LOTD: David Wilcox’s “Guitar Shopping”

Every few weeks, my old standby playlist offers up the following song, and every time it does, I pause and listen. I am sure some find Wilcox’s metaphors heavy handed, but I think his songs embody some of the strongest imagery of any musician of the last twenty years. Especially his “Eye of the Hurricane” and “Just A Vehicle“. So with no further ado…

David Wilcox, “Guitar Shopping” from the 2000 album What You Whispered [On iTunes and at Amazon]

There’s a guitar here in the window
I’d like to play before it’s sold.
It’s such a classic, mint condition,
Great shape for one this old.

Now all these axes have their stories
Of the gigs that they have seen.
But when this one sold the first time
I was seventeen.

‘Course back then I didn’t want it,
it was way too new for me.
I needed something old and righteous
with its own authority.

So the first guitar I ever bought
Was twice as old as me
‘Cause its life was full of music
As I dreamed that mine might be.

And I played that thing a thousand nights
And traded it away
For something slightly newer
That was easier to play.

But now lately I buy new guitars,
They’re shiny as a hearse.
I still like the look of road wear,
But the roles have been reversed.

And now this thing is a classic,
But I still don’t need to buy.
Yeah, the old ones have their stories,
But by now, so do I.


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