I got my second Guild guitar after I had worked for a couple of years out of High School. The cheap acoustic 12-
string was all right but I decided I needed a good flat-top “folk” guitar. I went back down to Red Bank Music, which
by this time had moved to English Plaza and had become a musical Mecca. The guitar I wanted was an all maple
blond D-44M. I had to order it and I waited six months for Guild to make it. For some reason that wasn’t
happening, so I finally went down to the store to get something else. I took down the last guitar hanging at the end
of the rack and it only took one strum to sell me. Of course it was the top of the line at the time D-55. It cost more
then the D-44M but by that time I had saved some more money so I bought it. In retrospect, I think it was as much
the sound of the phosphor bronze strings then the guitar itself that sold me. As you’ll see, I still have it.
My third Guild was a walnut Bluesbird that I bought used from a music store in Mission Viejo, California. I was out
there accompanying my brother on a business trip so while he was in meetings all day I was just hanging out. The
music store was in walking distance from the hotel and I stopped in to look around and couldn’t believe my eyes. I
had no idea that Guild produced such a guitar and it blew me away. I had a hard time deciding whether I should
buy it or not but my brother said we have to leave for the airport so make up your mind. They wanted $275 for it
so I offered $200. They not only let me have it for the $200 but they threw in a hard case. After arriving late to
LAX my brother and I went running through the airport, he with his camera bag and me with my guitar. As we piled
into the plane there were only first class seats left so they sat us there. For the whole flight home to New Jersey I
imagined that everyone on the plane was trying to figure out who the rock star with the guitar was that traveled
with his own personal photographer. I later sold that guitar and replaced it with a cherry finished one in much
better shape. The other two instruments in the picture are a cheap mandolin I bought at Sam Goody’s, which I just
recently sold, and my Grandfather’s mandolin-banjo which not knowing any better at the time, I refinished. And
again there’s the converted Bogan amp my Dad built for me. I still have the mandolin-banjo and amp of course.
A few more years went by when I received some major outside influence. In 1986 a new guy was hired where I
was working at the time. Shortly after, he got married and when he and his wife were moving into their new digs
he saw she owned a guitar. Having always wanting to play guitar she showed him a few chords and he was
hooked. When he came into work on Monday he told me about it and I informed him that I had been playing
guitar for years and if he was interested that I would be happy to teach him a few things. This has lead to an on
going musical relationship and me adopting the bass but that’s another story. He soon tired of his acoustic first
guitar and started shopping for an electric. After he got his first electric he decided he needed a better acoustic.
Then he needed a different electric and so on and so on. We then started spending a lot of lunches cruising
around to the local (and some not so local) music stores searching out guitars and basses. I also started
checking out the Want Ads and the classifieds in the newspapers for Guilds. At this time I wasn’t too serious
about it as I had a self-imposed monetary limit of $250. In retrospect those $500 guitars I passed on would have
been good investments as they are now going for about $1500! The $250 limit didn’t last too long though and I
managed to acquire quite a few instruments during this introductory collecting period. (Thanks Franko!).
All the instruments but one in the above photo were purchased from a music store or found through the
classifieds. It is the last picture I was able to take as a group because it was about this time I discovered
Guitar Shows and Vintage Guitar Stores, which for a few bucks would mail you their updated stock lists
every month. The Guild buying proceeded to escalate.
Then came eBay!
The floodgates were now opened. At first, being the cautious type that I am, I started slowly by using my
brother’s eBay account and having him bid on Guilds for me. (Thanks Greg!). After about the fifth
instrument he informed me it was time for me to get my own eBay account. Then the onslaught began. Who
knew so many people around the world had Guilds to sell!
As you will see on the following pages, I am well on my way to having the largest Guild Musical Instrument
collection in the world. Enjoy!
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the beginning of my story.