Anybody carrying a guitar around in a soft case would do well to heed Eric Turner’s story. After having a terrible accident with his first 12string guitar in a soft case he resolved to buy a good strong guitar hard case as soon as he could possibly afford it. It took a while because Eric wasn’t well off and the local guitar shops in the rural town where he lived seemed to be charging extortionate prices for guitar accessories and only a very small selection of hard cases.

It was about a year later when Eric  was living in Paris that he managed finally to get one. Guitar strings, capos and hard cases aren’t particularly cheap in Paris but by then he was able to generate enough cash through busking in the metro to pay for such things when he needed them. The biggest guitar shops were and probably still are near the Bastille, which is just a big roundabout these days, nothing much left of the building that was stormed as a prelude to the French revolution.

One huge music shop had rows and rows of new fangled Ovation guitars with the curved fibreglass bodies that made them seem space aged at the time. Luckily he never had enough money to buy one whenever he visited the shop because the dead twangy sound has since gone right out of fashion, and for good reason. Interesting that the appearance of those guitars made people think they must sound great, and that persisted through much of the 1980s. Anyway, in the big music shop they also had a bargain bin in which shop soiled or remaindered items could be found, cheap.

Turner picked up a Japanese Epiphone guitar there for next to nothing, with just some damage to the bodywork that made no difference to the nice sound and excellent playability. In fact, he wishes he still had that guitar. And they also sold very basic wooden guitar hard cases too so that’s where Eric got his first hard case after making sure it definitely fitted his 12 string which has been well looked after ever since.

Andy Roberts is a writer working from London, UK. Current projects include Guitar hard case
Andy Roberts blog

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