I recently went with my wife Deirdra on a six-week concert tour in Europe. We began with a transcontinental fight to Paris numbing the boredom with nine hours of non-stop movies.
As Gorilla travellers we like to travel in style, or at least in comfort, so we bring with us on the plane an inflatable back rest called “First Class Sleeper.” It makes your economy seat feel like first class (as long as you don’t mind looking like you are going river rafting upon arrival).
Once in Paris we headed to the Eiffel Tower (Deirdra appears to be balancing it on her nose).
I stumbled upon Orphee Music – Instruments De Musique Anciens, whose accommodating owner, Richard Charbit, directed me to sit down and try out some of the antique instruments. I felt like I was playing history.
One of the more unusual was a guitar made out of an 18th century bidet. I decided not to throw my money down the toilet on that one but overall, was truly amazed at the variety of instruments that I have never seen before.
We walked downtown in the Opera district and paid a visit to Hotel Favart where Fernando Sor (aka The Father of the Classical Guitar) had lived in the late 1820’s.
It has recently been remodeled and is considered one of the most luxurious hotels in Paris. Some People appear to have a religious experience there. I heard one guest upon entering the lobby say, “Oh my God, this is so beautiful!”
We meet music instrument entrepreneur Jay Buckey who brought to Paris the prototype of the “John Doan Model” harp guitar for me to see and try out for the first time.
It was amazing to see the high level of craftsmanship coming from Ukraine where this instrument was made. With a few tweaks they should be ready to go into production in the fall of this year.
Look for Part Two that will take us to Le Mans and the First Harp Guitar Festival in Europe.
Europe 2013 Tour – The Journals
These are from the journals of our European Tour 2013.
- John Doan Tour in France Part One: Paris – From Bidet Guitar to Harp Guitar
- John Doan Tour in France Part Two: Paris – Le Mans – Fast Cars and Harp Guitars
- John Doan Tour in France Part III: An Ancient Castle, A Toy Museum, and Harp Guitars
- Italy Part 1: Florence: The City of Passion for Life and Harp Guitars
- Italy Part II Pisa: A City of Music, Dining, Harp Guitars, and A Once Leaning Tower!