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Trip To Dallas

When I began collecting guitars as a pleasant and necessary sideline to my job many years ago, I never imagined that the fervor for collecting modern musical instruments would increase to the point it has today. And when I
moved house recently, I came to the realization that some of the fine pieces I had previously aquired were never gonna get played, so I made a plans to attempt to sell a few that were taking up too much space. Besides, a guitar should be played to be enjoyed, right? Not sit in it's case in a closet in the house..So when I finally decided to part with them, I consulted some collectable guitar trade papers and noticed that a big show for antique musical instruments was being held in Dallas Texas, home of the beleaguered U.S. president,
in mid-april this year. With high hopes of being able to attend this, I looked at my schedule andI noticed that I had some spare time to be able to go.

With some additional research I also found out that this particular event has been held for the last twenty years or so..started by the late great Charlie Wurtz of Charlies Guitars of Dallas..starting small in his store, it has grown to a considerable size now..with hundreds of dealers from across the globe, but mostly North America, attending.

Also, to make it interesting I invited a couple of pals to come along, and since none of us had ever been to a musical instrument trade show before, we were excited at the prospect of getting to see what the availablility and market of old guitars and amplifiers would be like.

We reserved some tickets on an airline and proceeded to arrange the detailsie: hotels, transport etc. to get us in to Dallas for that spring weekend. We were lucky to get it done without any glitches, and made our way for south of the border.

Before we left and after some commiseration, I had made up my mind on what pieces should go, and I was satisfied that I had picked a few nice ones to sell.. a red Fender Strat, a blue Tele, and a red Jaguar, all from the 1960's.

The joke among us was whether I would come home with even more guitars, fortunately, I was able to show resolve, and not buy much, except a few books on collecting, and a few souvenirs for a certain little one waiting for me at home.

We got into Dallas that Thursday night and proceeded to head to our hotel, and then made contact with some dealer friends of ours. We had a nice chat about gear, music, and the event itself, since it didn't start til the following day. Seems like there was considerable interest in my 3 pieces via my friends connections, and for the most part, we had early offers on them before the show started. With that in mind we decided to relax and enjoy a tasty Mexican style dinner that evening along with a few requisite margharitas. Alas, we would wait til the next day to show our wares..

We awoke to a typical sunny Texas day and devoured a quick breakfast and headed over to the Market Convention Center where the show as being held. The dealers there were almost all set up and we were in awe of the amount of gear and stuff that was being offered for sale. anything from parts and clothing to old records, food, shoes, electronics, and of course thousands of fine instruments.. Pretty well whatever musical instrument that had been made in the last century was on display and for sale there..mostly electric guitars and basses tho..but some accoustic pieces as well, drums, violins and accordions too. The prices could be reasonable or staggering depending on what you were looking for, and the to barter was welcome....A small old accoustic guitar could be had for less than 30 bucks, or one gibson guitar from 1959 was rumored less than 30 bucks, or one Gibson guitar from 1959 was rumoured to have sold for $200,000 u.s. dollars! Amazing enough when you consider it would have sold for around $275.00 dollars in 1959! Was glad to still have one of my own..but I'll be extra careful with it from now on!

A left handed guitar once owned by Paul Mccartney was offered too, but I don't know if it sold or not. At the asking price of 250,000 thousand dollars, I wonder who could afford it? A bit dear for the faint hearted. Nonetheless, we were able to see many fine instruments and see a ton of musical folks as well..musicians and players were gathering around the booths and the resulting cacaphony of dozens of guitars playing different tunes at once was deafening!..A musical dissonance symphony!

There was also a small stage set up in the rear part of the building wherelocal bands would provide entertainment. We walked around the complex for hours and towards the end of the afternoon we eventually headed out the the door back to our hotel, tired from the visual and aural excitement. We had a hasty dinner and discussed how the show went..turns out we sold all three guitars and we were able to make a modest profit from the sales as well. proof that an old guitar can have some actual value as well as just play and look great.. if you like that kind of thing..

Subsequently, we all had a great time and enjoyed the famous Texas hospitality we are accustomed to, and made plans to leave for Canada the next day..mission accomplished!
All the while, secretly hoping to be able to see the next big show being held in dallas in the fall..Do ya think I'll be able to be as vigilant during that visit? We'll see..

Regardless, keep strummin and hummin everyone!