A few weeks ago, my eleven year-old son grew frustrated with me, stormed up to his room, and picked up a guitar. I felt like it was a breakthrough. He has an ear for music and he was transferring his angst to the six strings. He was thinking, “the hell with you, dad,” and I was thinking, “yes, this is exactly how rock gods are created.” Though I’ve tried to be as irritating as possible since then, I haven’t managed to get him back to the instrument (damn you, Fidget Spinner!). And I’m not alone in my struggle. According to all the numbers, electric guitars are between indie rock and a hard place. From WaPo: Why my guitar gently weeps: “In the past decade, electric guitar sales have plummeted, from about 1.5 million sold annually to just over 1 million. The two biggest companies, Gibson and Fender, are in debt, and a third, PRS Guitars, had to cut staff and expand production of cheaper guitars. In April, Moody’s downgraded Guitar Center, the largest chain retailer, as it faces $1.6 billion in debt.” Some in the article argue that what’s missing are the guitar heroes of decades past. I have a feeling the drop in guitar sales has more to do with the rise of the iPad. Anyway, with any luck, my son will be so pissed I wrote about him that he’ll have no choice but to rock.

+ The whole time I was reading this article, I had Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero in my head.

+ Want to motivate a burgeoning guitar talent? I’d suggest watching Tom Morello absolutely ripping it during a performance of Ghost of Tom Joad with Bruce Springsteen.

+ If you’re a real guitar nerd, check out Guitar Stories with Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler.