Expressing hurt in the moment is a large component of the healing process. Suppressing instead of expressing leads to hurt moving inward, becoming fear and eventually manifesting as either unrealistic fears or inappropriate anger—all destructive emotions. Music has especially amazing powers to help with the healing process because it not only allows for a healthy outward expression but combines that outward expression with a positive flow of strong emotion that is deeply cleansing.
This was never more clearly evident than last Saturday night, October 20, 2001 at the “Concert for New York.” You may have seen it. It was organized to help the families of the New York Firefighters, Police, Port Authority and Emergency Workers who have sacrificed so much for the people of this great city, nation and the world since the September 11th attacks. But of course the show ended up offering restoration to everyone concerned.
On the bill were some of the biggest names in Rock history and all did an exemplary job of offering their gifts on such short notice. I know the country is grateful. Just to name a few: The Who and James Taylor preformed perfectly executed sets. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards graced us with their infectious and legendary style of rock and roll. Melissa Ethridge belted out a powerful solo acoustic set and Elton John and Billy Joel concluded their performances with a piano duet of “Your Song.” It was Paul McCartney who brought the show to a close and it is to him that this Guitar of the Week and this left-handed Drop Top are dedicated.
I know that Paul commands so much adoration that there is almost nothing left to say about how meaningful his music has been to so many. But I think the secret of this prolific artist lies well beyond even his music. It comes down to his very essence. The driving force behind this one is a self-commitment to quality in everything that he views as important. As The Beatles, they were more than music. It was an offering of a better, more peaceful life communicated through actions and dialog as well as music.
Last Saturday night Paul left no doubt of his resolve to enrich the world he occupies. The songs were amazing, of course, and were a wonderful release of emotion for all. But of equal importance were the thoughts expressed between each song. He spoke, simply at first, to a grieving nation of friendship, love, hope and victory in very gentle yet powerful terms. This son of a World War II, Liverpool Firefighter—whose nation has much more recently than ours had to fight for its very survival—made it crystal clear that nothing less than the world’s very freedom is at stake. Halfway through his set, he performed a brand new anthem-like song entitled Freedom. Paul had written it the day after the September 11th attacks. By the time he was one measure into the first chorus, he had all of Madison Square Garden singing along as though we were all in his living room. They performed the song again to close the show. Everyone joined his band on stage including some of the Rescue Workers and their families. The audience again sang along at the top of their lungs. Over McCartney’s left shoulder was a sight I will never forget. On stage, dancing, singing and kissing a portrait of her lost husband was a Firefighter’s widow. I don’t think I’d be too far off the mark if I guessed that this was probably the first time she had been able to celebrate life since September 11th. As she sang the words:
Freedom…I’m talking about
I will fight for the right
To live in Freedom
At that moment it became very simple and clear that these ones so dear to us had a distinct purpose for their life and death—the right of everyone to live in Freedom! This is what Paul McCartney, the Beatle, the lad from Liverpool, gave—much more than just great music.
So to you Paul McCartney I say something I have always wanted to say to you: Thank you! The quality with which you conduct your life has made it all worth while. You should be pleased with how you have chosen to use the gift given you.
Call me a dreamer but one day I would love to see an Anderson guitar like this one in Paul’s hands. The flamed maple top of this lefty Drop Top is finished in Translucent Amber with a color matched headstock. Thanks to a perfect fret job, its sleek T/A Standard neck plays like butter while the Anderson-built H1-, SA1 and H2+ pickups deliver a huge, powerful tone that still has lush articulation for beautiful to powerful chording and singing single note lead lines.
MODEL: – Drop Top-Lefty
FINISH: – Translucent Amber with Binding
BODY WOOD: – Flamed Maple Top with Basswood Back
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
NECK WOOD: – Maple with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – H1-
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
SWITCHING: – Switcheroo
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – Black
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Guitar Center/Cherry Hill, New Jersey