From the Counter: Greetings from Chelsea Guitars in New York City
Dan Courtenay with an early 1953 Gibson Les Paul at his shop, Chelsea Guitars in NYC.
When Crazy Damian Fanelli, online managing editor at Guitar World, breezed into my store, Chelsea Guitars in New York City, with his posse of ne'er-do-wells, it was obvious they were up to no good, right from the get-go.
Matt, my manager, reached down and, grabbing the stun gun, unobtrusively pressed it into my right hand. Dylan, my floor guy, who we will discuss at length later, quietly got up, grabbed the nightstick and, working his way around the Guitar World bastards, reached down and locked the front door.
The troublemakers from Guitar World were not my main focus at the moment; Dylan was. He's from Brooklyn and he lives for this stuff. I smiled at the Guitar World dweebs and very quietly said, "Don't make any sudden moves." Fanelli, with that shit-eating grin a' his, simply said, "Too late" ...
OK, maybe I don't remember our first meeting all that well, but it did go, well, sorta like this. I do definitely remember that Fanelli has a steel plate in his head, 'cause when Dylan clobbered him with the nightstick, the damn thing just bounced off, making a "gonging" sound sorta like the bells in the movie Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Ya know, writing for a slick sheet magazine is hard enough -- most of the people at Guitar World are pretty nuts, and most have been arrested more than once or twice, I betcha ... but the guys who do the online stuff are just stone criminals.
Josh Hart, the web producer, even has "jail tears," three of 'em, tattooed on his face. They're all stone criminals, most have done time, and all of 'em carry those screwy knives with the 9-inch wiggly blade you can buy in Chinatown.
Look -- all of them are working, trying to keep on the straight and narrow, most of the time at least, and just because one of them (ahem, Hart) broke out of jail about 50 times, I don't like to hold a man's past against him ...
So these online sons-a-bitc, I mean gentlemen, have asked me (really told me) to do a column for GuitarWorld.com. It will be called "From the Counter," and with it I'll try and give my perspective on things like "Proper Etiquette in the Guitar Store" and "How to Hondle," "How Guitar Dealers Always Cheat at Cards" and "Why that Guy who Works at Guitar Center is the Way He Is" -- you know, cool stuff like that.
I'll also talk to "Big Time Rock Star" dudes and ask them all kinds a' dumb questions about their gear and music. Dylan's gonna help me with that, Dylan and his night stick, I mean. So if you want to know "How big So n' So's schlong is," me an Dylan will be happy to find out for ya.
Well, I guess that's about it. There's a detective here waiting to talk to me about a party the guys at Guitar World threw at some vacant lot down the block from the Highline Ballroom.
Seems some of the guys from Kings of Leon showed up all happy, naked and broke the next morning at the airport, and their "Way Too Serious" manager called the cops on my new friends at Guitar World. Boy -- some people are just way too serious these days ...
Dan Courtenay owns Chelsea Guitars at 224 W. 23rd St., New York City, 212-675-4993. Visit them on Facebook right here. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of "From the Counter"!
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