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Gearheads and Guitar Gods

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

No one has delighted in bashing gear-obsessed geeks like me. It's always seemed like such a waste of the time and attention for some of our best and brightest to argue over specs instead of creating things.

This topic is a tired and, for the most part, an ineffective argument. It's the truth, but that's never mattered much online.

I'm always on the lookout for ideas that contradict my own, because the world is less boring that way. This week, I was listening to the radio and Dr. Drew was calling in to the show, trying to explain the erratic behavior of his famous former TV co-stars. When he got around to Adam Carolla, he explained Adam probably had a touch of Aspergers, which made him a great automotive gearhead.

It got me thinking. Maybe resistance isn't entirely to blame for our natural tendency to be gear geeks. Maybe, on top of resistance, some of us are physiologically more likely to tinker and fiddle than create. Maybe that imbalance draws us to our hobbies in the first place.

Maybe, instead of fighting their natural tendencies, gear-obsesed photographers and software-obsessed writers could embrace them and become product creators. That would be a big win for us all.

I could come to love these gearheads.


Guitar players are far more obsessed with their gear than any other type of artist I'm aware of and Premiere Guitar magazine has a great video series reveling in it. It seems guitar heroes are either obsessed with songwriting or creating signature instruments. It's off and on. If your favorite guitar god had an off year musically, chances are, it's the year they redesigned their signature guitar/amp. Anyway, here's a few guitar gods, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, showing off their favorite gear.  And, here's Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones, who created a few of the most talked about rock albums of the last few years, being the opposite of a guitar gear god.

Speaking of guitar gods, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani make music mostly for other guitar players. Do photographers tend to make photographs mostly for other photographers? Lenswork's Brooks Jensen struggles with this on his podcast.