The One Guitar You Never Sell
Do you remember hearing the sound of a guitar for the first time? That sound resonated in my living room whenever my Uncle Bobby came by and I don’t remember much, except that it always meant a great day. One day it would become the first guitar I’d ever own, but while it was Bobby’s it was as big as me.
My parents may have intercepted my curious hands with a “don’t touch, just listen,” if it wasn’t for Bobby’s consistently kind and generous nature, with his huge warm smile that was only upstaged and practically swallowed by his gigantic strawberry-blonde afro of frizzy curly hair.
It’s was a 1969 Ovation Classic that he would always hum and strum something soft and sweet on, something we probably also heard on the radio of his ‘73 Datsun 280z as he’d pull up to the house. He was the coolest, most fun uncle a kid could have and hence my favorite of all visitors, and that guitar laid the soundtrack of his short time in my life.
Here are two truly groovy pics that recently surfaced, of my uncle and the Ovation a few years before he died. They are the only pics we’ve ever seen of him with it. They were found on a long lost friend’s Facebook page.
Bobby with his VW Bug Hanging with his friend
during summer of 1969 at camp in upstate NY
Tragically, my Uncle Bobby passed away when he was only 25 years old. His Ovation spent the next decade stowed away at my grandmother’s house until one fine day, when I was 15 and in desperate need of anything that would impress girls, it came to my rescue and became mine. His guitar is the reason I taught myself how to play, the reason I ended up in business with vintage guitars, and the reason why I feel that the stories shared in this business are as valuable as the historical details each instrument is valued by.
The guitar has such a beautiful, rich tone that any bowl-backed acoustic Ovation lover would appreciate. The years have added depth to that and it has evolved into a soulful piece ideal for any singer-songwriter inspired by Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, Glen Campbell, John Lennon, Melissa Etheridge, etc.
I hear people often say the value of an Ovation Guitar lies more in its tone quality, affordability and usability than in any financial return, but my first guitar was an Ovation. My Uncle Bobby’s Ovation. A 1969 bowl-backed Classic that I got for free but its tag says: Priceless.
What was your first? Did you sell it? Do you regret it? Tell me your story via comments below, or if it’s a long one, email me your story with some pics if you have. I’d love to make a featured post about it. Thanks for reading!
See what others say about the ones they'd never sell: