There was a point in time when my guitar case was a sticker virgin. A young, innocent hunk of plastic and metal unaware of the sins of the world with one important job, to protect Siggy (my acoustic guitar). I wanted to keep it nice and clean, scratch free as possible and as in good condition as the guitar inside it. I guess I didn't see the point of all that graffiti on my pristine case and in some ways I didn't want to be a follower, because isn't that what every rock star wannabe does; cover their guitar case with needless and random stickers? (Some even plaster their guitars with junk stickers, no way!)
I take pride in my belongings the same as I do in the work I do and the songs that I create, and since my guitar case was one of my most public belongings, especially in college, I felt it represented me.
I even freaked out quite a bit when I had to hand over my precious to the airline attendant before a flight to Florida from Maine. Sure, most of my concern was for Siggy who laid inside helpless to those airline employees' dirty and somewhat untrustworthy hands, but I still didn't want to see a single ding on that case when it came around in the baggage claim after the flight.
But, sometime in the past couple of years a switch flipped. It was during one of my many moves when I came across a pile of stickers that I had collected over the years, a couple from shows I attended, a couple from the Now Transmission days, and a few from who knows where. As I sorted through the junk and tried to weed out the things I wanted to trash, I decided these stickers needed to serve their purpose and make their true home upon the blank canvas that was my acoustic guitar case.
The case is still pretty bare as you can see from the picture above. The other side doesn't have any stickers at all but it's something that I'll have to remedy as I collect more of those random stickers that will have no home otherwise.
Instead of seeing it as ruining my once perfect guitar case, I see it as a collection of memories, much like a traveler will do to commemorate their trips around the world, just like George Bailey never got the chance to do. ("I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum...")
So my guitar case is my "traveling case" and if in 10 years that case is still as sparsely covered as it is now, I haven't done my share of "traveling". I haven't hit enough shows, I haven't listened to enough tunage and I haven't done enough musical living.
It turned out alright for George and Clarence ended up getting his wings but as much as I would like a Hollywood happy ending, how I get there is the most important part. (If you don't get my movie reference here I feel very sorry for you.)
By the way, if you ever see me carrying my electric guitar case around stay away from me. That thing is mint, I'm not getting any dings on that baby. As I'm sure you know, the saying doesn't go like this: "Every time a case dings an angel gets its wings."