Friday, March 24, 2017

A Honda for a Hondo

Way, way back, oh, when I was a sophomore in high school, I guess, I cashed in some bonds and some money I saved from birthdays and such, and bought this:

An early 80s Honda moped.

I was in love with this clunky yellow motor scooter. Say what you want about it, now, but back then it was cool. Yes, cool.

For a summer, spring, and fall I motored all over town. I had a padlock to keep it safe from the many, many evil thieves and no-gooders looking to steal it. Every couple of days I’d wash it with a big fat sponge and a bucket of Palmolive dishwater, then I’d hose it down. Once I even took a wrench and removed the seat and all the fenders and reattached them. Me!

Then, I dropped it like a hot potato, as they say.

Because later that fall I got an itch that needed scratching.

I had come to the conclusion I needed an electric guitar.

I didn’t know a thing about electric guitars. I did tinker on an acoustic guitar my parents bought me for a year or so (with lessons – “Goodbye Old Paint”) a few years prior, but thinking back, I believe it was watching a pal pluck some basic chords that got me desirous of playing again. That and my new-found fascination with Led Zeppelin.

So I did what anyone who wants to follow in Jimmy Page’s footsteps does.

I turned to the Sears catalog.

It seems that this was advertised for sale in the Sears catalog.

There was a Sears a few towns over, and my mother could drive me there. And it cost just about as much as my moped cost, which my cousin expressed interest in buying from me.

So I swapped a Honda for a Hondo.

Now this Hondo might look familiar to you. It’s basically an imitation Stratocaster. A when I say “imitation,” I really mean “imitation in the cheapest sense possible.” Twice as heavy as a regular Strat (I’d find out later). It never ever stayed in tune. Use the whammy bar and the whole thing went out of whack. It hissed when plugged into an amp with the guitar volume on zero. The pickups sounded like cardboard.

But it was my first electric guitar. I did with it what I could.

Three years later I bought my first real electric guitar, a 1969 Gibson SG, and followed it with a Les Paul and a real Stratocaster.

But it all started with the Honda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good memories!