Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 92

Thread: My Journey: The Caretaker vs The Owner

  1. #1

    My Journey: The Caretaker vs The Owner

    I was congratulating forum member justmund on his modified PRS (seen here) and praised him for being an "Owner". He mentioned that he never saw the thread (on BaM, may it rest in peace). Half-way through my response, I thought it prudent to revive the discussion in a thread all it's own.

    (EDIT: While the original post (and this one) was about MY journey, those two words (caretaker & Owner) carried on in the community. I added them to the Lexicon and then deleted them when it was clearly the wrong thing to do. I'm not trying to apply labels to anyone. I'm just describing my own experiences. If they resonate with you too, then I suppose we have even more in common than before.)

    The gist of the original thread was that I was at a cross-road in my journey from guitar player to guitar collector and was slowly making my way back to being a guitar player who happens to have a guitar collection. My fear of hurting the value of my guitars was starting to get a little silly. In my original thread, I mentioned that I no longer felt the need to keep them perfect for the next guy to enjoy. I called that (keeping them perfect) the Caretaker perspective. A caretaker, to me, regards each guitar as an investment and keeps them nice, presumably, for the next guy to consume. That's not to say that people who prefer them flawless are all Caretakers.

    Many of my guitars were destined to spend their lives in the case. Their basic value was tied, primarily, to my selfishness and greed. The Caretaker perspective is now the thing I dislike most in myself. It is ever-present. But I am committed to becoming a full-time Owner. Even if I'm an Owner with a collection - which may include some guitars that hardly ever leave the case.

    An Owner, in the context of this discussion, is not afraid to play, modify, or scratch/dent the guitar. I didn't say that an owner is concerned about keeping the guitar nice - just that if a scratch or dent happens, its just part of the ownership experience. An Owner is prepared to consume the value of each guitar in his/her lifetime -- leaving something between a well played guitars and a worthless pile of sticks upon his/her departure. An Owner makes each guitar "a tool" to accomplish a task. A beautiful tool, sure... but a tool nonetheless. An Owner with Caretaker tendencies will probably remember the time and place of every single ding and dent. I think that's a bonus. That brings me to the heart of the original thread... when you really own a guitar, it becomes more than a tool; it becomes a diary of a life well-lived.

    Example: I had a stunning HB2 Artist once. My daughter, Eden, closed the lid of case as I was removing the guitar. It received a small ding from a latch on the case. I was really upset about it (like a good Caretaker) at the time. I sold that guitar - which I regret. Now, 4 years later, I see it very differently. That ding is mine! It was made made by my daughter when she was a year old. I will never forget the moment and having that guitar would make the memory a little more vivid. More tangible, if you will. I feel so silly that I got upset about it. I really wish I had THAT guitar back. I would never repair that ding. It was an entry into the diary of my life - and my journey with Eden. Why would I want to erase that?

    Anyway... I am an Owner at heart but I carry on as a Caretaker. It's a 60/40 split in favor (to my frustration) of the Caretaker. Being a full-time Owner is an important goal of mine. I may never get there but I'm going to try.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 12-02-2012 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Clarifications
    One Life

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    The FAR SIDE of the Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    971
    Oh I so get this....
    I was a "caretaker" of a Les Paul Custom for 20 years... I've become an owner of several guitars the past two years. I actually like to find used guitars that already have a ding - "pre disastered" - so they are ready to be players and it overcomes my "Caretaker" tendencies. My description was I went from being a Guitar "owner" to a guitar "player".

    I had one guitar that I considered to valuble to play... so I just sold it. I have an R9 that sort of falls into that catagory so the first thing I did with it was GIG it. It was build in my daughters Birth year... I'm going to give it some history before she gets it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member aduayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Posts
    753
    Hans, you are a poet. loved it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rango View Post
    Oh I so get this....
    I was a "caretaker" of a Les Paul Custom for 20 years... I've become an owner of several guitars the past two years. I actually like to find used guitars that already have a ding - "pre disastered" - so they are ready to be players and it overcomes my "Caretaker" tendencies. My description was I went from being a Guitar "owner" to a guitar "player".

    I had one guitar that I considered to valuble to play... so I just sold it. I have an R9 that sort of falls into that catagory so the first thing I did with it was GIG it. It was build in my daughters Birth year... I'm going to give it some history before she gets it.
    Then how can you tell your history from that of the previous owner?

    Quote Originally Posted by aduayer View Post
    Hans, you are a poet. loved it.
    That's nice of you to say, Alex.
    One Life

  5. #5
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    GTA, or PA, or vacation
    Posts
    2,357
    I think I am an owner who tries to take care of things.
    I usually only buy things that I am going to suck every speck of life out of, but I do treat them in such a way as to maximuize that life.

  6. #6
    I am a little of both I guess. I just recently acquired a 2005 CE 24, and it was used, and of course had a few dings here and there, and some buckle rash on the back, but that is ok, as it is a player, and that is what I intend to do is play the bejeezus out of it...hahahahaha. However I will try to be a caretaker, and hope it doesnt get any more boo-boo's, but if it does it just gives it character

  7. #7
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL.
    Posts
    349
    I am an owner. I was a caretaker when I first started playing again. Now that I am serious about finally getting theory down, they are just tools of the trade.

    I now have only one PRS, my Cu24 EIRW, and it goes everywhere with me. I have a Martin 00028 for my acoustic that travels as well. It gets dings (I still ***** about them) but I am not afraid to use/take it anywhere.

    I am also down to only one amp now. My Mesa/Boogie DC3. I recapped it, and keep an entire set of tubes on hand for failures. Play it through my 2x12 Recto cab when I need to sound "bigger".
    BDR-529

  8. #8
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    England
    Posts
    456
    I am an "Owner" of all but one of my guitars, the rest get used and enjoyed regularly. My ME1 has dings, tarnished hardware and buckle rash which I guess means I've completely devalued it; however, I gigged it regularly and have some great memories of doing so!

    My current #1 squeeze for live work is a PS Signature that I dropped on its first outing just after soundcheck, causing a big ding in the lower edge. I was really upset at the time, then I played the snot out of if at that gig and have continued to do so since. I completely OWN that guitar now!

  9. #9
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,713
    I believe I am a "Caretaker" of all my Guitars. However, I do play them. I just can't get my head around being careless with them. I cannot understand why anyone would wear a belt buckle, shirt with buttons, or metalhead rings while playing an expensive guitar. I understand the World is made up of all types. I also know that if you take care of anything, it will still be nice in 3-5-10-20 years. My wife can have nice furniture if she wants it. If she is going to let my Grandchildren destroy it.............. She needs to get it at a rumage sale or Goodwill.
    Fanboy of the Jester (AKA) James (Previously known as 11top)

  10. #10
    There is a third possibility, Hans: Owners who take care of their stuff! And for themselves, not for the next guy.

    In fact, there are probably as many possibilities as there are people.

    I have never thought of guitars as an investment. I've never, ever worried about, or even given a moment's thought, to resale value. Resale value is irrelevant to me, despite the fact that I've bought and sold many. I don't plan on selling them, it just seems to happen sometimes.

    I take care of my guitars because I enjoy OWNING pristine ones!

    And certainly not to build a collection, since as you know, I am not that guy.

    Example of my habits:

    In the past I had expensive European cars I kept pristine enough to participate in concours events, but I also raced those very same cars on the track. You want to tell me I didn't OWN cars I drove on race tracks?

    Come to think of it, my brother won several autocross championships with his immaculate 1973 Lotus JPS that he bought in 1974. It's also been his daily driver to this day! I would say he owns the car after 38 years... But it still looks new. He's his own PTC.

    Any guitar I have gets played on sessions for my livelihood. All of my studio equipment gets daily use. But I take really, really good care of it. Which is not difficult, and requires no special treatment beyond being a bit careful and fixing anything that goes wrong. I have preamps that look new after 20 years in the rack. Does it matter that they look new? I own those preamps.

    Owning a instrument, and keeping that instrument in pristine shape, are NOT mutually exclusive. I OWN my guitars, dagnab it.

    You don't own a car any less if you have a dent repaired do you? Or if you wax it? Why would you feel that you have to keep dents and scratches on a guitar when they, too, can easily be repaired? One day your daughter may dent your car. You gonna keep the dent to remind yourself how cute she was at 16?

    Nor does one drive a car carelessly in order to "own" it.

    The whole categorization of owners vs. caretakers is pointless, since everyone's habits are different. Why the need to generalize?

    I completely agree with Markie!

    Yeah. I'm an OWNER. And my guitars look freakin' GREAT.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-09-2012 at 01:53 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    505
    I was at a local theater turned bar last year to watch a friend of mine's band play. There was a warm up band playing when I got there and the lead guitarist was playing a CE24. This is a New Rock/Metal genre. The guy was jumping around on stage like most do these days but then at the end he did what I decided to write about. He held the last power chord and as the crowd cheered, he walked around on stage and banged it on cabs and mic stands. Then he took off the strap and threw his PRS on the floor (making sure that it landed flat on it's back). Now, IMO he is neither a caretaker nor an owner. He's just a stupid player.

    I have collected a number of really nice PRSi over the years, but I don't think of them as a collection. I play them all regularly. Then again, when playing I don't bang them into anything I can find either. I don't mind the inevitable ding, but I try to take as good of care with them as possible. I wear soft clothes when practicing and when performing I have fun but take care at the same time. I guess that makes me an "Owner/Player" with a "Collector" mentality.
    1988 CE24, 1995 CE22, 2000 SC, 2003 Standard 22, 2003 Cu24 AP, 2006 Cu24 AP, 2006 SC AP, 2007 CuRo22, 2010 Starla Stoptail, 2010 Mira
    2007 SE Soapy 2, 2010 SE 25th Anni Cu24, 2012 SE Bernie, 2013 SE Angelus Custom

    PRS SE50, Mesa Single RectoVerb, Mesa Lonestar, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by markie View Post
    I just can't get my head around being careless with them. I cannot understand why anyone would wear a belt buckle, shirt with buttons, or metalhead rings while playing an expensive guitar.
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    There is a third possibility, Hans: Owners who take care of their stuff! And for themselves, not for the next guy.
    I certainly agree on both counts. If you saw the 1st thread, both points were well made.

    IMO, being an owner does not mean you have to be careless or destroy them deliberately.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    The whole categorization of owners vs. caretakers is pointless, since everyone's habits are different. Why the need to generalize?
    The original thread got off on this foot too. It was about me and my journey and, somehow, became something more - like I was judging those who wish to remain caretakers, which isn't the case. I also made it clear that there is no way I could be one or the other. I am absolutely in both camps.

    Nothing about this discussion is intended to categorize or generalize the philosophy or tendencies of others. It had nothing to do with anyone but myself until I posed the question... "Which of the two are you?"

    Both or None are also acceptable answers.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 10-09-2012 at 02:22 PM.
    One Life

  13. #13
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    928
    I'm very much an owner. Buying or building a guitar is always a well thought out decision for me. I always have intentions of playing it and keeping it long term. I do try to take great care of my gear, but dings happen with use, so I just wince when it happens and accept it.

    But if you have the funds and the interest, I wouldn't see anything wrong with caretaking a collection of investments, and owning a collection of guitars to play. I don't think I could do it, though. It would drive me nuts if I had to be super careful. Guitars are like functional art to me. Seems a shame for them to be hidden away in cases.
    --Garrett--

  14. #14
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,095
    I am an owner, but I try not to damage my gear. Now my tele might tell you different.....but that's another story. I do try & keep everything in working order & I like shiny new guitars, but if I buy it, I WILL play it in any dive bar gig. I don't have any PS gtrs, but if I did, i would be out and getting sweaty.
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
    CR Guitar Demos
    More guitars than I can afford!
    #1 fan of Doug "DA MAN" Sewell!!

  15. #15
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    1,429
    I invest in mutual funds. I enjoy guitars. I have a friend that gave me mountains of crap for converting my 1996 Custom 22 to McSwitching. It's the way I prefer to change those sounds.. I am most comfortable with that layout. His argument is that I killed the collectibility of the instrument. Same guy used to buy toys and never open them for fear of killing the value but swore a love for those items. If you call yourself an enjoyer of guitars, or anything else for that matter, but are that uptight about resale value are you truly enjoying the object of your affection? Now, by no means am I careless with my guitars but I most certainly consider myself an owner.

  16. #16
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    deep in the raspberry...
    Posts
    3,415
    I'm with Les and Markie on this one. PRS guitars in particular come at a premium. Taking care of them for myself isn't just prudent, it is part of the enjoyment.. I fix what I can fix and I try to avoid things that others might not - like belt buckles, etc.

    I'm not good enough to play out, so my guitars live a rather sheltered existence in the first place. Their most dangerous trip is to be taken to a lesson.

    All that said, these guitars have such innate beauty, why would you NOT want to try to keep them in as pristine shape as possible? You can play the piss out of them and still care for them. "Owning" them does not mean that they have to be ridden hard and put away wet.

    Bill (look! something shiny!)
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
    Lexicon
    sɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  17. #17
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,331
    Quote Originally Posted by markie View Post
    I cannot understand why anyone would wear a belt buckle, shirt with buttons, or metalhead rings while playing an expensive guitar.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Sometimes that's just part of the gig! (Maybe not expensive for some of you but it seemed that way for me.)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    State of Confusion (NY)
    Posts
    1,864
    I wonder if the guys in the new band I started playing in notice that I wear basically running/workout pants to every practice....wait until they see me tuck a cloth into my jeans that hangs over them...so I don't get buckle rash and worming!!!! I play my guitars...some guitars I have practically played to death...but I would like my guitars to be passed on to my children...in good condition!!! hardware/tarnishing...I've given up with dealing with it! Dings?....ask Shawn I once got a guitar back from the PTC...opened the case...took another guitar out of a gig bag and when I went to put the gig bag down the stupid zipper (yes I was in fact the stupid one and careless) hit the guitar as I turned around...boxed the guitar right back up and sent it back to the boys ASAP.
    Last edited by Dirty Bob; 10-09-2012 at 04:44 PM.
    -Bob

  19. #19
    Owner. I do not baby my guitars and they all have traces of being played. But I'm not pulling any Townsend moves either
    Alex

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    The FAR SIDE of the Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    971
    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    Then how can you tell your history from that of the previous owner?
    There was no History ON the guitar. I have the history OF the guitar. The guy was a Strat Player, he bought it and put it under the bed. He was its caretaker, case still smelled of lacquer when you opened it and it had the original strings with no corrosion. He bought it as a celebration of 25 year sober but had other issues and it was time for it to move on. He was pleased when I told him what would happen to it.... I'd play it and hand it to my daughter when she was of age.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •