What can I say? This breaks my fucking heart into a million fractious little pieces?
If it had been done in a fit of a rage or at the end of a particularly savage Deadcuts performance of which they've been so many then maybe I'd be forgiving or at least have the memory of the moment with which to comfort myself.
Except it wasn't and no it doesn't..
Deadcuts played their way too short allotted 30 minutes to a seemingly unimpressed half full Deaf Institute in Manchester (great venue by the way), I quickly grabbed my pedals and leads to make way for headliners Tommy Stinson's wonderful Bash and Pop and scooped up my guitar case (one designed for a bloody Rickenbacker) from the floor at the side of the stage..pedals and leads into rucksack..turned around to grab my guitar and a quick inspection of the stage and it weren't there..instant panic sets in. Memories of losing my Fender Telecaster at the Rhythm Factory some 15 years ago - almost certainly to an ex Libertines roadie by the name of Chev, engulf me...
I run over to Jerome "bruv my guitar's gone"..
"Easy" says Jerome "it's already gone upstairs"
This only half calms me down. I have to see it. Like right now. (I really don't like it ever being out of eye-shot if I'm honest)
I head up 2 flights of stairs to the dressing room we're sharing with both Bash and Pop and the Dearly Beloved (cool Canadian motherfuckers who've been doing a fantastic job of opening up every night about 15 minutes after doors open and for no money - true soldiers!)
There it is on the sofa-my battered to fuck 1959 les paul junior. I'm massively relieved.
Tommy S come over admiringly and tells me the story of how one of his friends had one similar and every time he'd lend it to Paul Westerberg it'd come back covered in Paul's blood. " don't go lending that to Paul now.." he warns.
Along with Jerome we've been learning the words to the Only Ones classic Another Girl Another Planet - the thinking being that if we just take one verse each we stand a chance of getting it right for Bash And Pop's encore tonight(we don't by the way - not even close - I'm not sure how Tommy and J fared but i definitely screwed up the second line!)
I'm shooting the shit wth Tommy who's drinking and enjoying the evening - maybe because Cheap Trick are in town, playing across the road at the Academy - there's talk of a big night out...I gently rest the Junior on the bench and retrieve the case...
And then it happens.
The guitar slides to the left, oh so slowly off the bench and drops, barely 6 inches onto the carpeted floor and PING!
The headstock is broken clean off.
Strings lie scattered in all directions and the original bridge, held into place by the strings falls away from the body. It's dark in the corner of he room as I hunt around for any stray shards of wood with the crappy light on my phone. No. Nothing. I'm lucky - it's a clean break. That's something at least..
I feel like a fucking total idiot.
This wasn't meant to happen. We'd prided ourselves that we were managing to break even on this UK tour. Just barely though-a last minute gig headlining The Adelphi in Hull to break the cost of getting to Scotland and sleeping on floors and not in travel lodges and we were looking at maybe having enough dough for petrol and to eat every day(we did!)
I only own the one guitar. Earlier this year I decided to sell my Japanese junior copy (made my Edwards - it was a pretty decent replica of my '59 beauty and a cut above anything Gibson have made in the last 20 years or so). In hindsight a foolish decision. Deadcuts are supposedly recording all the new material as soon as we're back...