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Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore...

Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore...

I have to admit that we anticipated this past Philly show with a small amount of trepidation; We never know if the crowds will be strong or if a lot of cool gear will be coming in. It's kinda like I'm Ishmael and Lee is Queequeg. We just get in the green 'Elkmobile and take off, hoping to find that big, white whale. Well, we didn't see any whales on this trip, but we did cart a van- full of great stuff back and are scrubbing and shooting them as we speak. Philly was hot, hot, hot and for a minute, I thought the Georgia climate had followed us up there so we wouldn't forget the usual Southern weather. But, enough babbling- let's get on to the show!

Photo 1. Every time we make the trip Northward to Pennsylavannia, we pass this hotel in Maryland. After doing so for about ten years, I asked the Tall One if he knew the Lee Jackson for which it was named and he repied, "Rayness, I've been holding out on you. I'm also a baron in the cheap motel bidness- Would you like to see one of my places"? You know I said "sure" and we rolled off the highway and into the parking lot of the not- so world famous Lee Jackson Inn. The first thing I saw were two cars and one of them was up on blocks. Then, as we walked into the lobby, I noticed that they cleaning crew had left some of the "Intercontinental" breakfast out. Call it what you want, but it looked like two hard biscuits, a piece of cold bacon and a half- empty jar of grape jelly to me. Lee said, "Don't worry 'bout that- I keeps my people runnin' 'round here". So I asked to see one of the rooms- big mistake. Lee took my to see the "Presidential Suite" and I quietly wondered to myself just what you had to be the president of to stay there; We walked in and the first thing I noticed was a squeaky ceiling fan with three blades and a 40- watt light bulb turning slowly. "That's our brand- new air conditioner" Lee said. Then I saw the TV- it was a 1973 13" B/W GE with knobs and some tin- foil strung between the antennas. Lee quipped, "Only the finest satellite will do here at the Jackson Inn". Now it's time for me to head for the door, 'cause I'm getting a little scared and it was at that moment that I saw a menu for the local Bub's Brew and Spew run across the floor by itself. I hit the door as fast as I could muster in ten feet and 'ol Lee just leaned out the door and popped off with, "What you running for? Ain't nuttin' but a couple of wood rats takin' orders. They thought you had rented the room". I jumped into the van, pulled up to the door of the suite and yelled, "Get in this van right now, or I'm flyin' solo for the next four days and you will not like the credit card bill when I get back home". He just chuckled and got into the truck. I swear, as I was tearin' out of the parking lot I looked in my rear- view window and saw an old lady with a knife, sitting in a rocking chair in a window....

Photo 2.This was taken off an isolated exit in the middle of Virginia. It was serene, peaceful, quiet and quite a beautiful sight. What I missed shooting was the guy on the bank, pulling 12- pound Carp out of the water and.....keeping them. Guess we know what's for supper.....

Photo 3. This is Artie, aka "DelawareGold" on the MyLesPaul forum. He's a newly crowned moderator over there and a genuine sweetheart of a guy. He's been our point man in getting these meets set up at various Bee- 3 shows and deserves a huge round of applause from anyone that attends or participates. Sometimes, in this crazy, wacky world of guitars, we meet people that are true and just good people. That's our Artie and we're proud to call him one of our own. He doesn't know it, but he's being inducted into the 'Elk Nation for "services above and beyond". It's the only thing we have to bestow upon him, seeing as how he refused the mint '94 Les Paul R9 named "Boiling Lava Behemoth" we tried to give him. In all seriousness Artie, you're a peach and we love ya!

Photo 4. Just when we thought that the renowned institution known the world over as "Rod and Hank's Guitars" was on its way for a comeback, I shot this picture. It was taken the moment after 'ol Hank told Rod that there "was another" and her name was Hortense. Come to find out, she's a German meatball tester at the Schwartz and Heinrich Meat Company in Dusseldorf, East Germany. She also doubles as a crash barrier for Robby Knieval's motorcycle jumps and all we have to say about this tragedy is, "Good Luck, ol' Hank". We like Rod better 'cause he's tall and wears cool jewelry. Please notice that, in the midst of all the chaos of a broken heart, 'ol Hank still looks quite confident in his maneuverings....

Photo 5. What can I say- she was fine and he was scary. Both were very nice people but in the end, she was still fine and he was still scary.....

Photo 6. This is our very own Carl Smith, aka "Carl the Bear". Carl's bought several guitars from us and this weekend was the first time we actually got to meet, Elk to Bear. I have to be honest here; When Carl rolled into the 'Elk booth, I suddenly felt very safe and as this feeling came over me, the Devil on my shoulder began to talk to me. I mean, I felt like I could do anything and as long as "The Bear" was with me, I had a ghetto pass to do as I pleased. So I told Carl, "Come with me". We walked up to the front table where Bonnie and Gary Burnett was checking in guitars and I just grabbed Gary and ran my fingers through his hair. I mean, I messed it up good and when he started to say something, I just said "Bear, get 'em". Gary took one look at Carl and said, "That's quite alright, Short Elk- you go on and have a nice day". Now I was emboldened. I walked over to Brad Gibson of Music Room Guitars and reached into his shirt pocket, took out a $5 dollar bill and tore it up in his face. You might as well have put sugar in grits in front of a Southerner- I thought he was going to have a heart attack, and as he raised a Harmony X-17 Econocord over his head as if to strike me, I quietly said, "Bear, would you mind" and Carl grabbed 'ol Bradley up and stuffed him into that old accordion case he carries around with him. Check another one off of my personal bucket list. Then, as my final act of bravado, I strode over to the booth of that dark one known only as the "Mysterious Mr. E." and you can bet that I was going to have my way with his mysterious behind, but he was conveniently absent, so I shifted my attention to his two menacing goons, Wayneburger and Chuckenstein (I've been wanting a piece of these boys for awhile, so now was my time to strike). I immediately began with the insults: "Your store sucks and your inventory is full of refins". No response. Then I tried, "Everybody in Ithaca, NY knows you can't pay your water bill and you have to pee in an outhouse behind the Thrift Store next to your place". Still, no response. So, I went for the jugular: "JACKSON GUITARS SUCK DONKEY BALLS"! With that statement, the two unwashed gremlins squealed like a couple of Ralph Macchios at a Jackie Chan book signing and lunged for me, but I deftly stepped aside and purred, "Carl, if you would be so kind". Without so much as a word, "The Bear" snatched two of those burro blankets off the Rumbleseat table and in no time, had them both wrapped up like a couple of cheap burritos. He put one up on each shoulder and off we went to that wonder of fine dining, the Blue Grotto. In the event that any of you ordered the "Cheesy Greasy Giant New York Chimichanga at the restaurant that weekend, well, you might have gotten a little more than you bargained for. What's the end to this fabulous tale? It's this; Carl's our guy, he's a long- standing member of the 'Elk Nation and we love him. If it wasn't for his love of clean, quality guitars, we never would have met him and for that, Lee and I are humbly grateful. Now the next time one of us takes a picture with "The Bear", we're going to shove a hot dog in his ear and see if either he smiles or we die......

Photo 7. Let's all examine a line from that classic and most excellent movie, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Remember when the methane power got cut off and Tina Turner calls down to see what happened? That midget asks a very important question. He asks, "Who runs Bartertown" and Tina has to answer, "Masterblaster runs Bartertown". Well in light of this photo, I'll let you all take a guess as to who really runs Elktown...

Photo 8. Home sweet home and every time we see this sign, we are reminded that the good Lord himself lives in the South- until next time, Dear Elks...

Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore... Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore... Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore... Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore... Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore... Summer Philly, 2010- Not Quite the Great White North Anymore...