Back in October 2018, my son found an electric guitar in my closet. It's an Epiphone 335 that I got from my friend and former roomie James Leonard. James was moving to New York and didn't want to take it with. Since he, like me, was left-handed, I was the only person he thought would appreciate it and take care of it. A "permanent loan", if you will.

TSM/Todd Lyons


Every day, for about a week, I would come home from the radio station and find the case and guitar out in the living room. I'd put it back in the closet only to find it drug out again the following evening. Since my son, Drew, it RIGHT-handed, it was challenging to play it. Noticing that he had become infatuated with it, I decided to buy him a beginner guitar. It, literally, was called a "BC" --  as in, "Beginners Choice". I paid $90 bucks and it came with a 10-watt amp and a vinyl gig bag. Amazon Prime offered me a $70 credit if I applied for their credit card so I figured, what the heck. If he only plays it for a little bit and gets bored or frustrated with it, I can always sell it on the cheap and not be out much.

TSM/Todd Lyons

Well, he proceeded to play it constantly. It became time to get him something legit. We went to Ted Brown Music on Nob Hill and Ricky Maxey waited on us. He let Drew play a bunch of different makes and models before he finally decided upon a Fender Squire (Telecaster). Today would have been Leo Fender's birthday.

Once we completed the purchase, I told my son that the Fender was the last guitar I would ever purchase for him as it is a pretty spendy hobby. Since then, he has kept playing on a daily basis and already has his eyes set on a PRS -- Paul Reed Smith  -- axe that he saw at Bearded Monkey Music.

Many of my friends -- William Roulston, Erik Von Gohren, Gregor Uvila -- have loaned or flat-out given Drew gear and instruments to help him out as he progresses. Thank you all!

TSM/Todd Lyons

He amazes me with how much he has progressed without a single lesson. He very rarely looks up tutorials on YouTube (and there are a LOT!) as he prefers to try and pick the songs out on his own through trial and error!

TSM/Todd Lyons
TSM/Todd Lyons
TSM/Todd Lyons

A loan from a friend to me -- despite the fact that I can't play a lick -- has burgeoned an interest in musicianship that I could never have imagined!

Enter your number to get our free mobile app