My Kent 12 String Guitar
Double Trouble and a Disappointment
After graduating from high school in spring of 1967 I had a band. We played and sang at churches and for over the next year and half before I entered the USAF, we had a gig at the VA hospital in Black Mountain, NC. At that time I played lead guitar in the band and owned a classic Fender Mustang guitar, in my opinion one of the best guitars ever made by the Fender Guitar company and no one has ever quite equaled the necks and fingerboards of those amazing instruments.
I had landed a job in the cotton mill in Tuxedo on the evening shift. My job, music and weekend dates kept me occupied I became interested in purchasing a nice acoustic guitar and knew the upper end Gibson's and Martin's were out of reach so I began going to pawn shops looking for the elusive dream, a used Martin or Gibson that I might be able to afford on a mill workers income. I wasn't able to find one but one day while in Finkelsteins, a well known pawn outlet in the city of Asheville, a 12 string Kent caught my eye. I loved the way it looked and soon I decided I would buy the guitar. The price was $35 in those days,about half my weeks paycheck. A twelve string guitar I soon found out was a strange animal and tuned very differently from my normal guitar. To be honest I never was able to tune that guitar. The main reason was we tuned by ear and matched the tones at the frets and I broke more strings attempting to tune the guitar, I gave up and never played the guitar.
As for as my Fender Mustang, I sold it a couple of weeks before I left for basic training and the man who bought the instrument still has it. I spoke with him this past weekend and told him I'd give him his money back. A great guitarist he told me, it's not for sale but lies among the "stuff" in his basement. Originally I paid around $250 for the Fender but today it is worth over $2000.
When our house burned in 1989, I still had that old guitar and somehow it was salvaged. It was stored in my brother in laws basement where it still remains to the best of my knowledge. I have always thought about getting the old guitar and having it redone. For those who play these monsters, there is some good music to be heard and played.
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