“Nine guitars?!” I hear you say. “Why does anyone need nine guitars?” Well I will tell you…
Reason One: Sentimental reasons. You see it all started back when I was 16 years old. I got a guitar for Christmas from my parents after I had become obsessed with Nirvana and Hole. Up until I saw Courtney Love playing guitar, it hadn’t occurred to me that girls could do that. Kurt Cobain made it look easy too. I wanted to be them. My uncle is a well respected Jazz musician and classical guitar teacher. My parents asked him what they should get me. He chose a Fender Squire Stratocaster in sunburst. Being a teenage punk, I wasted no time in plastering a NO MORE BULLSH**T sticker on it that I’d bought in Camden. I could barely play ‘About A Girl’ – a two chord song by Nirvana, but it felt like the coolest most punk rock thing to me at the time. I was a grrrl with a guitar. I rarely play this guitar but it’s very special to me for sentimental reasons.
Reason Two: Because I can’t live without playing guitar. The next one I’ll tell you about is my battered beaten up Sixties children’s acoustic guitar. I rescued it from going in a skip once upon a time. Thought it would make good wall art. It was a mess. I was about to go traveling to Greece when I realised I couldn’t go more than a day without playing guitar. So I took it to a Czech hippie down Aigburth Road in Liverpool and he fixed it for me. It’s got all these faded margarine stickers on it and it’s scuffed up and tattered. But I love it. We’ve travelled together. We’ve been through a lot. I deffo feel attached to my guitars. And this one fits in the overhead compartment on a plane.
Reason Three: Because I was given one as a gift. Back when I was drumming in bands in Manchester and Liverpool I started once again becoming interested in playing guitar after a break of a few years. My brother had borrowed my first guitar, the Fender Squire Stratocaster in sunburst and he was away so I couldn’t get it back. So my dear friend Jane gave me her Fender Squire Stratocaster in white on “extended loan”… I still have it. She technically owns it still, but seems in no rush to retrieve it. I wrote my first album on this guitar and added red heart gem stones to it as decoration.
Reason Four: Because I couldn’t afford my dream guitar yet. The next guitar I bought was a Hamer XT Series Sunburst A/T. I had decided I wanted a guitar with a narrow neck for my small hands. I also decided I wanted “any colour as long as it’s not black!” It was black. But it played like a dream and sounded good. It was a lot like the Daisy Rock Stardust Elite that I had my heart set on, but couldn’t afford or find second hand. Naturally, I covered it in glitter and gem stones to hide it’s Guinness colour scheme.
Reason Five: Because dreams come true! I was going through a tough time and needed cheering up and lo and behold, I found my dream guitar on ebay for less than it’s normal price- an ex-display model in USA where an uncle of mine lived. When this guitar arrived it really felt like a dream come true. It’s one of the most beautiful guitars I have ever seen and it plays like a dream. It’s the Daisy Rock Stardust Elite. (See main photo)
Reason Six: Because everyone needs an electro-acoustic. I had been playing an unplugged open mic in my home town of Chester at a place called Harvest Moon. I cut my teeth on solo live performances without my distortion pedals and without any amplification. I played my baby travel guitar and it sounds pretty awful. I realised it was time to step it up and get an acoustic guitar that I could plug in to play bigger open mics with and actually sound good not just look cute and bohemian. I got the Daisy Rock Pixie and I have never looked back.
Reason Seven: Because I needed to play some bass. Yes, I am no bassist, but I like to think of myself as a multi-instrumentalist and a self-taught one at that. So as a singer songwriter, the time came where I needed to record some basslines for my solo recordings and demos. I was exploring the idea of being a One Woman All Girl Band at the time. I wanted to record myself on all instruments to create a backing track to play and sing along to live. So I borrowed a bass from my friend Robert. A Fender P bass in red. It is massive and I am short.
Reason Eight: Because it’s a pink bass and it’s short-scale. Having limited success with the large Fender P bass, I decided that I wanted a smaller one and to own one, not just borrow it. I also am unashamedly into pink guitars and pretty guitars and stuff. I initially asked my local music shop if they had any short-scale pretty bass guitars and they said no. I went in and there it was. Exactly what I wanted and very very cheap. They said they “didn’t think that counted as a bass.” It plays fine and I love it. ‘Real’ bass or not. It’s called a Gypsy Rose.
Reason Nine: Because my singing teacher said I needed a semi-acoustic. Apparently it’s more tuneful so it will help with my singing when I am not playing my electro-acoustic guitar. As luck would have it, I found this one at a so-cheap-I-couldn’t-leave-it-in-the-shop price secondhand. This is rare because even though it was filled with cat hair and covered in dust, this guitar is actually worth quite a bit of money. It’s a Daisy Rock Retro-H in moonshine iridescent blue with f holes.
And you know what? I’m probably going to need more!
Hannah Golightly founded GrrrlsWithGuitars in 2016. She is a riot grrrl musician, singer, guitarist and drummer from the UK. She has been a music critic and rock writer for over eight years and has previously written for collapseboard.com for six years, godisinthetvzine.co.uk, mother's pride zine and vulturehound.com. She has a passion for guitars and amps and owns a lot of them! She is passionate about promoting and helping grrrls and women play guitar and form bands. She loves female rock musicians' music and he favourite band is Skating Polly. She believes that a grrrl with a guitar can change the world!