Cleaning Out the Gear Closet–a Pictorial Journey

I keep absolutely everything pertaining to gear. I’ve learned the hard way that that pedal I said I would never sell……ya, I’ll sell it. And when I do, if I’ve already thrown away the box simply to keep a little space in my gear closet, it won’t fetch as good of a resale price. I have no idea why……maybe some people just keep the pedals in the boxes for investments. Nah, we’re guitarists……we keep the boxes so we can say we ‘have that pedal’, even if we’ve never used it. But I take it one step further; I prefer to say I ‘had that pedal’, putting it in the past tense; it implies that ‘I’ve already been through that stage, son.’ Really great tool for building yourself up in your own mind. Hmm…well, once again not sure how we got there. But anyway, I keep everything–pedal boxes, boxes to ship pedals in, packing supplies, old tubes, whatever. I always think that one day I’ll need them. But things have gotten out of hand.

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See, it’s like in your Christian walk……sometimes things get cluttered. The cares of this world can literally ‘clutter’ up your life just like the boxes in my gear closet……

hehe Just kidding. I just couldn’t resist the classic skin-crawl-Christian-metaphor-link. You ever hear those worship leaders who make a sermon out of a song that has nothing to do with anything they decide to talk about? Like, not even remotely? Like, ‘Speaking of ‘How Great is Our God’, trials are a way to make us tithe. It reminds me of a song God just wrote through me…’ 😉 Come on…we’re all worship leaders to some degree here; gotta have a good laugh at ourselves every now and again.

Anyway, I decided to clean out the gear closet……in June. I finally did it yesterday. Tomorrow is always the best day for anything involving not playing guitar.

Seriously…I’m going to be the old man with hundreds of thousands of dollars in gear piled up in one wing of the house, but sitting on my couch with one beat up guitar and an old tube amp, perfectly content. Is that what we guitarists have to do, maybe? Go through every single piece of gear imaginable just to realize in 50 years that all we really need is a guitar and an amp? So, maybe I should just realize that now and save myself the trouble of buying and lugging and playing and learning thousands of dollars worth of gear! …………Wait, what? Was I just talking about playing only one guitar, one amp, and no pedals? haha I say crazy things sometimes. So here’s the extremly important guitar gear lost in the closet:

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Extra tubes…because I have to lie to myself and say that if I ever blow a tube, I’ll just replace it with an old one. In reality, blowing a tube is just an excuse to search for new tubes! Better tubes! And tons of pedal boxes for no reason whatsoever, and some rubber bands just for good measure, I suppose? Why do I keep these things?

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Okay, here we go. A table. My wife told me to throw this away last year. I said, ‘Sweetheart, you can still put stuff on this! That’s what tables are for, and this one still does it perfectly!’ She told me that was fine if I wanted to use it somewhere where she couldn’t see it. So I put it in my gear closet thinking how right I would be one day when we needed a table. Yep. It’s in the dumpster now.

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I have never owned a Suhr guitar, amp, pickups, or even their little dry signal mixer thing. Yet I have this. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I have this fantasy of dying (ya…little weird) and then when they come out to clear out my stuff, one of the moving guys will actually be like, Bono’s nephew and be like, ‘Whoa, this guy must have had some amazing gear!’ when he sees things like Suhr business cards strewn about, and then U2 will play at my funeral or something. I gotta get some better fantasies.

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More tubes. There was seriously like 67 tubes in that closet. And that’s a computer back there. Compaq. From when I was a kid. I remember being so excited when my dad upgraded it to the latest technology by installing a cd drive. Yep. It’s certainly a good thing I have that…just in case. You never know.

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Some worship sheet music that I probably told myself I would use the next week; and then when the next week came, I just printed out some new ones. Yup, Blessed Be Your Name. A classic never dies. No matter how many times you play it…or how many times you fake the congregation into thinking that you’re ending the song accapella and then wait, wait for it, is that the kick drum coming back in? Oh, I hear the guitar player starting to drive! Could it be? Yes, yes it is!! We’re singing the chorus again!! Thank goodness! I thought we were only gonna do it 7 times! The worship would have been quenched for sure if we hadn’t built back in! hehe Sorry, I’m having fun tonight. The rule is you can only make fun of people who you are a part of, or who make more money then you do. And I’ve probably played this song more than most and built it back in way more than most. You know, when you’re playing guitar and the worship leader wants to stop the song, but you just totally feel that God wants more so you look at the drummer and start to swell back in, and there’s nothing the worship leader can do about it? hehehe In all fairness, this is a very good song…with a great melody and people really seem to worship to it.

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And some trash. Never know when you might need that. Now, was it too difficult for me to walk the three feet from where I was in the closet taping up a box to ship a pedal in, so that I could toss this in the trash by my desk? I can answer you very simply: yes.

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Seriously, how do I get this stuff? I don’t even like Mesa tubes.

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Yes! Does anybody besides me remember these games? In junior high, my friends and I would literally spend days and days on end in the summer at each others’ houses playing these games……breaking only for G-Rock, Surge refills, and to switch cd’s from Dogwood to Blink-182 and then to Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’. (Ya, one of my friends was a little strange. That is a really catchy song, though, you gotta admit.) I still think these are the best games ever made.

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Oh, yes. I’m not sure if you can read the labels, but the top one is taped episodes of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ and the bottom one is ‘Die Hard 3: With a Vengeance.’ Why the blast do I still have these? And you want to know what? These definitely did not go in the trash. I cleaned out the closet, but these are still in there. How can you throw away something that you know has Sam Jackson on it?

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And the motherload box of guitar junk. That’s a circuit board of what used to be a vintage Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. The guy said it was broken. So I bought it for really, really cheap. When it came in the mail, I realized that by ‘broken’, he meant ‘in pieces’……and not even all of the pieces at that. And of course, more tubes, tube springs, tone pots, and an Albertson’s bag.

And brace yourself for the best thing ever:

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This doesn’t even need commentary. Just bask in its glory.

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And of course, what guitar clepto’s closet would be complete without a blown fuse? Because you really never know when you’ll need that.

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And last, but certainly not least: Staff Advance 2008, of which I was obviously enthralled. So much so that I used my insane artistry skills to draw a car driving up what appears to be a snake. And an Indian arrow dagger is flying towards the car. (I knew nobody would pick up on what that was, so I figured I’d just explain.) And the other things are lamposts…maybe. Now, you might be saying, ‘Well, you couldn’t have been all that bored…you didn’t draw that much.’ To which I must respond that, as unbelievable as it is, that sad little drawing is like a 3 hour project for me. So I was pretty bored. But honestly (and in case people from my church, are reading 😉 ), I’m one of those people who can’t pay attention if I’m not doing like, 3 other things at the same time. Like right now, I’m typing this blog entry, but also listening to Coldplay, re-arranging my pedalboard in my head, and gazing lovingly at a picture of The Edge. Well, the first 2 are true. Ah, forget it. They’re all true.

So, if you’re also a gearhead with a closet full of useless guitar junk……I’m there for ya. Let’s join forces in our belief that these gear hordings make us better guitarists. Because they absolutely do.


13 thoughts on “Cleaning Out the Gear Closet–a Pictorial Journey

  1. I think it took me a year to beat MYST. Even though I discussed it with Joey Alsadey every day in science class. My parents got me Riven for Christmas since I liked Myst so much. I played it for like 3 hours and said to myself, “Gah, I don’t have 12 months to devote to this.” and never payed it again.

    You have too much crap.

  2. Wow, Newsboys. I basked in that glory. MMMM, tasty.

    My little superconservative church in those years hated the Newsboys for rockin’ out “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It was “sinful.”

    heh, best song on that album is “Boycott Hell” cover of a Degarmo and Key song.

    Needless to say to you— but tubes just LOOK cool. The more blown, melted they are, the cooler they look. I have about 4 laying around now from my amp and the other “stage amp” at church. I go to throw them away, and its like “TONE used to ooze through these. I must show respect!” Then I put them back on the shelf.

  3. Vince– thanks! And yes…Dogwood is stupendous. I will never get sick of ‘Preschool Days.’ 🙂

    Mike–sweet! Another Myst player. Whenever I have some extra time, I’ll still throw those games on for an hour or so. Love it. And yep……I have way too much junk.

    Larry–bro! I loved Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus! We totally did that song at church, too. But nobody minded. haha And yes, I feel the same way! The tubes have served me so well, how can I just toss them? hehe

  4. Ah yes, closet cleaning.

    It took me three cleanings until I finally threw away a few video games like Half-Life and Far Cry. Those are the two best games ever created! Well, only after Grim Fandango. I just couldn’t re-play them any more.

    My guitar stuff is well, simple. I’m not a pedal fanatic – no offense. In fact, the only effects processor I have for my electric is a used digitech rack gsp/dsp-something. Can’t think of the name of it to save my life! Grrr. Anyway, it’s a rack processor that I picked up used for $40 with a pedal controller. I don’t play electric a lot and it does what I need. It will also give some nice effects with my acoustic.

    I painted it and built a floor rack that tilts it up so I can read the display.

    Now if I can just get rid of those old G.I. Joe comic books…nah.

  5. This is the funniest dang post I’ve seen in a while! Haha. Went through something similar but not as extreme in the beginning of the year when my Man Space got turned into the bedroom for our son 🙂
    Not near as drastic though. A table! HA.
    However, I too had a Newsboys cassette tape I found in there!

  6. Chris–score! I think I still have GI Joe’s somewhere, too! And we’ll forgive you for not being a pedal fanatic. 😉 You’re probably better for it.

    Jamianne–You’re welcome, Darling. 😉 You were right, and I love you.

    Chris Stout–are there guitar pedals in your garage? hehehe Then yes!

    Eric–haha Office, closet…as long as there’s gear!! 🙂

    Worshipcity–No way! You seriously found a Newsboys cassette, too? haha That’s too great!! Which one?

  7. Dude!! the not ashamed CD!!! Is it bad if I listened to that so many times growing up that if you put it in now i could sing every song with an impeccable impression of john james to accompany?

  8. Joel–haha Welcome, bro! I totally listened to that cd so many times, too. Nice to meet a guy with the same musical tastes, it appears! 😉

  9. Pingback: Divided by 13 RSA31 Vs. Matchless Spitfire Vs. Divided by 13 RSA23 Amp Shootout (Or…The Downward Spiral of a Gear Junkie)

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