My son, Matt, posted this on his blog recently, and I thought it was a pretty neat story that might appeal in particular to some of my younger followers (although anyone with an appreciation for irony should enjoy it as well). It certainly struck a chord with me (pun intended).
Guest Post by Matt Perrone
“Let me state right up front that I’m not a Blogger. I don’t claim to be one nor do I envision extra time in the near future to become one. As you can see, my last Blog was December 2011 and that was simply to post lyrics I had written. But, I wanted to share a recent story that was six months in the making.
*** WARNING: I’m long winded ***
To begin, we’ll rewind to September 2014. I had been surfing the web in some free time and decided to look for the first guitar I owned online. On occasion for the last five-or-so years, I would search the web for my make and model, but never found it. To be fair, I never (and still don’t) know the model. All I know is it a white Cort. It was a 3/4 size guitar. I would plug random searches into Craigslist, eBay, Google, used Sam Ash, used Guitar Center, online thrift shops. Never found it.
Time warp a little further with me to around 1989 or 1990. I received my very first guitar as a gift. I’d be lying if I remembered the moment. I can’t recall if it was Christmas or my birthday or just a “Hey, you have been learning guitar from your babysitter, here’s one of your own.” Regardless, I now had my own guitar. I loved it! I was learning Poison, Trixter, Warrant, Van Halen songs—you name it. (mind you, I wasn’t learning them well). As my Van Halen craze grew, I wanted a new guitar. I wanted a Kramer (what Eddie Van Halen was playing at the time). I also wanted a guitar with a Whammy Bar. So, I eventually got a Kramer, probably around 1991. And then just like that, I barely played the Cort anymore.
Here’s a picture from January 1992. It’s the only picture I have of my Cort. The Marshall was my neighbor’s, the RAT pedal was a friend’s, the rest was mine.
I still have the Peavey amp and the Kramer, but the Cort was sold to buy my bass guitar in 1993. I sold the Cort (I think) to Victor’s House of Music in Ridgewood, NJ. I can’t remember much about that, but I do know that I used that bass guitar a lot because I ended up becoming the bass player in my band. I used that bass all through high school and first year of college. Never thought much about the Cort until the last five years or so. I began to get nostalgic.
Then, this September 2014 I found the same make and model on eBay. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t seen a picture of this guitar (aside from the one above) in twenty-plus years. I never saw it in old Cort catalogs, never saw it online, never saw it anywhere. I started to think this guitar didn’t exist.
So, the eBay auction was set to end in ten days when I found it. It was $99 plus $29 for shipping. There weren’t any bids on it yet. I figured that’s not too bad. The seller and I exchanged a few emails because I wanted to make sure it worked. He said he bought it at an estate sale and assumes it does. But I asked him if he could take it to a store to check. He nicely complies and writes back that it works great. I also asked if it had a strap. Maybe by some stroke of luck it had red strap in the above picture. Alas, no strap. So there was no way for me to see if it was mine. Oh well. Still, it would be cool to own even though it wasn’t actually mine.
By the time I received the email that the guitar was in working order, I was in the middle of a road trip, but I decided it was worth a bid once I arrived at my destination. I got to the hotel, opened up eBay, and the price was now $199. He raised the price!!! WHAT?!?!! I guess you can do that if there aren’t any bids. I was bummed. $200 was too much to pay for a guitar that looks like my first one.
So, I let it go. That was tough. But the auction ended. No buyers. Then, he relisted it. Auction came and went again, no buyers. I emailed him once or twice saying, if he switches to a Buy Now for $99, I’ll buy it. But never heard back from him (I think that’s against eBay rules to ask about pricing via email . . . oops).
This relisting/auction ending cycle continued for a few months. Then, he switched to Buy Now but for $199. Nope, still too rich for my blood. All this time, I never officially “Watched” the item. I didn’t want to give him the incentive to continue to relist at same price. Finally in January(ish), he relisted at $179. I was like, “Ok, that’s a start.” Again, thirty days came and went, no sale. He relisted again at $179.
Finally, I began to relent. Those past five months, I have been scouring the internet hard for this guitar. Nothing. Really digging deep. Nothing. So, as my birthday neared, my wife asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” and I said, “how about that guitar.” But I didn’t even give her any of the information. So, I got some birthday money from relatives and used some saved money and finally bought it the day after my birthday, close to midnight—you know—those late hours when you shouldn’t be online shopping.
Immediately, I had buyer’s remorse. What did I do? I don’t need another guitar. This is just going to hang on the wall. But slowly, those feelings subsided. I was like, it’ll be pretty cool to have. If nothing else, it’ll be great wall decor. I mean, others pay much more than this for art. This is my art.
Took a couple of days for the seller to find a box. I sent him a great article about shipping guitars, since he never handled guitars before. I also requested the shipping info because I didn’t want it left outside, especially if it was cold out. I wanted to stay ahead of that. Well, the shipping info he sent was wrong. Not found in USPS, UPS, or FEDEX. I thought, great, this thing is going to get lost and never get here.
Low and behold, I get home from work today and look in my bushes and there is a box. This box is SOAKING WET! It was pouring yesterday afternoon. To say I wasn’t pleased would be an understatement. I open the box. It was packaged GREAT! Bone dry inside the box. The guitar was wrapped in bubble wrap, then put in it’s case which was bubble wrapped on the outside, then that was covered in packing paper. WELL DONE.
So, I bring it inside. I start to unwrap. I was really careful. I didn’t want to damage the guitar case. I mean, let’s be honest, I bought that, too. As I was carefully cutting through tape and paper and bubble wrap, my heart was racing. I began to get really excited. I felt like Ralphie from the movie A Christmas Story when he was unwrapping his Red Rider BB Gun. Ralphie went through so much to get that gift, and that’s what I felt at that moment.
I unlocked the latches of the case to open it and remembered, just like mine back in ’89, this case, too had only three latches, as compared to full-size cases with four. I then opened the case and saw the biggest familiar face. It wasn’t the guitar that jumped out at me, it was a PEAVEY sticker located inside the guitar case. It was starring right back at me and my heart pounded so hard! THIS IS MY GUITAR!!!!
I immediately recognized that sticker. I put that there twenty five years ago. I would have never remembered until I saw it but now it’s as clear as day. I called my wife immediately. My heart was still racing. Incredible! I still can’t believe it.
Funny, a friend asked me prior if there were any distinguishing marks that I could look for when the guitar arrives and I said, “Not that I know.” Holy cow, who would have thought that a sticker would make all the difference. In the last few hours, I noticed a few other things that stand out and help me know that it is mine. After I bought the Kramer, I used this same case for the Kramer even though it didn’t quite fit. The Kramer had a point in the headstock which wore into the case. That wear is present. Also, there is a crack where the neck meets the body. I wouldn’t have remembered this, but now that I see it, I remember.
Post script: I emailed the seller to tell him the story (a shorter version). I asked where he specifically got the guitar. He said, Mahwah, NJ from an older couple that was downsizing, and the guitar used to be their son’s. For those that don’t know north Jersey geography, that is eight and a half miles from where I sold it.
To sum up: what an incredible turn of events! I can’t believe it! Honestly, this is crazy! Thanks for reading.”
Matt Perrone lives in Charlotte, NC, with his wife and daughter. He is a gifted musician who, in his spare time, writes and sings some really good songs. He occasionally performs live at various venues in and around Charlotte. Here is a link to one of his latest albums, Seasons, on iTunes. Check it out!