I believe in Small Business
I respect and admire bass player Anthony Jackson, and a few years
ago, I read in an interview where he said every bass player who has a
chance should have at least one instrument built for him or herself.
I have never forgotten that.
When I returned to New Orleans, I did not know whether or not I would
stay. I have resolved to stay and never move again, but at the time,
I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING to help the city rebuilding
economically, and I remebered Mr. Jackson? advice.
I found a luthier, Vincent Guidroz of New Orleans Guitars, and
described to him my dream instrument. We both thought about it, and
he took on the project to build a bass just for me.
I believe fervently that we, the citizens of New Orleans, must rebuild
New Orleans. If we get help, if people want to send or spend their
money here, great, but we can ultimately only depend on ourselves.
I believe that rebuilding New Orleans, or any town or city blighted or
down on its luck, will not come because of Wal Mart or Target or Loews
or Starbucks. Ultimately, the best way to rebuild an area is for the
people to learn to depend on themselves and each other.
I could have gone to Guitar Center(the musical equivalent of Wal Mart)
and bought 3 – 5 basses for what I paid for this bass — and I am
still paying on it. And the money would have ended up in Los Angeles
or Tokyo, or somewhere else. I made a decision to pay more for
an instrument built by a man whose hands I have shaken, a man with whom
I have drank coffee; a man I now call a friend.
Not everyone needs a custom made guitar or bass — if you do, you
might want to check out New Orleans Guitars — but we all want nice
things for our homes, wherever we live. Look around in your own back
yards. Hit the yellow pages or the internet. See if some local
craftsperson will build you that dining room set, that rocking chair,
Will you pay more for it? Absolutely. Will you have a long wait?
Probably. Could you go down the road or highway and get the same
thing or a reasonable facsimile cheaper and quicker? Definitely.
But this thing, this hand made, epensive thing, whatever it is you
wish, will connect you with the past, a simpler time when we knew our
builders and they knew us, and give you something that will,
inevitably, last into the future.
Those things from the big box chains will fall apart in less than ten years.