Mistress and wife to the same musician
The Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty — 1970
Wolves wait years for this Alpha to bend its howl into their darkness. Some succumb without every having heard the growl and sex. Those that have, never forget.
Found in the sub-basement of a bodega in the East Village, it had been tossed on a cot, passed out from exhaustion. A hot plate and wind-up alarm clock gave away the fact that, two stories below Avenue A, there’s a safe house for an ascetic savant who, without doubt, takes this one guitar very personally and keeps it for himself. A Bullmastiff was dozing and nuzzled.
This instrument has a presence, especially in the quiet; a soul-hum from singing the body electric. Blackened dark chocolate, but blacker. It houses that primal rumble of dread and awe and exhilaration found only when a rabbit dies.
Eyes widen. Heads shake.
He’d beaten this mahogany diva thousands of times with the underside of a picking fist. Its finish had been mush-waxed with a bitter paste of milk-sweat, ash, grease and gutter grit that the unholiest of the species beg to scrape away and flush. Mindful spirits build altars from this holy crud. Churches, however, are built by its progeny.
The neck was stolen from a Brahma bull and sculpted into a call girl. Medusa’s hair shot six snakes wildly from the head stock — unsnipped, raw, urgent. Half-wrapped in a veneer of dried plasma, each string was a tendon ready to snap or sing.
Brick house. Solid body.
Kluson tuners, hairline fractured — each begs for a fingerprint. Three cracked pearl inlays lived in poverty, having learned, years ago, that the wolves listened. A brilliant six-knuckled bridge flashed and cradled the only six voices the artist ever cared to hear. Sideswiped Ferraris dream of this incarnation.
Most would think the silhouette belongs to a mistress. Maybe it does.