Saturday, July 5, 2014

HBR AMERICA SPECIAL REPORT: If NL teams were guitars.

Hey everyone, here's part two, the NATIONAL LEAGUE!


Atlanta, Fender Telecaster: Basically, the South's team get country music's favorite solid-body guitar. The Braves are a classic team, sometimes embraced by the whole nation (NL East fans aside). Tele's are kinda similar; they've always kinda been there.

Washington, Fender Squire '51: Traditionally, expansion teams come prepackaged with kid friendly colors, a big goofy mascot, and a ton of crazy marketing gimmicks. The idea is that, hey, we can't compete right now anyway, and the adults probably aren't going to give up on the team they've been rooting for their whole lives, so let's go after the kids, grow with them, and in a decade, we'll have a generation of fans to support us when we're finally ready to compete. Most adults hate expansion teams for this very reason. The Nats are different (not really an expansion team, I know they came from Montreal, but still, they basically started from scratch), they branded themselves right off the bat (intentional pun) as a continuation of D.C.'s baseball heritage. That what the '51 reissue is, a new-old guitar.  

Miami, Fernandes Vertigo: They pushed these guitars pretty hard in the late 90's. It seems like the stopped manufacturing them in bright colors, which it's kinda a shame because I though they looked awesome (except for the headstock) and the price was decent. They might have blown their load a couple years too early with the marketing campaign. Anyhow, the pastel Vertigos scream "South Beach" louder than any other guitar I could think of.

NY Mets, Fender Squire Stratocaster: Oh the Mets. They are specifically the Strat from the Strat starter pack. They are the expansion team that kinda started that whole "get the kids hooked" thing. Mr. Met, the home run apple; shit the Yankees would never consider... Squire Strats were really cool for a heartbeat in the 80's (neat colors, oversized headstock, a little more attention to consistency on the part of Fender), as were the Mets (though the coke parties and booze binges quickly took their toll).

Philadelphia, BC Rich Warlock: You have to have, like, aggressively poor taste to play one of these guitars, or just be so deep into metal that you cannot clearly see the world around you. Playing one of these is just like being a Phillies fan. I get it, it's cool, you feed off the hatred. Just please try not to vomit on children.


Milwaukee, Mosrite: Classic lovable guitars. It's kinda impossible to have a strong opinion either way. I don't think I've ever know a guitarist personally who has played one of these, and I don't think I've ever know a Brewers fan. Of both the team and the axe, I'm certain of two things: they exist, and they look kinda cool.

St. Louis, Gretsch Anything: Well, preferably the ones with the Bigsby. The Cards are a good solid old team. I always thought that Gretscheseses's were the best of the old school hollow bodies. Drink some Buds, listen to Chet Atkins, put the Cards game on the radio. It all makes sense.

Pittsburgh, Silvertone: Yeah, the one with the crappy amp in the case. The Pirates are old as hell, and haven't been good in two decades, but they are still kinda badass and cool. Pittsburgh is a tough hardworking town, and Sears Silvertones were probably the first guitars for a lot of kids from Iron City

Cincinnati, Peavey T60: Another working class town, the dirty 'nati itself, let alone the Reds, are definitely a Peavey T60. One of the heaviest and most indestructible guitars I've ever played, the T60 is the best guitar that Peavey ever made. You are Charlie Hustle when you play one of these badboys; nothing flashy, and gritty to the core.

Chicago Cubs, Rickenbacker 360: Beloved by their fans for their history, classic look, and unique style, yet largely ignored by the rest of the world, the Cubs are the Rickenbackers of baseball. They have their years, but haven't been able to really sustain success, and haven't won the world series since the days of the Ottoman Empire. Ricks have faired much better over the years, but haven't broken through into the mainstream guitar market, despite their undeniable coolness.


LA Dodgers, Fender Stratocaster: Fender's signature model screams SoCal design. In fact, I think you have to credit Leo Fender with shaping a large chunk of California culture. Just picture a 60's convertible with a long board and a Strat sitting in the back seat, like, with a neon In-n-Out Burger sign flashing overhead. The Strat is a big part of that equation. The Dodgers are an old franchise who have had their ups and downs, much like the Stratocaster, but have remained iconic. Both have a large and very diverse fan base and are considered to be the year in and year out, one of the best teams/guitars.

San Francisco, Fender Jaguar: Another classic team that has recently (within the last decade) become very popular nationally, I consider the Giants situation to be kinda similar to the Red Sox, so I'm comfortable with them as the Jag/Jmasters of MLB. I feel like there's a certain indie kinda coolness to the Giants that really reminds me of the Jag.

San Diego, Yamaha Pacifica: The Pacifica/Peavey Predator, were kinda like the Harmony/Silvertone of my generation (and the Squire Starter Pack of the current generation). For the record, I don't think that San Diego is a second rate version of Los Angeles, and I'm not trying to imply anything of the sort. Team wise though, the Padres kinda feel like a goofier younger brother. They are kinda the Mets to the Dodgers' Braves, if that makes sense. It's fitting then that they are a knockoff guitar. Also, Pacific ocean, Pacifica... that connection.

Colorado, Any Paul Reed Smith: It's a dumb new-ish team and a dumb new-ish guitar company. PRS is like, so slick that it sounds like your fingers are covered in vaseline and the guitar's sound waves are actually lasers. There's no raggedness to it, no grit, no personality. It's beyond me why someone would spend so much on one when they could just buy a really nice Strat or LP. Anway, jam bands like PRS and Colorado is full of hippies, right?

Arizona, Steve Vai Ibanez: I think the D'backs are stupid and I think this guitar sucks. It's the Strat-ish knockoff with the Floyd Rose and the stupid handle. Y'know the one. I'm sure Steve Vai plays sold-out concerts in Arizona. It's too bad, cause I love deserts.

Ok, that's a wrap for the NL. Check out the AL if you haven't already.

Stop by tomorrow to find out who plays what position on my baseball team made up of famous guitarists.


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