room stacked with guitars and cases on both sides. He pulled out my guitar and brought it up the stairs.
He told me he was going to give me three extra guitar picks and a set of guitar strings. I thought that was an unbelievable deal. It was bright red with a white and off white pickguard. It didn't have the standard toggle switch but had 3 kinda 2 way buttons. It had 2 pickups and it was the most beautiful guitar in the world. I not sure now what brand it was but I think now that it was a Tiesco... a Japanese made guitar. It probably would be worth $400 today. Whatever it was, I told my Dad it was one of the best guitars ever made. And that was my first guitar experience.