Carl Verheyen: The Case for Owning Guitars

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Much has been said about the pros and cons for owning multiple guitars. Some even call it a disease and label it "Guitar Acquisition Syndrome" But I’m a firm believer in the instrument’s innate ability to inspire and as opposed to collecting guitars, I have always aimed at owning a good example of every important guitar made.

 Part of this philosophy stems from my past life as a studio musician here in L.A. Producers, film composers, songwriters and arrangers became very knowledgeable about the types of guitars we were playing and many times producers would ask for a specific instrument. Questions like “Can you play that on a Les Paul” Or “Do you own any Gretches” were quite common for me, so I sought out the best possible example I could afford of each important guitar over the years.

When I started touring a lot with my own band I began doing less and less studio work, but kept all these fine instruments. Now they have another, wonderful place in my life: they continually inspire me to write, practice, and perform new and different music.

When I tour with the CVB my main instrument is a Fender Stratocaster. I have to say my heart and soul is in the Strat and I can do anything on it that is a part of my music. But after a five or six week run playing 90 percent on a Strat every night, I’m aching for another guitar. I get home, open my trunks, and pull out everything else, and sometimes won’t touch the Strat for a week or two.

My Gibson SG is a barnburner, I can play top speed on that. The Les Pauls are all so fat and thick. My Flying V is a tone monster and I love all the Telecasters—I use the ’69 Thinline for playing jazz. My Gretches are super quirky and my ES-335 is soulful and classy, especially with a little steam and the pickup selector in the middle with a bit of volume rolled off on one or the other pickup.
Okay, I’m getting carried away . . . time to go play! —Carl Verheyen