COLLECTIONS: GUS’S GUITARS
by David Isle
Some collections are like the city of Rome - built stone upon stone, every addition becoming a permanent layer supported by its predecessors. Other collections are like Pocahontas’s river - the component molecules are merely passing through, but the whole remains a single coherent object. Gus Walbolt’s collection of guitars is of this second type - a running history of Gus’s musical attachments, personal friendships, grail quests and winding side paths, recorded in six-strings.
Gus’s interest in guitars was born in a hotbed of rock n’ roll in its heyday. “I grew up outside of New York City in the 60’s and the early 70’s in San Francisco,” says Gus, “so I had access to the legendary music stores of those cities filled with all the latest in guitars and amps, everything you saw on TV, in magazines or on the cover of L.P.’s they had them on their walls. I was also taking music lessons in Greenwich Village and hearing people playing guitars everywhere when all the new music was taking off. The bands around me had cool guitars, cool equipment, and I wanted that too. Gretsches, Danelectros, Strats, Teles - one guy had a Les Paul. There was a little bit of everything around.”