pre-trip inspection

Given that Parental Unit 2 was a former truck driver instructor and I’m about to hit the road, I figured that this posting deserved a suitable title.  The “pre-trip inspection” is a mandated set of checks every transport driver must do prior to heading on the road.  My version is less regimented but no less important.  This time around the inspection was, shall we say, a LOT less mundane than usual!

Let’s start with the tool of my trade:  the guitar.  Before my last road trip, I had determined that my regular guitar was a little too precious for me to take on the road.  It has a lot of sentimental value as it was the last time my brother and I went on the hunt for a musical voice for one of us and we both agreed that despite its drawbacks (lack of pickup for live work, its small size) it was the best sounding acoustic we have heard (with the plus side.  Some 20 years down the road, it still is and has matured beautifully, despite its quirks.  I love my little Larrivee dearly and would be crushed if the airlines lost or maimed it, plus the shows I am doing now require amplification of some form and the thought of any major surgery on it makes me shudder.  A replacement was necessary.

I was worried about budgetary issues (I now have a mortgage, etc.) and began to look.  I mentioned my conundrum to MK who is a good friend in the music industry who has managed to make his own career using the internet (pre-social network days) and word of mouth.  I respect him greatly and respect him more after he hooked me up with one of the companies he endorses.  So I get hooked up with a new acoustic guitar with a beautiful sounding pickup at the “artist price”.  Yes folks, despite what you’ve heard, most endorsees don’t get free gear, but they do get some consideration for their endorsement.  While the new guitar isn’t my Larrivee, it has its own merits and sounds beautiful and has become my live workhorse.

Said guitar receives new strings the week before I go on tour – enough to stretch them and break them in.  As I was packing it into its flight case this week as I was slacking off the new strings to reduce the tension on the neck and soundboard, three of them popped.  <expletive deleted>  I contacted my string supplier and was told it was a bad lot of strings after reading out the lot code and he correctly identified the three strings that broke.  A new box of strings was couriered out to me the next day with a return label for the old strings.  Last night was spent replacing the strings and hopefully no further carnage will happen.  Talk about awesome customer service!

Yesterday was spent having a photoshoot with the amazing Jeff Tessier and meeting with Stephanie Seagram of the Cossart Exchange.  Both of these are towards two projects I am working on and have alluded to in past postings.  I will be starting up with the Cossart Exchange in December and am excited about working with them on getting both these projects up and running!  If Stephanie’s energy and positive spirit is any indication, it’s going to be a fun six months at least!

I spent the rest of the day gathering items to pack for my trip:  fantastic new Converse High Tops for performance, trekking poles for the Grand Canyon side trip, tunage on the iPhone, reading material – sorry Kobo, but you’re just too unreliable yet, writing and sketching materials, camera, etc…plus I was able to get the grocery shopping done and a quick 10 kilometer ride in on my Pashley before the day was out, so I didn’t feel guilty.

Anyways folks, I’m going to be outta here bright and early tomorrow morning.  I’m not giving any promises about posting until I get home, but who knows?


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