The Swabian Cheapskate

Recording King $250 Lap Steel

Adding to the “anemoia” theme of somehow living the 1930’s, the first Lap Steel Guitars were produced in the 1930’s – but I am sure some earlier in someones garage or workbench.

Joseph Kekuku was the first to “discover” sliding a piece of metal across a guitar. It started out as “The Hawaiian Sound” or Slack Key.

I couldn’t resist trying the Recording King Lap Steel. Its very well built but the pickup is crap. I replaced it with a Seymore Duncan for only $100 – and I can’t stop playing this. It’s more fun than my $500 Gretsch Lap Steel.

I don’t know for sure, but German’s from Swabia (near Stuttgart) are supposed to be cheapskates and squirrel away all their money. I bet that there’s a twist – and I saw this in my father. Its not that Swabian’s are cheapskate – its that they demand Value. I suspect the reason why is because in the land of Mercedes and Porsche – there is a lot of precision machining and Kraftwerk.

I bet the reason why I am in love with gear that is cheaper than the “top of the line” is because I followed a Zen Buddhist saying “Do nothing extra”, which is the same as “Less is more”. Its an economizing and performance thing. Squeeze every penny. Get your monies worth.

I’m trying to come to grips why – when I had a Leica M6 – which was $4000 with a lens in the 80’s I gravitated to a $200 Pentax ME Super instead.

I think the answer has nothing to do with money. I think its more a challenge. When you make or modify something you get a real rush. Just buying top of the line makes you feel like there is no challenge. Then the buyers remorse sets in, and well, I think I finally figured this all out

I certainly have Swabian blood in me and besides the contrite expressions of “cheapskate” I think I figured it out. How do I know this?

Its in my genetic makeup and in my blood. I just feel it. Intuition I suppose

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