April 8, 2019


Who Knows What Is Good And What Is Bad?

This may sound familiar to you as the title of a well-known Taoist parable.

Its meaning and message is rather profound. The summation being that if we do not resist the changing forms and circumstances that appear before us, but accept them as opportunity redirecting us, the outcome will be one of benefit—just what we need when we need it—and oftentimes even more than we know to ask for.

Anderson Guitarworks has a similar, albeit, much more modern rendition, known as the: Parable of the Brown Sugar Burst, Angel. And it goes like this:

There once was a very nice guitar player named James who lived in Chicago. One day he decided to undertake a long journey to Los Angeles, California. There he paid a visit to the Mesa/Boogie Store in Hollywood and was profoundly astounded and overwhelmed by their vast selection of Anderson Guitars. Like a kid in a candy store, he was in guitar player bliss.

After much Anderson immersion, he selected an Angel, finished in Cajun Red to Black Burst. James was in love. He thought about taking it with him on the plane but decided to have Mesa/Boogie Hollywood ship it to his home. Makes sense.

A week later an Anderson box arrived at his door. He could feel the excitement mount as he opened the box, slid the case out and snapped open the latches to reveal…

His beloved new Angel…smashed—with the tone knob pushed into the front of the guitar and the gorgeous Cajun Red top shattered as though an elephant had stepped on it—no danced on it. His heart sank.

At first he was distraught but then he recalled: Who knows what is good and what is bad.

He picked up the phone and called the Mesa/Boogie store and of course they were there to help. He felt a little better as they both agreed upon a plan of action.

Next, an easy call to the shipping company turned into un-helpfulness, denial of responsibility and delay. One could call it a frustrating situation—very frustrating. Most grown men would cry—out loud. And James was tempted but remembered again: Who knows what is good and what is bad.

Another call and another, the response, a resounding, “No.” More seeming heartbreak.

Who knows what is good and what is bad.

Weeks of more calling and being ignored and calling and ignoring and calling. And for James that felt like added emotional struggle and frustration. He had to remember again: Who knows what is good and what is bad. It is a letting go of outcome.

Finally there was an approval from the shipper—bless them. James could now replace his Anderson. But with what? So much time had gone by that many of the guitars he saw at the Mesa store were no longer there.

What to do?

Boogie (who James said was great to work with, “top notch”) suggested that James also call Anderson Guitarworks to see if they had any suggestions of a replacement.

James’ mustered up the impetus and dialed. Turned out to be the funnest phone call of his day—by far.

Who knows what is good and what is bad.

Together we explored all sorts of enjoyable things—sounds and woods and tones and other important aspects.

We told him of a guitar—a new guitar—a special guitar—that was just coming ready for the Mesa/Boogie Hollywood store. A first-of its-kind Angel with a Flamed Caramel Maple body top, finished in a new exclusive color created just for Caramel Maple—Brown Sugar Burst.

One look and James lost his mind…in a good way. He instantly love-loved this Angel. He knew, for him, this could be the most gorgeous guitar he had ever laid eyes on, plus…it had all the right woods and electronics to superbly suit his playing needs.

And…had James not been so delayed by the shipping company’s reluctance to assist at first, this guitar would not have been available to him.

Yes…Who knows what is good and what is bad.   

And now James has his most favorite Anderson—ever-ever—safe at home, in his hands and has this to say:

“This Angel is a really good guitar. I especially love the way it plays and believe it or not it plays even better than it looks. And you know, it is important how a guitar looks too because it makes you want to pick it up. And when I pick this one up it has such fantastic tone!!!  It has easily become my favorite guitar. It is now clear to me that Anderson puts so much attention and love into everything they make. Each guitar is very organic and uniquely excellent.”

Thank you James.

It really makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

An unpleasant incident is the very path that leads you to owning your favorite guitar. Perhaps it is as Oogway said: “There are no accidents.”