Indulge me a moment as I wade into the infinite sea of brilliance that is the guitar.
In my view, those six strings adorn the most perfect and versatile instrument ever invented. Nothing else gives a musician such a broad variety of possibilities: chords, lines, trills, bends, plucks, finger style, pick attack, neck slaps, percussive body slaps, mutes, harmonics, hammer-ons, pull-offs — even something still undiscovered you or I might stumble upon one of these days. The dynamic and harmonic combinations are truly endless.
And that’s just covering technique. Then you have all the variables and nuances of the guitar’s build: body shape, wood type, wood quality, hard woods or hollow bodies, neck woods, neck contour, finger boards, frets, bridge type, pick-ups, strings, and more. All these structural factors impact tone, facilitating yet more sonic combinations and possibilities to work and play with. Pedals and amps, of course, are also there to assist in sculpting our sound, but it’s the guitar itself — and our own two hands — that most enable us to unleash our voice, to express angst, anger, exhilaration, pain, love, joy, sorrow, celebration… all the colors and corners of life itself.
So while you’re not likely to ever catch me down in the weeds of some high-minded intellectual debate over what is or isn’t art, this I know unequivocally and will defend to the death: when built with meticulous attention to detail, a guitar is a work of art.
And the foundational principle of Anthology Gear Wear is that a great guitar deserves a great guitar strap that itself is also a work of art — something worthy of all the countless hours you’ve spent over many years locked away in the woodshed, honing your technique and musicianship.
Perhaps you’ve seen Crazy Heart. (If not, get thee to Netflix or some comparable source. Trust me.) Well, many people have specifically asked me about Otis “Bad” Blake’s guitar strap in the movie. Just another film prop to others, perhaps, but to obsessive, observant guitar players it was such an iconic part of Jeff Bridge’s Oscar-winning performance and the rambling hard-knock life his character had lived that the strap stood out nearly as a character unto itself. That strap could tell stories.
And I love that. I love that because it speaks directly to what Anthology Gear Wear is all about — and why I needed it to exist so badly I went out and created it.
I believe that more than simply connecting you to your instrument, a guitar strap should live and breathe the life of the guitarist. This is why ours are built to burnish and beautify with age. They are designed to take your knocks, absorb your sweat, record your DNA, and capture the memories of the road you’re going to travel.
Fellow crazy hearts out there have quickly plugged in to this premise, like the customer who wrote me to gush that he plans to “be laid to rest with my Steinberger Synapse, my Anthology strap, and a couple of smokes.” He loves it that much.
That’s right. For this life and the afterlife, we’re built to last.