I have been battling the guitar problem for years—guitars on the sofa, guitars in the kitchen, guitars on the bed, guitars in the bathroom. Guitars tripping me when I walk through a room. And now, despite all efforts to contain them in the garage, they are multiplying like Tribbles.I'm an eccentric. Way back in 1983 a friend called me up to alert me to a guitar builder named Robert Holroyd in Vancouver. He built just three or four guitars a year, each one a meticulous masterpiece. And since they were spoken for even before he built them, it was rarely possible to try one out. But my friend informed me that he had just finished one and I could go over and try it. After five minutes of sitting down with the instrument, I asked him for his next one. I am still playing that same guitar, one of the finest I have ever seen and I have seen and played instruments belonging to Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romero and Andrés Segovia. But for many guitarists, owning one is not enough. Pepe in particular has a large collection that thirty years ago was approaching a hundred instruments. But back to the WSJ:
You know you have a problem when your husband's guitar collection makes you go into counseling! I remember hanging around outside a masterclass in Salzburg when I was there as a student waiting for Pepe Romero's class to begin when his wife came up and asked where Pepe was. I said he was inside trying out a guitar by an Italian builder. She rolled her eyes and exclaimed "oh no, he's buying another guitar!"“I just want to sit on my sofa in peace,” I said to psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne, an emerita professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst whom I called for advice. “But my husband’s guitars are taking over the furniture. This can’t be good for our marriage.”“Without knowing anything about your husband, I don’t know if this is a phase or if he plans to keep them forever,” she said.“He’s joined a dad band,” I said darkly.
Actually, reading on in the article, it seems that the husband only has a few guitars. Perhaps no more than five or six. He's a piker. Imagine Pepe's wife's problem. Some of his guitars are so famous they have names. Not only that, but Pepe jr has become one of the leading builders of the next generation. I think they are going to need, not an extra room, but perhaps an extra house.
Here is Pepe Romero playing a piece by Sebastian Yradier: