Updated: Mar 23

My life is split into two distinctive parts...pre-guitar and post guitar. Pre guitar, I was a typical all-American boy. School, soccer, baseball, and skateboarding consumed all my time. Then my best friend, John (he played drums, but we won't hold that against him) asked if I wanted to join his band. He said they needed a guitar player, and I could choose between lead or rhythm guitar. I wondered what the difference was between the two guitars! After a quick lesson, I understood that both roles in the band required the same instrument. Enter the post guitar segment of my life.

From that day forward, I became obsessed with all things guitar. I loved going to stores and gazing at all the instruments. As a child of Southern California, I was immediately drawn to the curves and colors of the Fender Stratocaster. Is there anything sexier than a surf green Strat or a Martin D-18 (my favorite acoustic)? I loved every aspect of my newfound obsession, from the gear to the players. Fast forward 31 years, and I am still as obsessed as ever. Perhaps even more so.

Perhaps the coolest aspect of my obsession with guitars is the stores. I have traveled around this great country and have always made it a point to hunt down all the coolest retailers. Sure, we have all been in the big national chain stores, but the stores that captured my heart are the smaller, more intimate brick and mortars. I'm talking about stores where the owner was behind the counter, and a shop dog or cat was cruising around greeting the customers. The worn-in leather chairs offered a comfortable place to sit, and the tables had magazines to browse. These are the stores I have sought out throughout the years. Stores where you can hear the idiosyncrasies between Indian Rosewood and Curly Maple without competing with the overhead stereo system.

As a middle-aged man, I now have a broader perspective on the role the guitar has played in my life. The most meaningful relationships I have in my life are the result of playing guitar. I took a guitar composition course in college and met a fellow guitar player who worked at a movie theatre. He helped me land a job at the theatre, and that is where I met my wife. We have been together for 27 years and are blessed with two amazing sons. I met my buddy Paul, and we immediately found out that we both played guitar. That shared hobby served as the catalyst for our friendship that is 20 years strong. We have been there for each other through weddings, children being born, funerals, and everything in between. All thanks to a plank of wood with some strings on it. Isn't life cool sometimes?

In today's day and age, we are bombarded with information. We can not escape the ever-present emails, phone calls, and "breaking news." Wherever we turn, we are forced to deal with technology, and more and more, it seems like technology is sucking the very life out of our lives. Loping Elk Guitars wishes to challenge that new normal and offer a place of solitude to players of all walks of life. In a world of plastic, shiny objects demanding our attention, we invite you to come and admire the craftsmanship of musical instruments. Instruments where luthiers have devoted their time and talents building the instruments that allow the rest of us to escape the world. Even for a little while. Thanks for reading.

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