Got your attention, didn’t I? I keep reading (on that newfangled interweb) that as soon as the baby boomers (like me) get to be too old to play their vintage guitars, the market will tank and nobody will care about these guitars any more. That is crap, to put it gently. I approach this belief from two positions. First, how old do the folks making these statements think we are? 95? The oldest of the boomers are now around 68 and the youngest, according to most folks who keep track of this sort of thing, are 50. The first question that comes to mind is at what age do the doom sayers think we are going to stop playing? BB King is 88. Chuck Berry is 87 and Buddy Guy is 77. None of them appear to be giving up the guitar until the grim reaper comes to call. The overwhelming majority of my vintage clientele are between the ages of 50 and 65. So, does that mean the market will tank in 30 years or so? If so, then that’s long enough for me. I hope I continue to play until I die at the ripe old age of 95 or so. My father lived to that age and while he didn’t play the guitar, he would have been capable of doing so almost to the end. I don’t think many of us boomers are thinking of hanging up the old ax any time soon just because we’re getting up there in years. Beyond dumb statements about the baby boomers getting too old to play (and buy vintage guitars), what about upcoming generations of players? Certainly a part of what makes our favorite guitars our favorite guitars is that these were the guitars of our collective youth. The generation after us wasn’t even born when the Beatles hit The Ed Sullivan Show in 64. That brings me to my second approach to the issue. The generation behind us grew up in an era of Norlin Gibsons followed by pointy headed Superstrats and BC Rich’s. Hamers too, I suppose and Ibanez’. Are these the vintage treasures of the future? Could be but I don’t think so. I think that, ultimately, there will be an ever increasing appreciation of the guitars that we love so much-Les Pauls, 335′s, Strats, Teles, SGs and so many others built between the early 50′s and the mid 60′s. I base this partly on my experiences with younger buyers. Many, between the ages of 25 and 45 were influenced by their fathers (that would be us old guys). My son, who was born in the 80′s, is drawn to older guitars but not necessarily the same ones we like. He likes Jazzmasters and Jaguars but he plays a Nash Telecaster. I spoke not too long ago with Ben Taylor of Southside Guitars in Brooklyn (home of the current hipster population including my son) and asked him what that generation is playing. “Cheap stuff but good cheap stuff. They don’t have a lot of money for the high end guitars.” True enough but he went on to note the same thing I did-they like the old guitars but gravitate toward the ones that are more affordable like Jazzmasters and Jaguars and maybe Guilds and Gretsches. You know, the ones that are incredible bargains when you look at quality versus price. Maybe they’re smarter than we are. We tend to gravitate toward the most expensive ones (who here doesn’t want a burst?) but there are great, great guitars from the 50′s and 60′s that don’t command prices above $5000. You can get a 60′s Guild Starfire for under $2000. A 60′s Fender Jaguar for around $3000. A Guild Duane Eddy for under $4K. How about a mid 60′s Gretsch Gent or Nashville for under $3K? These aren’t the guitars that collectors are after but they can be incredibly good guitars. They were in high demand back when I was a kid. I would have killed for a Gent back in 64. They just didn’t become the big money collector guitars. With new high end reissues pushing $5000 (and above), I would hope to see a resurgence of these great old classics among the next few generation after us old farts. Eventually, more of them will be able to afford the wonderful instruments that we are currently playing and perhaps even more of them will inherit them when we’re gone. But don’t hold your breath. I’ll be playing for at least another 35 years or so.