So, at least once a year I head down to the great and glorious state of Texas to visit family. A few blocks away from my home base here in Austin is a store called Erlewine Guitars. I’ve attempted, on many occasions, to check out the shop, but it’s never been open — until yesterday.
Apart from exploring the custom instruments on display in the small showroom at the front of the store, I spent ten or fifteen minutes chatting with Mark Erlewine, who owns the place and has built and sold his custom instruments there for the past thirty years. You’ve seen his work, without a doubt. He’s the man behind the “Chiquita” — the tiny, travel-guitar Michael J. Fox plays at the beginning of Back to the Future and the one Nigel Tufnel is holding whilst emerging from his pod during “Rock n’ Roll Creation” in Spinal Tap.
He’s made guitars for countless ballers including Billy Gibbons, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mark Knopfler.
Notoriety aside, he’s just a super nice, friendly guy who loves what he does and does it superbly. As for me, I’m just psyched to know that there’s an awesome luthier a few blocks away (in the off chance that whatever guitars I drag down here require some emergency surgery).
He gave me a sticker!