20 Surefire Signs You’re Married to a Guitar Player


We’re weird. We know it. But let’s face it: there are a lot more harmful obsessions out there than this preoccupation we have for these six-stringed providers of joy. We love to touch them, to look at them, to maintain them and talk about them, and of  course to play them. We study their history and lust over endless photos of them. If your partner is a guitarist, well, you have my sympathies. Here are twenty ways a guitar freak keeps your life interesting. [Bonus: 24 more FREE!]

He cannot sleep at night unless he has confirmed that there are at least three guitars in the house.

It offends him deeply that models posing with guitars in print advertisements are obviously not guitar players. They clumsily grasp the neck, and they hold up the body of the guitar with the other hand (ever heard of a strap, Tyrese?) pretending to strum with their thumb.

There is a guitar pick in the pocket of his bathrobe.

If you are out shopping with your guitar-playing spouse and he or she encounters a fellow guitar player in a public place, say, the canned vegetable aisle of the grocery store, they will immediately fall into a conversation about Russian power tubes or compensated bone saddles. Unless they are physically separated from each other, the conversation will ramble on until the store closes.

He has no idea what product a radio jingle is advertising, but can quote the two-second guitar lick at the end.

When a popular band appears on TV, he immediately assigns them zero cultural credibility if they have more keyboards than guitars.


If my wife was in this picture, it would be a portrait of all my favorite things.

He talks with a completely straight face about finding the “Neil Young” chord in a Beatles song.

You find a guitar pick in the butter drawer of the refrigerator.

You’re watching someone play a song in a movie and he complains every time the camera cuts away from the guitar and focuses on the actor’s face.

Every time you travel, your hotel is miraculously situated within two blocks of a Guitar Center.

You’re choosing a paint color scheme for your kitchen and he suggests, in all seriousness, Tobacco Sunburst.

You find a piece of paper in his jeans with a girl’s name and phone number written on it. When you call the number, a woman says, “Sylvia’s Speaker Repair.”

When you’re playing a party trivia game and the entire room agrees that Thomas Edison was the most important inventor of the 20th century, your spouse says they are all wrong—it’s Les Paul.

He occasionally breaks into a spasm of air guitar during sex.

He refuses to wash the dishes on the day of a gig because the dishwater will soften the calluses on his fingers.

You bend the plastic ridges inside the clothes dryer a little bit and several guitar picks fall out.

You check the browser history on his computer and instead of porn sites, it’s allparts.com, gearslutz.com, and Sweetwater. Lots of Sweetwater.

He doesn’t have any photos of you on his phone, but there are three different guitar tuning apps.

The nails on his picking hand are longer than the nails on his chording hand.

When you had a baby, he insisted on cloth diapers. You can’t polish a guitar with Pampers.

He doesn’t see anything wrong with buying a $180 case to protect a $60 pawn shop guitar.

After watching a live performance, he can tell you all about the guitar: make, model, year, color, type of pickups and so on. But he probably couldn’t tell you if the performer was a man or a woman.

Uses a capo to close a bag of chips.


Many guitar players work basic yoga postures into their performances. This is the Break Dancing Tadpole.

His conversation is sprinkled with the phrase “stew-mac,” and you think he might be planning to cook dinner. Then you find out he’s talking about Stewart-Macdonald, a guitar parts company.

His belt is buckled off to the side, so as not to scratch the back of his guitar.

He can open any jar.

Guitar catalogs and magazines outnumber all other periodicals in your house.

Every time you turn the TV on, it’s on the VH1 Classic channel.

He is always saving up for a new guitar. Even if he just bought one yesterday.

Like everyone else, he makes fun of “Stairway to Heaven” as a hoary rock cliché. But you know he can damn well play it note for note.

There is a guitar pick on the back of the toilet.

All of his t-shirts bear the logo of either a rock band, a guitar maker or some kind of liquor.

He collects effects pedals. They are the Hot Wheels cars of his manhood.

He uses the word Tone the way people of faith use the word God.

Your DVR is stuffed with hundreds of episodes of That Metal Show.

When he reaches into his pocket to feed the parking meter, he produces a handful of picks but no change.

He uses words like “squanky,” “B-bender,” “jack hole” and “nut sauce” without irony.

He will not travel without a guitar. If it means trimming his possessions down to a single change of clothes for a two-week journey to make room for his Martin, so be it.

He sees nothing weird about keeping a tuning fork in his glove compartment.

When he mentions a G-string, it’s not the one you see in a strip club.

If a contestant on a TV talent competition is seen strumming a Les Paul, this is an unforgivable sin punishable only by death.

When you drive somewhere together, he will not exit the car in the middle of the coda from “Layla.”

When he says that you need to get a humidifier, trust me—he’s not thinking about your asthmatic daughter.

If you want his complete, undivided attention, tell him you found his favorite pick and it’s hidden somewhere on your body.


If your plectrum finds its way into your soundhole (nyuk nyuk), here’s one guy’s method for getting it out. He’s not very good at it. (“Oh, rubbish!”) 

Somehow this guy takes the exciting subject of guitar picks and makes it very boring.


Have an off-white Christmas with Bob Wire.Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.


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