Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a Good Ol' Rock 'n Roll Road Show...

If you said, "Bay City Rollers and the song is 'Saturday Night'!" you get 500 bonus points.

No, not another concert - tonight, we drove across town to go to a Taylor Guitars Road Show.  The Road Show is hosted by a local guitar shop, in this case Acoustic Vibes.  Taylor sends out someone from the factory and a talent to educate folks about their guitars.  In this case, it was about the different body shapes and tone woods, and a look and discussion about the new 800 series guitars.

We have been planning this since Taylor announced a Road Show in the Phoenix area.  We spent most of the afternoon on the east side of town... lunch in Tempe Town and some shopping.  The Road Show was scheduled to start at 7:00; we stopped at the guitar shop mid-afternoon to see if we needed to be early.  I was surprised at how small Acoustic Vibes is - don't get me wrong, they have a good selection of guitars, but it is in a building that looks like it used to be a house, and is 4 rooms... none of which looked big enough to hold much of a crowd.  The nice lady at the desk told me her boss said to tell everyone 7:00.

With the limited parking available I asked about coming early; she said that might not be a bad idea.  From there, we went to Ikea - easy to kill a couple hours there, then stopped for some groceries.  We were back at the guitar shop just before 6:30 and were some of the first to show up...

We met Eric (factory guy) and Kenny (talent), and picked some chairs up front.  All total, there were fewer than 20 chairs set up... I was thinking that was not going to be near enough.  Turns out I was right.  By 6:55, it was standing room only, with some people back in a hallway leading to the next room; glad we arrived early.

We had time to look around a bit.  Joan and I were both taken with a gorgeous koa Taylor...

Absolutely beautiful figuring in the wood.  Eric saw us looking at it, and took it off the wall and said, "Try it out."  Yep - very nice.  The shop owner came through shortly after that and said, "Let's not play guitars until after the show."  I handed the guitar back to Eric.

Eric and Kenny started the program with a discussion of the different body sizes offered by Taylor...

Eric explained, Kenny played.  You could easily hear the differences between the sizes and the different tone-woods.  Oh, and Kenny is a damn fine guitar player (what else would you expect?).

Then, a discussion of the new Andy Powers redesign of the 800 series guitars.  Eric showed a cutaway of an 814...

They did a demonstration of the new T5z, a smaller body model of the T5 we have that is "Joan's guitar."

Then, some give-aways.  We brought home a Road Show T-shirt and a set of Elixir strings (the new HD lights for the guitar players reading this).  They drew names and let people pick what they wanted - the t-shirts and strings were the first to go.

Then, they folded up chairs and let people play the guitars... also known as "the petting zoo."  And, it was a zoo - I tried out a 712 12-fret, but there was so much other noise in the room, I couldn't really hear it...

Joan encouraged me to try that koa guitar again.  I waited patiently while a guy plunked at the strings; when he was done, I asked the owner if I could take the guitar into another room. "Sure."  I carried the guitar to the last room in the shop, where there were only two other people playing guitars.  And before long, I was the only one.  Yep, a beautiful guitar... sounds and plays "like buttah."  They are offering a slightly reduced price tonight only - Joan said, "Found out how much they want."

I found Eric again, he asked the owner.  I'm guessing the owner was a busy guy, because he barely glanced my way... the offer wasn't as good as I expected.  I said, "Thanks, but I guess I will put this one back on the wall."

Joan said, "You can get it if you want."

"Thank you, that is very nice.  It's a beautiful guitar.  But, more than I can justify spending."

"You won't get this chance again," Joan said.  The woman really is an enabler.  ;-)

"I'm OK with that."  We looked around a bit more, but nothing else called my name.

Joan said, "Well, if he really wanted to sell it, I would have thought he would have at least discussed it with you a bit."


I wasn't expecting to come home with a new guitar.  If a hot deal presented itself, I would have jumped on it.  It didn't, I'm happy with my current "stable" of guitars.  My first Road Show, and it was an interesting event.  Taylor Guitars does it up right.


I had read about others' experience with the Road Shows: mostly middle age guys, and usually one somewhat obnoxious guy asking questions so he could show off how much he knows about guitars.  Turns out, it was mostly middle age (and older) guys, and one woman (who was sitting next to Joan) who asked mostly inane questions.  Pretty sure I wasn't the only one who wanted to put a muzzle on her by the time the show was over.  All said, it was a fun evening.

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