Yesterday, I scored some tickets to the iNDie Fest at Gruhn Guitars. I work with Gruhn, but have never had the honor of speaking with the legendary owner, George.
Gruhn Guitars has been a staple of Nashville for over 40 years. Gruhn has fashioned and supplied guitars for legends like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, to more contemporary artist like Jack White (just to name a few). Pictured above is an ultra-rare 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard. It retails for a cool $275,000. And yep… they told me to play it. Maybe another time, I said. It looks beautiful just hanging on the wall. Plus, I’m not sure how much a kidney goes for these days, but if I drop it, I’m going to have to sell one.
To my surprise, I learned that George’s first love wasn’t guitars. He has been infatuated with snakes since he was 9 years old. Gruhn actually studied reptiles at the university level and is degreed in Zoology. He speaks about snakes poetically and handles them gently and lovingly. ”If you understand them, you can approach them without fear” George says.
I asked him if he sees any correlation between guitars and snakes. George said business is a living organism, much like a snake. He sees every piece of the snake’s body because it isn’t hidden by feathers. Much like a banjo; it is naked, Gruhn states. In the same way, he sees every part of his business and understands it’s movements.
George and I spoke for an hour about Nashville, Broadway, Public Transportation, Snakes, Parrots, Politics and a little of everything in between. One of the most memorable things he said was, “I have always thought that sanity would be boring but I am not sure, never having personally experienced it”
Visit Gruhn Guitars HERE to see some of their beautiful collection. But I recommend giving them a visit.