WANT TO GO?
Aerosmith, Greenbrier Classic Concert Series
WHERE: West Virginia State Fairgrounds, Fairlea
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
TICKETS: $159, includes admission to Greenbrier Classic today through Sunday and Kenny Chesney concert today
INFO: 888-598-7380 or www.thegreenbrierclassic.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A lot of big-name guitarists have one special guitar. It's their "weapon of choice," a guitar they return to time and again, and when you see them live, odds are, at some point in the evening, that guitar is going to find its way into their hands -- if it hasn't been there all along.
Guitarists can be sentimental about these instruments. Country legend Willie Nelson, rocker Neil Young and blues great B.B. King all gave their favorite guitars names. Kenny Wayne Shepherd had his favorite guitar cloned and keeps the original at home.
Aerosmith's Brad Whitford loves his guitars, too, but he doesn't have a "main ax" -- at least, he doesn't have a special guitar he takes on the road with him.
"I have what I like to call my tool box. Basically, it's a Les Paul, a Telecaster and a Stratocaster," said Whitford, whose band performs Saturday as part of the Greenbrier Classic Concert Series at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds in Fairlea
But the 61-year-old rocker doesn't just have just one of anything.
"I might have five or six Strats that I really like to play, the same with the Les Pauls," he said. "They're '58 or '59 designs, but basically newer guitars.
"Occasionally, I'll break out a vintage guitar. There's nothing like playing the vintage stuff, but I just don't feel comfortable carting them around. I just couldn't bear to lose one in a stupid way."
There are a lot of stupid ways to lose an instrument. Some highlights include leaving them on buses, cabs or trains. There's also the possibility of instruments getting broken or lost by airlines, plus the usual chances for theft.
Whitford said there's a whole bunch of his band's equipment at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
"We did a European tour once, and all of our equipment traveled by boat," he said. "After the tour was over, the boat sank."