Peter Case

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My Guitar

discolored from rain on the tarmac near Detroit—TSA left the snaps half undone—and now it looks bruised—my old twelve string—called it “the cannon”—it’s loud & deep—sometimes feels alive in my hands—a sound I’ve developed to express the american red brick honky tonk beauty I’ve been feeling since 1970 or so—the twelve string is a spiritual  instrument—I said it for laughs but it’s got a lot of truth to it—the thinner octave strings suggest another parallel dimension—a realm that follows & corresponds to this one—this heavier plonk—jangle the quicksilver brightness of the treble—the deep notes with their higher twins—cut through the air—through depression, despair & boredom—through objectivity & abjectivity—the twelve string—extra arms in the fight for light—harder to bend—but more worth it—still pliant—people say “oh, it’s samey I wouldn’t want it on every song” and I don’t either but maybe I could—makes the most of a simple phrase—always the ghost—the top-end reminder of the spiritual—twelve gates to the city—my protector—a wall of sound?—blues on the twelve—Hendrix—Leadbelly—Keith Richards—it’s heroic—John Hammond Jr. at McCabe’s that night on a guitar just like this one—maple—blonde—tuned way down to C—to see—needs to be treated with blessings, gratitude & respect.

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