If I had owned a Voyage-Air back at college, I would have been the coolest person imaginable. This guitar was cool even at airport security. The X-ray belt stopped. Went back. Stopped. Transportation Security Administration workers gathered around to look. Sometimes the TSA team insisted I open up the case so they could see how the guitar worked. One X-ray guy peered at his screen and said with a straight face, “I’m sorry, Sir. Your guitar’s broken.” Whenever I assembled it or broke down the Voyage-Air, women gasped, men got excited over the engineering. But would they break into song?
In D.C., the first challenge was finding a quiet corner. Piped music, people talking on cell phones, a guy yelling into his Bluetooth—the very notion of a quiet corner has become an anachronism these days.
I thought I’d start out by looking for another guitarist, strike up conversation, see if we could play together. Soon enough, I saw what I was after: the classic black pressed-cardboard case of the beater guitar and, sitting guard over it.