I’m trying to remember how many Warlocks I’ve owned. I think it’s eight. Having owned 86 guitars in my 32 years (really in 18 years, since I started at 14) that’s over 9%. One out of ten guitars I’ve owned, on average, was a Warlock. I’m just figuring this all out myself.
I’ve never played in a metal band. I’ve never played in any band in which a Warlock wouldn’t look ridiculous.
The customer comment upon pulling out my first Warlock at The “B” String guitar shop was one of these two (both equally accurate): 1) “Warlocks are just metal as f***!, or 2) “Warlocks are just the most metal guitar” or both. Either way, dude was right. Look at this WOOK AT IT:
I don’t care if it’s electric blue, look how f****ng METAL it is!
Sometimes I wonder why I would ever have a blog about something as ridiculous as say electric blue battle axe guitars from 1989, but then, I remember that no one else is writing about them (that I know of- please lordy if anyone knows of blogs I should be reading, stop keeping them to yourself!).
And here begins much of the impetus behind this ridiculousness that is Guitars Ruin Lives), the persistent question of, “Am I the only one?”
Am I the only one who doesn’t play in metal bands, who would look ridiculous holding a Warlock on stage, and yet is obsessed with Warlocks and how mind blowingly awesome they are?
ASIDE: I am Facebook friends with Neal Moser, iconic designer and builder of B.C. Rich and later Neal Moser Guitars fame. Neal designed the Bich, off of which the Warlock was based. (Neal also designed the Virgin, which he fashioned after his imagining of the descending swinging blade from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Pit and The Pendulum”- how fricking metal is that???) I recently asked him which Neal Moser model would come closest to the feel of the Warlock, and he said the Moser 6/10 (six or ten string), which is his perfection of the “Bich” model. I dearly want a handbuilt Moser made just for me during Neal’s building career. But it’s got to feel like a ‘Lock.
Which brings me to the REAL controversy of this post (A GUITAR GEEK ON THE INTERNET ASKED HIMSELF WHY HE LOVES WARLOCKS AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HE SAID!): Warlocks are belief-defyingly ergonomic. This one in particular, a 1989 USA built neck-through, is the most comfortable guitar I’ve ever owned in terms of playing sitting down, and the most balanced in terms of playing standing up. It is the most intelligent guitar. The Warlock has its own wisdom.
Then there’s this- It stands on its own two pointy-ass feet, dammit. While lesser guitars whine and clamor to be held by their precious bottoms, the Warlock stands alone.
But for real, why am I so crazy about these things? No seriously I’m asking.
When I don’t own a Warlock, I get itchy. B.C. Rich is a storied brand with a rich (yaaawwwwn) legacy…and at times with a poor one. Neal Moser- come on! This guy invented the BCR Virgin shape BASED ON THE SWINGING BLADE FROM EDGAR ALLEN POE’S THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM…IT DOESN’T GET ANY MORE METAL!!! I’ve owned a Mockingbird and two Virgins. But nothing touches the Warlock. It lives in a metal kingdom all its own. And what do I receive there that I find so breathlessly cravable?
It’s nothing more than a feeling (Boston be damned). But good Lord, aren’t certain feelings hard to come by? Don’t we chase not just products, or people, but entire chapters of our lives, capriciously throwing time and money out in pursuit of…yes, just a feeling? AM I NOT WRITING A WHOLE DAMN BLOG BASED ON “RUINING” ONE’S (POSSIBLE) LIFE IN PURSUIT OF- WHAT ELSE- A FEELING?
A feeling you got maybe just once…or twice, if you’re incredibly lucky…because everything was just right in that time and place. So irreplicably correct, in fact, that you didn’t even know how perfect it was. You didn’t even know how much that feeling felt like that feeling until it was well over, looking back, and you could measure it against the infinitely less desirable banal feelings that come and go and annoyingly often stay with you, the stress, the blah, the ugh, the “do I have to?”‘s of life which- let’s face it- comprise the overwhelming majority of our lives’ time.
What’s that feeling for you? Now, behind that- what is the experience that brought you the feeling? I’m thinking about a girl. You’re probably thinking of a person too- that one time- No…THAT time!;)- Or maybe a trip, a day, a hike, a waterfall, a scent, a sensation- where is that moment for you? How do you miss it? Do you let yourself?
Wouldn’t you give anything to recreate it? That feeling? That experience? To go back and do it again for the first time, but knowing how infinitely good it was so that you know to savor and simmer in every soul-subsuming breath of it?
You’re damn right I’m still talking about Warlocks. And girls (for me, whoever you’re into for you). And the first CDs I ever owned as a twelve year old, listening to over a hundred times until all the instrument parts were etched on my psyche.
I actually do not own a Warlock at this moment. I experience this absence as a palpable hole in the fabric of my life. But right now I like it. Because it gives me the chance to crave that outrageous sensation of the extended upper bout, the inevitably chipped points, the expansive resonance of a guitar that’s just unnaturally huge. I want it, because I don’t have it. I know what I am missing, because I have known it, and I miss it. I like the pointy hole in my life.
And, I’ve got my eye on a fuschia USA Warlock.