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Vintage Tours: Fort Worth
Saddle up. The boys are back in town.
They never expected to see our faces ‘round these parts again, not after what we did in Dallas, and again in San Antonio. But you can’t keep axe-slingers like us away from a good day in the Texas sun. Not when it’s time for the “world’s largest consumer guitar event.” Not when it’s Amigos International. We could smell a Texas-sized standoff coming, and when we finally set our boots down in the home of the world’s largest honky-tonk, Fort Worth, Texas, we readied ourselves for a fight.
If cowboys drove a car instead of cattle, what would it be? A six-by-six Ford F-450 King Ranch with a 21,000-pound towing capacity. Not a 2017 Jeep Wrangler with a leaky tire and a smiley face cover on the spare, but it’s not the horse that makes the man (and they were out of those King Ranches), so we dropped the top and made due, riding into town like dust on the wind.
Fort Worth in early October is like Chicago in late August: hot, sticky, and covered in bugs. Specifically, crickets. Crickets everywhere. So when we arrived we treaded lightly–and carefully–to the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium, a beautiful, Art Deco masterpiece in downtown Fort Worth where the AC was cranking at a Texas ten, circulating the smells of nearby BBQ and horse racing competitions, and the vintage vibes were a-’bratin’.
We set about commencing to our old tricks, picking up 54 prime pieces like a Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe, A glorious, golden ‘56 ES-295, stately ‘61 Byrdland, a sexy 1960 Strat, and a Cherry 1967 SG Standard, among such a number of notable nabs that a few outlaws from out east seemed keen on a showdown.
Just like Texas, New York City has a big reputation, but the Big Apple can’t beat the City of Big Shoulders, so when our East Coast compadres decided that they wanted to settle things with a few games of pool, we happily obliged. The quick-draw duel became quick work, as we ran the table on NYC for two consecutive nights before retiring to our hotel for a different kind of pool.
It wasn’t until after a few kidney-shaped laps at the hotel pool that we realized maybe we weren’t the cowboys we thought we were. Maybe we couldn’t smell a standoff. Maybe it was just a lot of good grub at Righteous Foods, a lot of good hangs with great dealers and old friends, a lot of great scores with fantastic fellow collectors, and just a little bit of heatstroke.
Maybe they gave us that Jeep Wrangler for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be welcomed back next year, our trigger fingers itchier than ever.
While the guitars from the Murphy Labs at Gibson Custom Shop now showcase Tom Murphy’s work in developing the painting and aging techniques Gibson Guitars uses to replicate the finishes...Read more