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Sid Slade – A day in the life of a musical entrepreneur

Blue Jeans

And another thing that gets my goat – the amateur repairman, or rather one that is not a repairman but decidedly amateur.

Please don’t introduce your self in my esteemed establishment, waving a guitar and shouting, “I’d do it myself but I just haven’t got time…”

This takes restraint beyond measure to not utter a witty riposte, for which of course I am well renown.

Do I look like somebody who can afford to spend a whole precious day pondering over your guitar’s problems for thirty quid? Don’t answer that one. I know I’ve let things slip but I’m getting a new jumper and jeans in the Autumn. Bit of a spruce-up but that’s another story.

People skills, that’s what the world lacks today. Engage the brain before spouting off, belittling the very man you need most right now – well I like to think so, the guitar repairman.

So this muppet wants a re-fret. DIY? Yeah right. Do you know just how many specialist tools are needed? Cutters, pullers, benders, barbers, nippers, could be some underground slang on a very dodgy dating site. Grinder maybe? Not that I’d know anything about that sort of thing you understand.

It’s not a job for a hacksaw blade and a pair of your Dad’s pincers, fished out of a rusty tool bucket.

Re-fretting is an art. What with tangs, crowns, barbs and back bows. There’s a whole new language to learn, never mind just whacking them in with a claw hammer.

Only the best quality fret wire crosses this bench. 18% nickel silver. Got no silver in it though. Something to do with the Germans I believe, must look it up on my day off. Not like all the cheap alloys the Big Boys are using these days. You can see that stuff wearing away on every string bend. Tiny flakes of glitter all over the finger board.

I don’t know why they do it. Save a shekel or two is my guess. Constantly de-specifying then bigging up the adverts “New improved guitar.” My arse. All the metal parts weigh less these days and it’s not ‘cos they are making stuff out of Space Shuttle grade metal. Bloody cheap skates. Shoddy I say.

So my muppet is finally talked round to a full re-fret. Bound neck, more expensive to do you see, trim the tangs back on every fret, blah, blah… Lovely that’s the jumper and jeans paid for.

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