I’m in a bit of a pickle here. Ever since I picked up guitar at 13 and subscribed to Guitar World magazine, I’ve obsessed over tone. Nothing is ever good enough; I require the highest quality components for my rig. I do A/B tests in my bedroom despite never having joined a band nor have I written a song.
And a few days ago, I finally reached the goal of perfect tone. I plugged my Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab Aged Les Paul into my original gold Klon Centaur which pushes the front end of my Two Rock Classic Reverb Signature with every Strymon pedal connected via the effects loop. Then something happened. I struck a E7#9 chord and instantly came to a realization. Life has no meaning and when we die, we die alone. Nothing and no one can go with us. And there’s no reason behind any of this madness.
This is what I get for trusting capitalism’s hollow promises. “Just one more analog pedal.” “Just one more boutique PAF-style humbucker.” Nope. I’ve climbed the mountain; I own every piece of high-end gear I could want. The smoothest, silkiest lead tone won’t fill the void in my chest. And now I don’t know what to do.
I’m deeply ashamed of how much money and time I spent. I was on the Gibson Custom Shop waiting list for years before getting my Les Paul, which I nicknamed Clappy after Eric Clapton. This was before I realized how much of a dickhead Clapton is, so cut me some slack. That led to its own existential spiral. Don’t even get me started on that one. But when I die, my casket will be lowered into the ground and Clappy will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Maybe I should try out some religions or philosophies? Buddhism seems pretty chill, but I really don’t want to be another Westerner half-studying Thích Nhất Hạnh and talking partygoers’ ears off. I’d consider Mormonism but I’ve invested too much in my home coffee setup to abandon it. Baptist churches seem cool and I could probably play in the house band, but I really hate Taylor guitars so that wouldn’t work. And I still don’t know if any of these would answer the question of why I’m here to begin with.
Or maybe this is a sign that it’s time to get into modular synthesis.