I don’t play guitar at all. When I write songs, I use a keyboard — either a piano or a little electronic job I have here at the house. However, when I was a kid haunting my local music store (site of some of my few drum lessons) in 1980 or 81, there was a weird old 60s-vintage guitar that hung on what I would later recall as the Wall of Misfit Instruments. It wasn’t a “cool” brand like Fender or Gibson — in fact, it was a Silvertone (the Sears instrument brand, like my first drum kit). But it didn’t look like any guitar I had seen before, and although my friends and I sneered at it, commenting on the “push-button transmission” array of pickup switches, I’ve remembered it ever since.
Well, a little while ago, I decided to play internet detective, and found out that a few of these critters are still out there. It turns out the model was called the Silvertone “Sharkfin”, and if anything, my passion for gritty garage rock just makes me love it that much more. This thing was made for playing “Louie Louie.” It’s weird, and I think beautiful in its own tacky way.
Who cares if I can’t play it? This thing is art.