This week, a tribute to a troubled genius who did his best and left his mark, filling the world with tools of tone as best he was able. The world of instruments lost Charles Lindert late last week. Let’s get the troubled part out of the way – not because I want this great man to be defined by that, but because if you’re given a podium in life it’s good to share what could help another. And I may not know you but I care. We all tried to cheer Chuck up, but it wasn’t until CHUCK tried to cheer Chuck up by getting into counseling and needed medication that his life actually began to brighten again.
His Facebook post from early afternoon on August 5th mentioned “…it is like coming back from a lifelong war where I fought my own mind everyday. It was like having it start up first thing in the morning and play me every rotten thing that has happened in my life and every fear and every loss endlessly while I tried to think of other things.” And “…slowly it has changed to where I do not have that endless chatter of discouragement running wide open anymore. And it has been a slow change but I can feel it. So it is now a feeling of calm in my thoughts and I can start to think of things I want to without them being drowned out.” LISTEN, if you feel that get help! Yes it’s a tough world and a rough walk, but if you feel more despair than hope find someone to talk to and don’t be embarrassed about getting treatment. It’s great he did but I can only imagine how much more he would have gotten out of and given to life had he done it years ago… Charles didn’t get to see it through; within hours he would have a stroke, and he passed Thursday Aug. 9, 2018.
I tell you about Mr. Lindert because – like others early in my journey to THIS – he took the time to offer advice and give suggestions to some young dude deciding he wants to be building guitars. He didn’t have to – he’d been absolutely REAMED by the business end of things a few years earlier, to the point his life would never recover, but instead of filling my head with horror stories he encouraged me. We talked a few times and that was that until years later I found & friended him on Facebook. We had some good talks through messages. He helped out many people in little ways he couldn’t imagine as being as helpful as they were… he always thought big. He had a big heart and was an absolute mechanical genius. His oddball thumbs-up headstocked guitars were unique, sounded amazing, and though from a different perspective (“Guitars are something a factory makes…” he saw himself as providing a good working piece to produce) I found them fascinating. I had one in my hands when I decided “I’m gonna call this guy.”
In my world, though – Chuck’s a hero. Because in the middle of his world, his company, all he worked for, his dreams, people he trusted, places he loved, all turning or being taken from him over money as Lindert Guitars was taken over and run into the ground… just pile driven... the guy hands in one more design. The Lindert Greenback is the single biggest kiss-off, the greatest F.U. I think I’ve ever seen. Years later he decoded the whole thing (for someone outside the country)...
Charles Lindert, I salute you. I am honored my company, in bloom from seeds including a few you tossed my way long ago, could play some bit role in cheering you on the past few years. A few templates from your shop hang in mine, and any victories and blossoms from here are part yours too – carrying your ripples on with ours. You are responsible for thousands of instruments out into the world still being played and enjoyed and collected, and contributing to musical moments that bring folks together… may there be peace for you now.
There are a bunch of old Linderts for sale out there – go buy one and make some music happen with it. And if your dreams turn bad, never lose your song. Go plant some more dreams and sing while you do it. If you lose your song THAT IS NOT REALITY – fix it so you can go find it again and just sing it for the joy of the song... and plant those seeds. Keep a few extras to toss in others’ lives and don’t be surprised later on if someone walks up with a fresh tomato for you when you really need it.
Listening to: Joel Scott Hill LA Getaway, cool podcasts, and the soothing drone of the AC.