Tuesday 23 July 2013

Down at the doctors

'The guitar doctor will see you now Mr. Medd.' I couldn't make out the glamorous assistant's name badge, but then again, I was distracted by her beguiling smile. She told me to go up: three flights of stairs later and I found myself catching my breath on the threshold of what can only be described as a quite magical six-string emporium: guitars hanging on every square inch of wall space; some signed by his clients - I'm sure I saw Clapton's spider-like scrawl on the headstock of a '57 Strat.

'Take a seat John. I can call you John, can't I? Now, what appears to be the problem?' I pointed to my guitar case, whereupon the Doc slowly took my prized possession out of its cocoon. 'Mmm' he said, barely disguising his disdain, 'I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker.'  'I beg your pardon?' was all I could come back at him with.  'Your local priest should have read this...this instrument its last rites long ago.' I was crestfallen. 'But can you save her? She's all I've got.' I was desperate and he knew it. ' I'll try. I can't make any promises, but I'll try.'

I'm not at liberty to divulge what happened over the course of the next couple of hours, suffice it to say that copious amounts of lemon oil were used together with a Mr. Sheen type substance, phosphor bronze strings and, strangely, some winceyette pyjama off cuts. It was like watching Woody being fixed in Toy Story 2. I was nearly falling asleep when, a couple of minutes shy of midnight, my guitar almost sprang off the operating table like an instrument half its age. Like I say, what happened in that room stays in that room. No doubt the good doctor would forget about me the minute I was ushered off the premises. But I'll never forget him. Or his entrancing assistant.


  1. I found pyjamas best for applying certain kinds of liquids to your loved one (of the 6, 4, 5 or 12 string variety that is of course).

    I normally use old t-shirts for lemon oil, or other fingerboard conditioners. I never use lemon oil on ebony for example I've a concoction recommended by the Gibson Custom shop for that - but again, you know Mum's the word on that one you know...;-)

    There is little more satisfaction than laying something with old strings, creaking tuners, dirty fingerboard etc. on your bench and talking nicely to it as you bring it back to somewhere it previously knew. Once you slap it across your knee and hit an open D chord you can just hear it's pleasure...

    (Sorry am I going too far on all this... note to self, be more contrite about the pleasure I get from this!)

  2. Thanks for that F. I'll pass your comments on to the Doctor.

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