Keep your equipment clean, seriously…

Yesterday, I told you about Paul. That was fun.

Today, I will tell you about Mike. Mike might be more likely to set your house on fire than Paul. He’s pretty awesome.

Mike is not his real name, but I’m using the story with permission.

On Saturday, I had people visit and one of them was Mike. I think Mike can be best summed up as being in his late 40s and still playing small bar gigs. Mike is very much the stereotypical small bar guitar player. I’m pretty sure that Mike said this when I first met him. “My name is Mike, and I live off the women I meet.” Mike’s pretty honest.

This might sound like a terrible job, but Mike doesn’t actually even have to be a very good guitar player. Mike doesn’t have to give two shits about his wardrobe. I am not sure if Mike even pays for the copious illicit substances he imbibes. If he does, I don’t know how. Mike has no money.

Mike isn’t in it for the money. No, Mike is in it for the lifestyle – which is more accurately stated that Mike probably isn’t able to be gainfully employed in an alternative industry. I like Mike, but I’m pretty sure he’d get fired on the first day as a fry cook.

Mike does have to worry about reliable transportation and reliable/affordable equipment. His transportation and equipment are about as reliable as a meth addict.

If Mike has ever had a new guitar, he probably stole it. Or conned a girlfriend into buying it for him. Seriously… If someone says they play guitar, they’re a walking example of a series of bad life choices.

I don’t think Mike actually has a driver’s license. I’ve seen his name in the paper! It distinctly tells me that they arrested him for exactly that reason. Mike drives – everywhere. I have ridden with Mike. It’s like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Mike is distinctly not allowed to drive anything I own. Mike is never even a little sober. He’s a fucking mess!

Which is to say, Mike is one of my favorite people! I fucking love hanging out with Mike. There’s pretty much no point in time when Mike is doing something that isn’t interesting.

Mike brings me treasures – often hoping that I’ll buy them.

On Saturday, Mike brought me a treasure – except he was very confident that he didn’t want to sell it. (That’s a good thing.)

Mike brought me a 1991 Fender Strat. He loves Strats.

When he finally conned me into letting him bring it into the house, my first words were. “Holy shit, Mike. That’s fucking disgusting.”

It’s 27 years old. It’s probably seen zero maintenance and I’m pretty sure it’s never been cleaned. None cleaning. None.

‘Snot even the least bit unusual. It’s definitely not even the least bit unusual for Mike. Mike knows they’re disgusting. He calls it patina. That’s probably an old French word that means ‘too lazy to clean my shit.’

‘Snot like Mike’s going to keep this guitar. No, this guitar will last him maybe a year – and he’ll be on to his next treasure. This isn’t a collector piece. I’ll give him $200 for it. $250, if he fucking cleans it.

It’s in terrible shape. He loves it. Mike doesn’t care one bit about things like intonation. Mike does not make faithful replications. Mike does make (some of) his own music. He once made me feel so bad I bought one of his CDs!

Mike gave up selling CDs pretty quickly. He now informs me that my CD is a collector’s item. He even signed it. Thank you, Mike. It’s a treasure!

Mike can’t actually sell merchandise. Mike doesn’t have his shit together well enough to do that. He’s tried – and it always gets stolen or given away.

He might actually have more stories than I have. Ain’t no way Mike is ever gonna write them down. I’d consider writing Mike’s story, but I’d be really hard pressed to fool people into thinking Mike plays guitar better than Hendrix.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think Mike is in it for the music. That might actually be a brilliant idea. I think he just likes the attention and lifestyle – which includes vast amounts of time spent inebriated and picking up ladies from the bar. He does have a fascination with the equipment used, but that’s probably developed from constantly needing to replace and repair it.

Huh… I’d ask Mike if he even likes music, but I’m pretty sure he’s sleeping and I doubt it’s in his own bed. I assume he has a bed, but I’ve never seen it. I’m not sure that’s fair. Mike has slept at my house and seen my beds. Then again, I’m never sleeping at Mike’s house – ever.

Either way, I’ve touched on some of these subjects before, but I feel like writing about ’em today and, well… ‘Snot like you can fire me…
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