Somehow I Made It Back to Earth…

25 January 2019—Unlike the Major Tom character in David Bowie’s song “Ashes to Ashes,” I didn’t stick around in “heaven’s high.” Not that abruptly losing a pretty good job that I held for more than 20 years was anything approaching heavenly. But I did float for a bit, because when there’s a major sea change in one’s life, I think you need to take a breath or two, seek out what’s really important to you, find your legs again, and move forward, one step at a time. At least, that’s what happened in my case.

Anyway, I knew I couldn’t whine or feel sorry for myself for long, because my dad and my uncle were tough-as-nails survivors of the American Depression, World War II, pretty ugly union battles, and other assorted craziness. They believed in honesty and community and that whole John Wayne cowboy credo that a person is only as good as his or her word. They did not believe in entitlement, selfishness in any form, or weakness. As a result, I could feel my long-departed and beloved dad and uncle just waiting to kick my ass if I let loose with any drama over being made redundant by a conglomerate that didn’t know me and didn’t care about me.

“Really?” I could hear my dad snort. “Is losing some job where they don’t appreciate you—when you’re otherwise lucky and happy and healthy—as bad as wondering every second if your ship is going to be torpedoed out from under you, so the sharks can have your ass for lunch?”

How do you even reply to something like that? Dad 1, Son 0.

So what could I do but get out of my own head and focus on what was really important to me, career-wise?

The answer is YOU.

I love sharing news about cool guitar players and awesome guitar gear and everything about guitar. I love communicating, debating, educating, and, at times, entertaining the guitar community. I even love it when musicians give me a few lumps about being horribly wrong about something they are passionate about. I love all the manufacturers and product managers I’ve met and worked with over the years, because most of them are truly trying to make great tools to help us achieve our dreams. I love the guitar stars who dig talking guitar and who graciously share their knowledge with us all. I love the publicists and managers who alert me to so many wonderful products and so much thrilling music.

I love being a cog in a huge machine of creativity.

And all of that love did not stop with the termination of a title and a paycheck—nor did my devotion to all of you falter even one microscopic bit by losing a corporate marketing and distribution system.

I simply needed to do it myself.

So here I am. I’ve brought some friends along for the ride (you can see them on the Meet the Guardians page), and I hope you will allow a few stumbles here and there as we strive to get this initiative rocking and rolling. In my mind, Guardians of Guitar is more than just a website and some social posts—it’s about celebrating what you love and PLAYING IT FORWARD.

Okay. I promise this will be the last NOIZE talking about the past. The next—and ongoing—words from me will be about the future for all of us. I am sooooo jazzed to be back in YOUR world, talking to creative people about creating. I just know we are going to have us some fun!

Oh, before I sign-off for now, I’d like to thank all of the Guardians who have already joined the cause, I want to thank YOU for checking in and being a part of this thing (or, at least, giving it a chance), and I also want to salute my dear friend Dale Krevens at Tech 21 for supporting a crazy idea with an as-yet-unknown audience. I couldn’t have made this happen without this abundance of wonderfulness.

And, of course, nothing happens in my world without the support, guidance, occasional tough love, and dazzling gorgeousness of Cheryl Doll and the punk-rock pups (Rebel Girl and Agent Danger). I am one lucky dude…






Author: Michael Molenda

Founder of Guardians of Guitar. Longest-serving Editor in Chief of GUITAR PLAYER (1997-2018). Long live Link Wray and Mick Ronson!

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