Garden of Egan

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Last week, Tony Reinhart and I took a short walk from The Tannery to Bob’s Guitar Service to sit down and talk music/culture/arts/GSD with proprietor Bob Egan. Some of you may know Bob as a player with Blue Rodeo. Regular makebright readers may remember my interview with Bob and David Gray about their Modern Audio Arts college program.

I learned two things about Bob last week: #1 His shop is a visual wonderland for photography and #2 He has some interesting and action-oriented ideas about extending and expanding our cultural ecosystem. This post rolls with the former with conversations to follow on the latter.

Click through for a fairly reasonable number of pics…


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Tony’s been telling me about this cool building on Ahrens St, right on the rail line.

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Looks like the right place.

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But first, let me take a selfie.

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The Garden of Egan is thick with stringed instruments of all sorts. Guitars, mandolins, and other strummables I’m not sufficiently informed about to mention in any detail.

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The light in here is fantastic. This is Bob.

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Bob buys local art. These are flattened 55 gallon drums that have been…

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painted, abraded, etched, whatever. So cool. Bob, did you say this was from a student at UWAG?

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Ah, the tools of the trade. I am a freak for tools. The more specialized, the better.

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Then this fellow turned around and I got that hey-I-shot-you feeling. It’s bass-playing Ryan Allen from Romeo Sex Fighter! They put on a helluva entertaining show in Hespeler a couple weeks ago.

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This very old and beautiful mandolin of Jim Cuddy’s…

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is getting pickups installed.

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Good energy here. As customers dropped in, we would pause our conversation, shoot photos, and then pick it up where we left off once Bob was free again. One of the things we talked about was…

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Bob’s program of refurbishing donated guitars with the help of his techs and putting them in the hands of those who need a leg up. I believe they’ve hit the mark of one hundred guitars given away. Bob’s Guitar Service also supports the Community Music School, teaching kids to play instruments who could not otherwise afford lessons. Bob is a strong advocate for building out the cultural ecosystem around youth and the underprivileged. He’s putting his money where his mouth is on both counts.

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Green painter’s tape doesn’t get the glory that duct tape gets, but I use it five times as often. It’s like the Post-It notes of the tape world.

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Great bones in this building.

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Every instrument has a story.

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Then there’s Bob’s personal collection.

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This one was a gift from The Tragically Hip as thanks to Bob for playing slide guitar on Bobcaygeon. Yes, that Juno-award-winning Bobcaygeon. Being a huge and multi-decade Hip fan myself, and Tony calling that song our other national anthem, we may have done a mental we’re-not-worthy. Respect.

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More chattin’ about community and culture…

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along the lines of less-talkin’-more-walkin’…

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and then we…

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had to go…

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back to the…

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office. This is a beginning.


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2 Responses to Garden of Egan

  1. Tony Reinhart says:

    Fantastic shots from a highly enjoyable afternoon. Nice work, Darin.

  2. Pingback: A new creative collective | makebright

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