I bought the guitar I play most of the time these days at a music shop on Scott Street in San Francisco. It must have been in the mid 1970's, because I have pictures of me playing that axe around that time or a little later. It was a Japanese knock-off of a Spanish classical style, like a Ramirez, made with a Brazilian rosewood back, a German spruce top and an ebony fretboard. It cost about $250, and it came with a hard shell case of brown leather and plush orange lining. The guitar has mellowed with age, the tone actually improving, but it was always pretty good. A few years ago I thought about replacing it. To get a guitar made of similar wood (they're not actually supposed to use Brazilian rosewood anymore because of the rain forest problem), you need to spend at least a couple of grand, so I tried a few out at a well-stocked specialty store south of Market Street in SF. These didn't actually sound as good as mine, and the action (basically, the ease of playability) was no better. I found I needed to go as high as three grand to actually do better. After a while, I just forgot about it and went back to playing the same old guitar.
October 01, 2009
September 28, 2009
My guess, frankly, is that Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in order to proliferate nuclear weapons. I think this idea is right even if I haven't seen it worded quite that way anywhere else (which, of course, is one of the reasons it appeals to me). But think about it: if Iran tried to build an enrichment plant outside the inspection regime of the IAEA and the comprehensive gaze of the ubiquitous Mohammed El-Baradei, Israel's Mossad and the CIA (acting on a tip from the Mossad) would figure it out very soon after they broke ground for the plant. Natanz would then have gone the way of Iraq's Osirak: "ka-boom!"