I spent yesterday trawling across LA, visiting pawn shops, looking for old guitars.
Spurred on by the discovery that you can actually put your push bike on a carry rack on the front of the public buses here, I headed for downtown and then peddled from there.
But, oh my Gosh, LA is large, sprawling, and then some. I must've covered 40km odd, including the ride all the way home down to Venice in the late evening hours - not bad for a little Aussie guy recovering from a nasty flu, still coughing his throat out. No-one here really seems to ride much.
The pay-off moment for the day was when I stopped in at this unassuming place, called "Royal Pawn Shop" and snooped around long enough to see the familiar Gibson "SG" style shape hanging on the wall, with some other obscure junk half hanging over the top of it.
A few minutes of twangin on the strings, and checking out the odd additions and modifications previous owners have made, I was pretty sold on it. It actually plays really well, and the guy initially thought the asking price was $110. Turns out that was a tag from another guitar. They wanted $300, but $200 sealed the deal. Stoked.
Later in the evening I made my way over to West Hollywood to check out the big guitar stores, like GUITAR CENTRE, where the salesman told me he sells guitars to my fellow Melbournite Guy Pearce. Across the road at Sam Ash, the young salesman cringed a bit when I told him I paid $200 for the old Gibson with the colourful past. He recommended I take it back for a refund if that was an option.. I think they have a different take on old wigged out guitars here than we do back in Oz. At least, different to my notion of a good buy.
Heck, I'm a happy camper.