In the photo, Willie performs on stage to mark his 80th birthday.
Your eye is drawn not to Willie, but to the decrepit guitar.
How can one of America’s musical icons appear with a guitar
that looks as though it was rescued from the town dump?
Only the spectacular disrepute of the ravaged Martin he plays
can distract us from how old Willie is. How apt that this
instrument he bought in 1969 has stood both the test of time
and the man himself, but not without considerable wear to both.
Willie’s fingers have beaten a hole clean through the guitar face,
the hole widens with each playing, then gets reinforced,
buttressed, and readied for another concert – the same as Willie.
Each morning he rises with another song in his head, he knows
he’s good to play his guitar another time. Willie and Trigger,
working as one, holding that final song at bay, a strum at a time.
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