We donned our robes and silently entered the Anderson Gardens to once again contemplate the next Guitar of the Week. The phone rang. It was Eliot. Eliot runs the Guitar Center at Cherry Hill, New Jersey. His is one of only two Guitar Center Stores in the country that is a dealer for Tom Anderson Guitars and in a moment it will become clear why this is so.
As he often does, he was calling with a guitar player in his office who was purchasing a Tom Anderson Guitar. Anderson acquisition is a hallowed event and when he can, Eliot likes to celebrate with a call to the factory. After exchanging greetings and amenities he explained that he was sitting in his office with a very special guy, Ed McQuade. Ed was buying the Candy Apple Red, Hollow T Classic they had just received. Impressive were the huge, traditional tones that seemed to easily flow from this guitar. Eliot said that Ed has been working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week since Sept 11th. When I inquired further Eliot handed the phone to Ed.
I greeted him, thanked him and thought he might find it interesting to know that he was not only getting an extremely cool guitar, but also the very first Candy Apple Red, Hollow T Classic we have ever done (with so many colors offered, that can happen). And as fate would have it I had snapped a few pictures before it left here.
I asked Ed to explain what Eliot had alluded to and he humbly informed me that he is a member of the of the New York City Port Authority Police Department. Part of the Port Authority’s jurisdiction was the World Trade Center. Attached to the Emergency Services Unit, he is a rescue specialist. On that faithful day he was on scene at the World Trade Center and that is where he has remained for 12 hours a day each and everyday since. For the first two weeks it was a massive and harrowing rescue operation/race against time. Then it shifted to search and recovery as they still scour the underground catacombs looking for what is left and inspecting the integrity of the structures that remain. They lost 37 members of the PAPD that first day and 13 men from his command. That was half of the Rescue Team but they pushed on.
In awe and gratitude I thanked him and told him how much we all appreciate his efforts. He responded as if it was nothing special—that is just what he does. Well, that may be what he does but it is also just what a hurting world desperately needed—people dedicated to the service of others who are willing to give it all for the good of the whole. As the world watched these events unfold, the actions of Ed and those like him demonstrated the true character of America and the world community. It showed the real nature of what humankind has become. Society has not evolved into brutal, uncaring, suicidal lunatics as some might think because of the misguided actions of a few small, angry, men who are sure that their misfortune and unhappiness must be someone else’s fault. No, Ed and his friends represent what mankind is becoming. And it cannot be stopped no matter how hard the confused will try. The caring, unselfish, never-ending love and helpfulness that Ed and his friends have shown the world have changed this world forever. The global consciousness has been raised again and we all know more clearly than ever what it means to be there for one another, to offer help instead of hurt, to go that extra mile because it is right. Ed, you and your friends are heroes of the most noble kind. Without you we could not survive to experience the joys of life that should belong to all. But with you, we are better and we will continue to grow and thrive and create a world that we will be proud to leave to our children.
Ed e-mailed us later saying that his guitars have been of great comfort to him. To be able to come home and play music has been a personal saving grace. Well Ed, it is the least we can do. We are honored to be of benefit in some small way.
The guitar pictured is Ed’s latest Anderson—a Candy Apple Red, Hollow T Classic. Eliot thought Ed would love the tone from the moment he laid ears on it—and he did. Its all alder body, +.070 T/A Standard maple neck with a Madagascar rosewood fingerboard and vintage-style TV1 and TV3 pickups, deliver a huge stylistic tone that can also cover for a traditional humbucker. This is the secret and the reason why many players adore this style of instrument.
I guess there is also no question why Eliot is a Tom Anderson Guitarworks dealer. We could not be more fortunate than to have someone of his caliber who will go the extra mile for someone just because it is right.
Perhaps the first bit of relief Ed and his partner, Bill Connors, enjoyed was the opportunity to attend the Concert for New York. Let’s go backstage with Ed and Bill and meet some of their friends. He said that each and every one of them was as gracious as they could be. Meet Buddy, Eric, Keith, Mick, Paul and Roger.
MODEL: – Hollow T Classic
FINISH: – Candy Apple Red
BODY WOOD: – Alder
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
NECK WOOD: – Maple with Madagascar Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Vintage Tint
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin withVintage Tint
NECK BACKSHAPE: – +.070 T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 5/8ths
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Fixed Bridge
TUNING GEAR: – Split Shaft
HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
PICKGUARD: – Aged White
NECK PICKUP: – TV1
MIDDLE PICKUP: – n/a
BRIDGE PICKUP: – TV3
SWITCHING: – 3-Way
PICKUP COVERS: – Chrome for Neck
PICKUP RINGS: – n/a
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Guitar Center/Cherry Hill, New Jersey