My brother and I had a wonderful grandmother. She bought me my first stereo system (A radiogram actually, but it was all mine and I used it to destruction.)
When I was outgrowing my £8 Woolworths guitar with a neck like 2×4 and strings of hawser cable, I dropped a few hints and before very long she bought me an acoustic guitar from Bruce Moore’s in Hartlepool. My memory fails me a little but it might have been for my 17th birthday (1970) or 18th (1971).
It was a Framus guitar – in fact it was this Framus guitar, which I found recently on ebay. I foolishly sold my Framus a few years after I got it, and I don’t even know why I sold it, or who I sold it to. But I saw this on ebay last month (I often torture myself by looking for Framus acoustics on ebay) and just knew it was my guitar. Don’t ask me how, I just knew it. I had previously scoured the Framus site to find a picture of my guitar and there wasn’t one there – I had never seen a picture or seen another guitar like it.
So when I saw this, I just knew it was mine – I recognised every screw, every blemish and I even recognise the label. I can decipher the date code (1970) but I can’t decipher the model number.
But I just knew it was mine and I wanted it so bad. Then to add to my turmoil, the guy selling it lives in Darlington – 10 miles away from me. I got in touch and asked how he came across the guitar and asked if I could come and see it. I didn’t get a reply. I then made an offer of less than half of the asking price (don’t know what I would have done if he had accepted as I had no money!) He responded with an offer twice as much. So it was out of my reach due to finances. I agonised for ages and ages about it and then did a little investigation. It seems he had bought it a month previously on ebay for less than £60, from somebody in the south of England. So he was out to make a quick profit – which he did when it was sold for just less than his asking price.
I eventually got over the fact that I could have had a chance to get my old guitar back. Although I thought it was a wonderful guitar when I had it, I’ve know idea how it would sound or feel now. There’s reviews online of other Framus acoustics of this age saying that they’re so over built (lots of timber in the struts, etc.) that they don’t sound particularly good. I wouldn’t have cared, of course, if I’d been able to buy it again.
It’s OK, I’m over it now. I’ve had to sell so many guitars that I’ve loved just to get money to survive that I’m almost used to it. But it hurts every time.