The Power of Illogical Attachment

I have to admit that I’m a sentimental guy.

I have strong attachments to inanimate objects, because they evoke powerful associations and memories. A silly and simple example of this is that I have a hard time getting rid of old shirts. I associate them with positive memories, and they are hard to discard. Strangely, pants are not as dear.

Image result for pants in garbage

Music gear is significant in this regard. Once I have poured a certain amount of my soul out through a guitar, pedal, amplifier, microphone, etc, it starts to feel like a piece of me.

Image result for piece of myself

Today I sold and shipped my old Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler pedal. There’s nothing rare or special about this gadget. I bought it in late 1999, and we have done a lot together since then.

I believe they are still being made, and if not, then they are still in plentiful supply at most music gear retailers. And all of the sounds that the DL-4 makes can also be found within other Line 6 products.

I have strong memories of it…

*…Being in a loft-type bedroom in a friend’s house, that we had converted into a recording space, while he was touring in Europe. I had TWO DL-4′s chained together, and was recording atmospheric guitar parts for Katie Reider’s second studio album, I Am Ready. I remember getting the sounds dialed-in to my amplifiers, and as I was preparing to record, Katie began running up and down the stairs, bringing more and more candles into the room. Then she lighted them all, and I recorded spacey ambience, alone in candlelight, while she and everyone else listened from downstairs.

* …Writing a guitar-arrangement for a song that got played frequently at Crossroads church, in the early days, and figuring out a way that I could slide these interesting echoes up the guitar-neck, and quickly disengage the pedal. The echoes would continue while I played the next part of the song, and everyone marveled at where these multiple sounds were coming from.

* …Taking the DL-4 apart on my family room floor, while my three-year-old son played nearby. One of the footswitches had unscrewed itself and fallen into the enclosure. I had to fish it back out and secure it.

Anyway, it has been quite some time since I had a use for it. I have had all those sounds in other units for a while (an M9, and now an HX FX). The DL-4 has literally been sitting on a shelf gathering dust for a few years. Maybe two years ago, I spent the money to have it upgraded and modified. Then I promptly did nothing with it.

Today it is en route to a buyer in Arizona, and while all those sounds a re available here, there and everywhere, I can’t help but feel like I sold a significant piece of myself.

Goodbye, old inanimate not-even-an-instrument friend.

Have you ever become illogically attached to a piece of equipment? What was it? Did you get rid of it? How did you feel afterward?

2 thoughts on “The Power of Illogical Attachment”

  1. My gear attachment and seller’s remorse extends to guitars I have let go (EBMM Steve Morse and a great G&L Legacy Strat and multiple cheap bass guitars) to a pedals. There are 2 flavors of the pedals I have let go – almost an entire analog board with FullTone FD2, TS9, Keeley Compressor, Boss DD5 and Keeley mod’d TR2 – I stopped doing a regular cover band gig and didn’t think I would need that much gear – now playing on a worship team that board would have been perfect albeit way to heavy, I’ve slowly bought back similar pedals. The other flavor of gear obsession is a love / hate relationship with Line 6 gear – mostly PODs (including that beat up POD 2.0 I sold to you about 10 years ago) and more recently the Helix. I really think getting one of these devices will create more music divine inspiration and nirvana than anything I currently have. Then once I acquire said gear, I’m get so frustrated by the mechanics of building a signal chain and using it – longing for the “simplicity” of the other gear.

    Interestingly I have hung onto a Line 6 M9 for over 10 years – collecting dust currently. I think I only hold on to that because my oldest grandson was so fascinated by the color changes when selecting and effect at the age of 2 or 3, I think he may want to have that if he ever decides to play guitar when he gets older.

    And I am currently trying to bond with a Line 6 HX FX – and may look for a way to blend that with my other pedals – then move on to actually creating music.

    1. There are definitely a few guitars I lost along the way that I wish I’d held on to. Chief among these is a 1978 Gibson RD Artist, that I sold to a friend. He loves it, and I get occasional visits. There was something magic about its tone, and I didn’t realize it until it had changed hands. I do miss the 1978 Ibanez Artist I got in 1995 (and traded away in 2008-ish), mostly for the reminders of my youth.

      Funny you bring up the Line 6 gear. I made such good use of that POD you sold me, that I pounced on a rackmount version about two or three years later. It’s still in my rack right next to me, though it is probably going to get sold now that the Avid Eleven Rack has worked out so well (I haven’t run a signal through the POD in a year). Your POD, I gave to my friend Andy, who is now letting his teenage son figure it out. So it has had a good run.

      I got an HX FX about six weeks ago. It replaced the somewhat limited format of the M9 on my live acoustic board, and will replace the whole digital section (Boss delays and an MD500 modulation modeler) on my main board. On its own, it will function perfectly as a small rig / fly rig. Seems to be working out well as a multifaceted solution.

      As for studio inspiration, I almost never use pedals for recording, and my effects-use in general is pretty sparse. Regardless, the nostalgia bug bites occasionally, and I buy some pedal or rack unit that I think might get me back to some point in time when I used one like it (it never does). One such example is a Boss HR-2 Harmonist. I used one of these rather a lot in the late 90′s, and then on-and-off with Katie Reider until her passing. I sold it, and then have owned a few other harmony pedals since (I still have one of the Behringer ones, which are inexplicably valuable now). Last summer I saw an acquaintance with an HR-2 on his pedalboard, and bought on on eBay that same day. I played through it ONCE after it arrived, and I re-sold it right before the DL-4. Silly how powerful that pull can be.

      My wife refers to some TV show host (?) who has popularized an idea of thanking an object for its service and then sending it away, as a means of emotional closure. Based on what I’ve attempted to describe here, maybe that’s less strange than it sounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>