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Larry Clyman's Story
(reprinted from Larry's posts in AcousticGuitarForum.com)

Part 5:

OK..I'm going to do it..I say to myself... but there's still an annoying voice in the back of my head telling me that spending almost 3x more than I've ever spent on a guitar is sheer lunacy...I've owned plenty of guitars that were very well made, great sounding instruments..many of which served me well as I made my way through the sewer pit called the music business...but none of them approached the price I was very seriously considering now..

But the convergence of two alternative points of view were careening towards each other to create a veritable (to use a now much overused term) "tipping point" in my attitude.

First of all as I mentioned in my original Bay area guitar journey thread, Ervin Somogyi's elegant and articulate essay on the crucial differences between single luthier built and factory built guitars was a real "game changer"... (En guarde...we have a duel between 2 over used metaphors..and if we're lucky, though it's unlikely, both will die here from the sword..! ).

And the second was my utter loss of confidence and trust in the various financial, corporate, and political institutions in our country. The recent economic turmoil and how it came to pass left me reconsidering what and where real intrinsic value exists. That, coupled with the steady devaluation in our culture of the individual craftsman/artisans work in favor of the bigger, better, faster, cheaper, more efficient, profit driven mentality of seemingly everything was weighing heavily as well.

Anyway..that's where my head was but I was also struggling with the basic idea of spending a rather large amount of money on a couple of pieces of wood...world class luthier or not...!

So...just because I thought he'd appreciate it, I decided to email Mr. Sexauer and explain to him that I was not sure about the WRX..the reality of spending that amount on a guitar was making me uncomfortable..but that discomfort struck me as a rather rich vein to mine..!

And once again, Bruce's reply was pitch perfect:

I have been fighting what I believe is called call "Poverty Consciousness" all my adult life. I see this as a social/psychological mechanism common among peasants such as myself which makes it very difficult to create or accept advancing means and the possible lifestyle enhancements it can represent, even when it is actually available. It is probably a useful and approrpriate characteristic when one cannot have the good stuff and still wants to live a satisfying life, but is an amazingly unnecessary seeming hurdle which comes up again and again for me, working class hero that I imagine I am. And if that is not relevant to you, with whom I am barely acquainted, think nothing of it.

The JB series WRX is not what anyone was thinking about before it came up on their screen, and you don't have the advantage at this point of actually directly experiencing it, so it is hard to point out that besides the utility of the WRX, the JB series is considered by myself, and many of my customers, to be both tonally and ergonomically superior to the convention thinking guitar. I have made over 30 JB guitars, and the series metamorphically executed in very small increments, both aesthetically and functionally. While, as I believe you have noticed, my conventional guitars "ain't broke", I truly believe I am onto something great with the JBs."


And there it was...while the "working class hero" was giving me a decent, well argued, and pretty darn resonant philosophical/psychological out for the money issue, the "badass" was reinforcing any lingering questions as to the ultimate value of this guitar...nice double team..!!

The final pieces of the puzzle all fell in place.....!...

So...to make the process philosophically and financially complete, I sold enough shares of stock I had been holding for years in a certain former paragon of corporate responsibility..a veritable bedrock safe conservative company in everyones core portfolio..who ..oh yeah....made some really bad behind the scenes mortgage lending and who knows what else related decisions in their financial arm....and after finally admitting to it managed to wipe out 10 years of, what I now question to have ever actually happened, steady growth...!!

So bye bye GE...hello Bruce Sexauer...!

The stock was sold...the funds transferred...the check was in the mail, and I was about to take delivery on an unquestionably real, fully warrantied, 72 hour approval perioded, Bruce Sexauer built JB-15 WRX-Pernambuco guitar.

Next...finally.... the review...!!
(To Part 6)
Copyright Larry Clyman 2010

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