I’m going to tell you a story/situation/problem I am having right now with one of my most precious friends. I don’t know what else to do about this.
A while ago my friend somehow got a bunch of instruments and guitars from someone who I guess kinda fell into getting all these instruments when they took over a property-so my friend agreed to pay a very very little amount of money for about maybe 10 instruments. My friend knows nothing about guitars and wanted to sell them to friends. I told my friend to bring them all to my shop so we could see what my friend had and decide what was worth fixing. We said that I would work on them and give them a huge friend discount and when they were sold them they would give me some kind of commision or percentage of the profit on the lot of guitars.
The condition of the instruments was awful. Every one had been in a basement for years. The first was a really cheap acoustic that was in such bad condition it wasnt worth fixing but I could end up using it for parts. The next was a really cheap 12 string guitar. It was filthy and it was covered in signatures with permanent marker-I took a lot of time to sand it off. The nut on it was broken in pieces. I made a new 12 string nut for it. I leveled and crowned the frets and fixed the neck. A 6 string nut alone costs over $100 at most shops. The 3rd was an off brand electric guitar that needed a lot of work with the electronics along with it being filthy. Those three times I told my friend they would be a lot of work-but they really wanted the guitars to be played so I fixed them. I kept on saying to bring them all in-we had not found anything good yet.My friend brought in the 4th. I dont want to say what it was-lets just say they hit the mother fucking jackpot with this one. So great! We found the one that will make money! My friend immediatly took it back home. I told my friend that this is the guitar that would make all my hard work worth while-why would you take it away? They told me they werent worried about that one so I told them to bring the rest and then we could sell them all but that they had to bring that one back because the other ones werent going to make any money. She brought in another one that needed a ton of work after that as well.
Life got a little crazy in Bunntown and I wasnt at my shop as often what with finding true love and all. My friend said she needed money and wanted to sell the guitars I had in my shop. I told my friend that we werent making money on the ones I worked on and that my friend had to bring the good guitar back in so I could set it up to be sold. My friend kept saying they werent worried about that one. I kept saying that I was worried because that guitar was going to pay for all my work. Without selling the good guitar we are now in a situation where my friend owes me money. My friend doesnt understand why we are not making money on the other ones and how could they possibly owe me money. I put at least 40 or 50 hours and almost $100 in parts. The most we could make from all three together was about 6 or 7 hundred. Then their offer was to keep the one I put the most work into to sell and just give back the other two. Thats just insulting.
I knew right away that we were not understanding each other and we needed a mediator. We stopped hanging out because I didnt want to fight with them about it and was hoping they would take the time to actually meet with me and a 3rd party to work it out. Over the past few months every week or so they demand the guitars back. I just kept saying we needed a mediator to figure this out. Now I find out that they have been talking shit about this to other people the whole time.
One of the reasons for this blog is to tell my side of the story. When my friend tells the story they make no mention of the good guitar when that is the biggest factor in this whole thing. We were both taking a chance with these guitars and we won the lottery! But now for some reason it doesnt count and has nothing to do with anything.
Things between us have gotten much worse and I guess we might not be friends anymore. The whole fucking point of me not talking to them about it was so I could keep them as a friend! I just needed to get my side of the story out because they have been threatening me for about a month with calling the police.
It’s just gotten horrible and now I’ve told my side of the story.
Ben and I went to boston to see Diarrhea Planet in Boston a few or so days ago. It was super crowded with college kids and jocks. We were already getting pushed around and we were still in the back and the band hadnt even started. Some guy hugs me from behind and puts his hands on my shoulders and whispers something in my ear to get past me to his friends. I was willing to let that go. Then he comes up to us and starts talking to us. Then he started making fun of us and mocking us. I pushed him away and then he pretended it was a fun moshpit and came right back to us. He did all this with a huge smile and asking us why we werent partying bro…I kicked him in the back hard away from me and then I punched him once. He came back I think he got two that time….and back again-I know I got at least three in. Then some young tiny girl put her hand on my shoulder who was his friend and said something like oh he is just having fun. I told her I had no interest in talking to her. She smiled and leaned in to say something else so I physically turned her around with my hands on her arms and placed her back were she belonged. That part was pretty funny. It was obvious I was in no physical danger at all the whole time. Ben just watched because it was so ridiculous and funny. I just kept wondering why I hadnt gotten kicked out yet. I he had at any point looked like he was going to hit me back Ben would have put him down. The band started and Ben and I were happy so he came back and started shit again and I know I got him good at least 4 times. He went away after the last one and he was holding his nose making sure it wasnt broken….still smiling the whole time. He came back a third time-I got at least 3 last ones in and he was still there…..I looked at Ben and said what am I supposed to do? He asked him if he could talk to him outside and he said no and then said “Will you tell your girlfriend to stop hitting me?” I think I got one or two more before we went to the way back my the merch just to listen to the rest of the show. A few minutes later he walked to the back with his shoes in his hand to say hi again and went to leave with a drink in his other hand. I still cant believe I didnt get kicked out.
I never thought I would ever get to talk to Adam Franklin. He is my favorite guitar player of all time and one of my favorite songwriters. I first heard Swervedriver when I was about 21 and instantly was in awe. I wish I could find the right words to make you understand how good they are if you have never heard them. Listen to these songs-Duel, Never Lose That Feeling, 99th Dream, Rave Down and Sci-Flyer. They fall in to the shoegaze category but way way heavier and with real songs.
Ben got us tickets to see them in Brooklyn and then got to book them to play the day before that show at The Outer Space Ballroom in Hamden-my guitar repair shop is above The Outer Space and the greenroom/backstage is the door next to mine. Thankfully Ben told him all about me before he came upstairs….
He walked up my stairs smiling and walked right into my office. He was so happy to meet me and he loved my shop while I already had 2 posters and 2 guitars out waiting for him to sign in case I would only get a few seconds of his time. He told me that he was having a little trouble with one of his guitars and asked me to look at it. An amazing luthier named David Ayers of Ayers Guitar in Phoenix, AZ is also a mega fan of Swervedriver and custom made him a guitar. It only needed a little relief in the truss rod. When Adam was showing me the guitar I couldnt believe he was playing one of his best songs (Duel) right in front of me! Then he invited his Swervedriver guitar partner Jimmy Hartridge in to my shop! They both signed my 99th Dream poster and hung out in my office and talked about guitars for the longest time-Adam and I talked for over an our about guitars and music and songwriting and lyrics he still cant remember. He introduced me to the drummer and bassist for the tour. Then they did their soundcheck and after I got to meet the opening band they were on tour with called Gateway Drugs. Their guitarist Noa had problems with his teardrop guitar-the trem arm fell off-so I fixed it and got to hang out with Gateway Drugs too! They are amazingly refreshingly super nice and fun and a super great band.
Swervedriver was amazing. Just the best ever. In the middle of the show when Jimmy was handed Adam’s new custom guitar he said “This was just fixed by somebody awesome” and I shouted “Me!” and he pointed and said “There she is!” He also introduced the bass player – Mick Quinn of Supergrass! I noticed he really needed his intonation adjusted so after the show when Jimmy and Mick were walking by I got Mick’s attention. It was so funny- I asked him-when was the last time he had the bass set up. It was a brand new Gibson Thunderbird. He said he tuned it 2 days ago with his clip on tuner on his headstock. I made a joke and said -well they are HIGHLY accurate (they are not the best tuners for a professional bassist in a loud music venue)-they laughed. He brought it in and while I fixed his intonation I got to talk to him for a little while. I told him I thought he looked familiar when I met him and that “Late In The Day” by Supergrass is such a perfectly wonderful song. And I got to ask him about when they made the video for “In It For The Money”- the video has them as muppetts in it with real Jim Henson people making the video. He told me the person who does Miss Piggy would tell stories about her like she was a real person and called he a diva! So funny! He also liked my shop page on facebook a few days ago! About a week after I met him he still went and found me to say thanks!
Adam hugged me so many times and gave me kisses goodbye. I really made friends with him and that is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.
Ben and I went to see the show in Brooklyn the next day. Mick saw us in the crowd right away and gave us a smile and wave hello and Adam mid-song saw us and smiled with a head nod! I got kicked out during the last song for videotaping the show but it was ok because Gateway Drugs were outside and it was wonderful to talk to them again. I posted a bunch of stuff on my instagram.
I have always said I would never get married. There are a couple of reasons…mostly because most songwriters stop writing good songs when they get married. After being with Ben for a few days, I woke up and told him I wanted to marry him. It’s something I have never felt and never expected to feel ever.
Most girls start planning their dream wedding before they even know what sex is. I never have even thought about it. I’ve never thought about having an engagement ring either…. So until I decide what I want I told him to hold off on a ring till I’m sure… especially because I need it to be comfortable enough for me to play guitar and work on guitars while wearing it….. in December he gave me the only ring I have ever seen that I did want as a sort of promise ring or pre-engagement ring. He gave me a Doctor Who inspired engagement ring! It is silver with a TARDIS blue gem at the top and on both sides of the gem is a TARDIS. I la la love it!
The wedding is a different story…… There has never been a wedding like the one we are planning …..Our friend Fred said it best when he found out – “Don’t you know that someone will probably die?!!” Hahaha!
I dont want to go too much into it…but if you are invited, be prepared for a 2 day party
I’ve been living with him since November… I have been putting off moving all my stuff from my apt in West Haven to my new house in New Britain. Everything I really need is here. What am I supposed to do with a kitchen full of cutlery and cups and plates and such? What do I do with my old bed? I have a lot of stuff there and I just dont care about a lot of it anymore. It’s kinda amazing.
I’ve had an excruciatingly painful bunion on my right foot for about 9 months now…I didnt know what it was for a long time and the pediatrist that diagnosed it couldnt do the surgery so I just found a new doctor near me…. my surgery is May 1st…..
I wont be able to drive for a few weeks….. So before the 1st I have to totally clear out my apt and finish all the guitar repairs in my shop including refretting a Taylor and restoring a banjitar (banjo with 6 strings) that is at least 100 years old.
I got a new laptop so I will be blogging a lot more….
I’m really happy and I’m going to marry Benjamin Levesque
I worked at Guitar Center for a few years in 07-09…One of the coolest things I got working there was my friend Caitlin Janette Kalafus.
She is so talented that when she would sit behind a drumset in Guitar Center, the rest of the store would tip toe over to drums…. just to hear her play for maybe 9 seconds. I met her right away-she was like 14 I think and everyone would talk about her…we were fast friends. Right away I was like “What is it like to be you?!” I feel like over the years I’ve gotten to see an amazing person grow into a super ultra mega magic super hero of a lady…..A few times when I needed an opener I only wanted to play with her….The whole Kalufus family has so much talent its just unfair…
she also is equally amazing at songwriting and singing and playing any instrument