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Can you publish a guitar?

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

Blank canvases products are everywhere. Pens, watches, cars, guitars — there are certain objects that attract artists to create. I love digging into why.

In a way, it’s just a different form of publishing. It seems like all the same rules apply: create, edit, integrate, and ship. Repeat until death.

January is Winter NAMM month. It’s the time of year when music merchants all over the world fly to the U.S. to see the latest product designs, especially the guitars. It's when we all get to see what the artists behind each guitar company have shipped.

My favorites this year? Yvette Young’s new signature model sports a color I want on everything!

Kramer’s embrace of the 80s is the equivalent of watching Predator, Roadhouse or any one of a dozen buddy-cop movies. It’s unapologetically brazen. I remember it was impossible to find a Kramer at any reasonable price back then. They’re all within reach now. So strange.

Fender, as usual, brings the high-ticket art objects. But their jewel-encrusted, Fabergé egg $560,000 guitar is an eyesore meant for someone with more dollars than sense.

See that? It's art. It's publishing. It's shipping something that in the words of Seth Godin, "might not work." You're going to miss more than you hit, so you have to take a lot of shots. I've published thousands of posts and newsletters. I could maybe count a few dozen that I think are great. But it took the rest of those misses to get me there.

And, by the way, the best guitar for the money wasn’t even new at the show, it was announced two months earlier: the “Texas tea”-finished Fender Tele Ultra. Last year if you told me I’d even “like” a Telecaster, I’d laugh in your face. This year it’s the only new guitar I'd really want. That’s how good it is.