the return of my axe

all i can say is this: picking up my guitar after not touching it for four years is not like riding a bike.

background: i played acoustic guitar for years, on and off, to lead worship for junior highers (i was a hack; but we always said that energy was more important than musical ability when it comes to leading junior highers in worship). one day at my last church (lake avenue church in pasadena), i felt the need to rock a bit more, and asked someone to teach me how to barre chord. then, a few weeks later, i grabbed rob bell (then a high school staff assistant at lake ave, while working on a degree at fuller), another great guitar player, to help me pick out an electric guitar. when we got to the store, they had two limited edition fender american standard stratocasters: one in ‘burgandy mist’ and one in ‘sea-foam green’. i was leaning toward the green one and asked rob for his input. he said (and i quote): i think if you buy the green one, you’ll wake up one day and ask yourself, “why did i buy a sea-foam green guitar?” so i got the burgandy mist strat, with painted headstock, rosewood fretboard, and a few other minor extras.

my rocking got louder and more animated, and i had a great time leading the junior high worship band for a few years; and subsequently playing in the same down here in san diego. many have accused me of having a ‘pink’ guitar. but i must insist: it’s burgandy mist. don’t cross me on this!

somewhere along the line (about four years ago), it became obvious that the back-up rhythm guitar player in our JH worship band was both more available than me and WAY better. i stopped playing.

four years went by, two JH pastors, several incarnations of the worship band. now, we have two very sweet JH girls leading worship. and they’ve been so fantastic. but we all agree (them included) that it’s time for a bit o’ rockin’ again. so a few of us (alex from YS, our former JH pastor, is going to lead and play acoustic) are, in the words of john belushi/jake blues, “putting the band back together”. but i suck. really. my fingers have no callouses; my hand cramps up when i play barre chords; my strumming patterns are nasty.

i have to remember: energy (well, and actually worshipping) is more important than musical ability when leading JH worship!

31 thoughts on “the return of my axe”

  1. Dude, I’m with you… this weekend I’ll be leading worship at a retreat for the first time in 2 years! Man do I wish I had my old callouses back again…Oh yeah, and the Rob Bell comment was priceless.

  2. i’m not going toe to toe with Marko.. on his own blog…
    even with his new found mercy :-)

    I can’t honestly say the guitar is pink, however I can say it’s not the first time I’ve heard it referred to as pink.

    of course, it must be cool if rob bell picked it out. :-)

  3. yes, mark (riddle, that is), if you only understood the hebraic background of burgandy mist, like i do (thanks to rob), you would never call it pink. it’s only your westernized (frankly, colonializing) mind that makes the jump to pink. it was never pink to the original audience!

  4. Marko: I like how you conveniently didn’t post a picture of your pink guitar, but rather a generic picture. I think you’re afraid of, what I like to refer to as “The Truth of the Pink”. I have done your readers a favor and found a picture of it so they can judge for themselves. The Truth of the Pink cannot be denied.

  5. that’s pretty impressive, pat. i posted a generic (though, notice i went to the trouble to actually find a photo of an american standard strat — not just any old strat) because it was faster than taking a picture of my guitar and posting it! i was actually hoping the fender site (where i got the pic) would have colors – they don’t.

    all i can say about the photo you link to: that’s a nice looking burgandy mist guitar.


  6. bobbie! i got the “no ukes” sticker the other day (haven’t gotten the shirt yet), and yesterday put it on my guitar case, along with a utilikilts sticker!

  7. i noticed the guitar in your office today and being a frequent wearer of pink and shades thereof, i can definitely say it is not pink. the color would be most appropriately named maroon mist as it is more of muted maroon than a burgundy.

  8. hi mindi. I’ll see you in nashville next week. and quit brown nosing marko! The lightings not that great in his office anyway :-)
    Because of the importance of this topic I found a website that shows paint for guitars. Here is Burgunday Mist Of course Marko you know that there is nothing wrong with wearing pink, or playing a pink guitar. Though I can’t think of any famous guitarist who play pink guitars. no wait. I remember seeing Melissa Ethridge and maybe someone from the Go-Go’s.
    What really matters is your comfortable with yourself.

  9. wow, the lighting on that website must not be very great — the color seems way more “pink” than the burgandy mist on my guitar.

    oh, and, you having the time to find that is proof of my earlier jab about consulting being code for…

  10. Why thank you, I’ll just have to sing though, I know my colors but don’t play. I’ll look for you in Nashville and try to say hi (just for a second) so you have a face with a name.

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  12. I just saw “Stranger than Fiction” at the theaters. The main character bought a seafoam green guitar. Do you know the writer — Zach Helm?

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