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Calling All Auction Survivors
In Everything Else
Calling All Auction Survivors
In Everything Else
MNightCruiser
Oct 26, 2019
really enjoying this thread and really enjoyed the auction, bittersweet though it was. thanks for the video Matt, hadn't seen that til today. I'll share my experience... sue me if I play too long! the entire week was a Steely Dan dream come true, I flew up Tue with a bandmate and we took in the first 2 Beacon shows. opening night was the Aja album and after 20+ shows I had yet to see a Deacon Blues performed live, so that was momentous for me. add to that the fact that Roger Rosenberg put us on the guest list the first night, and post-show night 2 we found ourselves randomly hanging with Jon Herington at the Amsterdam Ale House two blocks from The Beacon! the stars seemed aligned, but the stars were just getting started. I had ordered the catalog a few weeks earlier and had intended to pore over the whole thing and really digest the entire collection. but with all the preparations and such, not to mention the sheer enormity of the auction, I just never found the time. we got home Thu afternoon and for some reason I thought the auction was a Sat-Sun affair. imagine my surprise when I discovered Fri evening that it was already in full swing, at which point I immediately tuned in and tried to familiarize myself with the items up for bid. I had previously scrolled through much of the auction list, just to scan what all was available. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of Walter's lap steels... I started on guitar but play more steel guitar these days. I also figured that the steels wouldn't fetch nearly the interest or bucks that most of the guitars, basses, and amps would. maybe I'd have a chance of actually winning one. I set my sights on lot 592, the 7-string Gibson Ultratone lap steel. it wasn't in great cosmetic condition but the art nouveau design and that 7th string appealed to me more than the others. I also really liked the Oahu acoustic lap steel (lot 603), something I'd not seen before. it wasn't clear to me when the Friday auction was ending, so I remained glued for the duration. I finally had a chance to sit with the catalog as I tuned into the live auction, and I basically opened right up to one of the most striking and gorgeous guitars I've ever seen: lot 862, page 461. the Glendale Dreamcaster. love at first sight. I was unfamiliar with the make and model but when it comes to electric guitars, I'm a telecaster guy all the way. and as I said, this is perhaps the most gorgeous guitar I've ever seen with its "honey burst" herringbone maple body and roasted maple neck. I considered it out of my league, unrealistic. I didn't know if the lap steel would even function, it might just hang on my wall in tribute to Walter. and that was more than enough. the Fri auction ended and the lady and I headed out to see our friends' band. after the show we enjoyed further libations with those of our kind. I kept looking at the Dreamcaster and showed it to my guitar-playing gearhead pals. we made it home and I vaguely remember placing an absentee bid on the guitar in a moment of drunken whimsy, collapsing shortly thereafter. come morning, I had forgotten placing said bid but was reminded upon logging back on for Sat's auction. I was sure my bid wouldn't stand. not for a guitar like that. my goal was the Gibson, possibly the Oahu or another lap steel. something I could actually afford without as much competition. lot 592 was put on the block and I began bidding. the competition was mild and I ended up with the high bid at just $600. fair warning. hammer down! I assumed I had won and I was pretty damn giddy about it. the Oahu was coming up quick but I didn't bid since I figured the Gibson was mine. had to play a gig that afternoon in another town, and so had to tear myself away from the auction. I was getting a bit worried that I hadn't received any confirmation of winning lot 592. I began a correspondence with Nima at Julien's via email, while simultaneously packing the car then driving the 25 miles south in pouring rain. I was crestfallen to learn that I hadn't actually won the Gibson since a bidder in the room had also bid $600 and won, unbeknownst to me. the Oahu was long gone too, so I felt I'd lost twice. I tried to get out of playing the gig upon arrival. the event had basically been rained out and the foul weather was no match for my foul mood at this point. maybe I could get home and bid on something else, but we ended up playing mostly out of obligation. songs were sung, moods lifted, and acceptance creeped in. I was glad to be part of the auction regardless and I had the wonderful catalog as a permanent keepsake of Walter's vast and one-of-a-kind collection. got home and got settled back into the tail-end of the auction, really just as an observer now. maybe I could get a stomp box or a small amp, but I wasn't really counting on it. I was in no hurry to see what the Dreamcaster actually went for, but I eventually decided to check. and that's when I clicked and saw those 2 magic words: You Won! say WHAT?!? turns out, my bid was enough to win. I couldn't believe that a guitar this exquisite, this luscious, wasn't fought over or more sought after. my jaw dropped, my spirit soared, I laughed aloud and shed a tear. I'm still beside myself, telling everyone who will listen. I honestly never thought I'd own this guitar, or any guitar of this caliber. but I took a chance when the spirit (and spirits) moved me, and by some mixture of fate and chance and dumb luck... this Dreamcaster gets to be mine. my dream guitar. I've since done a little research on the make and model, it is indeed one of the finest guitars ever made and I got it for a great price. I exchanged a couple emails with the builder, Dale Clark, who shared fond memories of selling Walter the guitar and then being invited to the Beacon to hang out backstage with Walter (where he bought 3 more guitars) and watching the show from the wings. he's been a huge fan since his teens and he felt like a kid on Christmas morning, which is exactly how I feel. so thank you Dale. thank you Matt. thank you Delia. and most of all, thank you Walter. I'll think of you whenever I play this fabulous instrument and I have no doubt that the first thing I'll play will be those opening chords to Deacon Blues. this brother is free... I already bought the dream!
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