First Friday in May? How is this possible?
Whenever I have felt a little behind over the past 20-plus years of building these tools for music, or even the 30-plus of working on them, it shifts my focus from what’s next to the ones who just happened to be toward the rear of the line when the time shifted. Usually, being a force of nature and on top of things, they take care of themselves and very quickly move mid-pack in various stages of wood selection and joining and shape, awaiting their turn on the routing bench or the shaping fixture. Of course we all realize going in that this most certainly isn’t – can’t be – fast food. No, this is Papa’s special eggplant parmesan with the tables full and a line out the door. The measurements of progress still apply though, to a certain extent, and I want to share this week’s with you.
We started the week with four Birdsong basses in assembly! Now that may not seem like many compared to 2018 when I took these orders, at that time there were twice that many or more – but then I slowed down. Not you, not the business, not the demand… me. We’ve talked about it here and I’m back to where I’m gaining on it again and it feels GREAT. I can’t run it down as fast as I’d like, but just having four in here, a few in finishing, a handful into sanding now and off the routing bench making room for the next eight – all with necks almost ready too - some of those stragglers I mentioned who got the short end of the whole long-wait timing-shift stick – man oh man I FINALLY feel like I’m in gear again.
I know a couple of you couldn’t wait and I know a few of you with really wild builds had to get moved around in line to keep things rolling here while I got back up to speed, but everybody – everybody – has been so understanding and for the most part there’s been no question of hanging in until you get the goods. I like to think that’s the other side of the personal access and attention I love to offer a client, that human-ness, that in the rare moment I drop the ball or get sick you’ll be there for me with your patience and good wishes. You all know I’d fall on my own sword rather than NOT come through for you. And I know you know that by how you’ve handled ME over the past six months. I work for the best clients – people – around. When the day comes the leg really does stop working or the eyes go or the hands just won’t do it anymore, YOU are what I will miss about all of this more than anything else. I hope to find the balance between now and then to where I stay healthy and having fun and am just busy enough to still pitch sideways off the workshop stool before any of that happens… but for now I’m hitting on all eight. It’s more of a middle lane ride than a drag race every day, but all eight are still there. That’s an automotive reference… but two hands, two legs, two eyes, and a good set of nuts’ll do just fine too. Thanks everybody!
Your bass will be worth the wait, I guarantee it, and I’m all over these like a bad suit. Have a great weekend!
Listening to: Aerosmith Rocks; Motorhead live at Wacken 2006; some Doobie Bros. and Journey’s Greatest Hits.