June 17, 2007 – Hank’s Guitar

In Neil Young’s Prairie Wind CD, there’s a song about an old guitar.

This old guitar ain’t mine to keep
Just taking care of it now
It’s been around for years and years
Just waiting in its old case
It’s been up and down the country roads
It’s brought a tear and a smile
It’s seen its share of dreams and hopes
And never went out of style
The more I play it, the better it sounds
It cries when I leave it alone
Silently it waits for me
Or someone else, I suppose
This old guitar has caught some breaks
But it never searched for gold
It cant be blamed for my mistakes
It only does what it’s told
It’s been a messenger in times of trouble
In times of hope and fear
When I get drunk and seeing double
It jumps behind the wheel and steers
This old guitar ain’t mine to keep
It’s mine to play for a while

This isn’t surprising as a guy who’s been around as long as Neil has no doubt collected many guitars. But this guitar has a bit of history longer than Neil – it’s Hank Williams’ Martin D-28 guitar. Neil bought it in a music store in Nashville in the 70’s and still plays it today. That leads me to my question for the day. Who deserves the guitar? Who should Neil Young pass the guitar onto? Back to the family to Hank Jr. or Hank III? To a country player who stays close to the roots of Hank’s music or is a good picker – Dwight Yoakam or Vince Gill? A member of another extended first family of country music – Roseanne Cash or Rodney Crowell? One of his friends – John Mellencamp? A younger person who has already established a body of work like Ryan Adams or Jeff Tweedy? If you’ve got an idea, put the name in a comment below.

one year ago…