If the house was on fire and my family was safely outside, the first thing I would grab would be my 1980 F–30 Guild acoustic guitar. Safe to say, out of all the instruments I own, this old beauty is far and away my favorite. It´s a smaller guitar with a bigger bottom. All of the varnish is worn off on the back of neck; it´s got spider web cracking on the front from the time I left it in my VW Bus on a freezing night in Bend, Oregon; it´s got a hole down by the bridge where my pick repeatedly attacked; and with new strings, it rings like an antique music box, each note an inspiration. My Grandma gave it to me when I was 11 years old. My first guitar. I have written so many songs on that guitar; I played a lot of shows with it. And on the coolest trip I ever took in my life, I brought this guitar along.
In 1995, my friends and I bought a newly retired Crown school bus. It kind of looked like a larger version of a VW bus. We remodeled it and drove from Southern California to Costa Rica, traveling through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador on roads that inspired frequent songs and prayers at about the same rate. The first part of the journey we were well off the beaten path, camping on secluded beaches, surfing, writing, learning songs, working out harmonies, woodshedding, and playing music every day and every night. As we drove further down we would stop in towns that attracted surfers and people from all over the world. These little towns, and some not so little, are part of the gringo trail, a trail of towns stretching down through Mexico and Central America. Towns with cafes and bars and everyone is on vacation. It´s a great place for a musician with a good guitar. We didn´t have a PA so we had to find places that had natural amplification. Good thing I had my F–30 Guild. It had no problem projecting it´s sweet sound. Every place we played, we would attract a crowd. The owners of these places would pay us with food, beer, and cash. Man we had it made, and this little guitar accompanied me every step of the way. – Dan Moore San Clemente, CA