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Strung Out by Zach Fjestad

Strung Out by Zach Fjestad
  Zachary R. Fjestad is a former author of the Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, Blue Book of Electric Guitars, and Blue Book of Guitar Amplifiers, as well as the author of the revised edition of the Gibson Flying V book. Fjestad has been covering the music industry at Blue Book since 2002 and regularly attends guitar trade shows along with several vintage guitar shows. He also reads and makes notes on music industry trade and vintage guitar magazines and is in contact with several musical industry representatives.
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Six stings down...RIP Jack Wadsworth
1/28/2014
As Billy Joel sang on his 1977 album, "Only the good die young" could not apply more to Jack Wadsworth - a good friend we lost in December to kidney failure. Blue Book Publications’ publisher S.P. Fjestad and I recently made the trip to Fort Worth, Texas to pay our respects. It was unfortunate that it took the death of a good friend to take a non-work related trip to north Texas.
For those of you familiar with the Blue Book of Guitar Values, Jack Wadsworth was a fixture at the Blue Book booth during every Dallas Guitar Show and Arlington Guitar Show since the late 1990s. He became what I called a Blue Book ambassador - a title very few people were privileged to possess. Jack was always bringing in pieces of his personal collection for us to photograph when he knew it was missing from the database. Jack was so dedicated to Blue Book that he even worked the one-and-done Texas Guitar and Gun Show where the mythical Chupacabra stole the show!

Jack was one of the nicest guys I ever knew. He never asked for any compensation for helping us at shows. He'd even be at the booth first thing Sunday morning when the rest of us were, er, still recovering from the night before. He'd give S.P. rides to the airport after the show was done in his big Lincoln town car. For many years, art director Clint Schmidt and I would drive the redeye on Interstate 35 back to Minneapolis and he'd always email or call us to make sure we had made it back safe. Jack was a man who truly cared about other people.

When Jill (my wife) and I were preparing for our wedding in 2007, we extended invitations to our "Texas Crew" mainly as a nice gesture. I'd gotten to know Jack, Rick, and Chris quite well over the years and felt like they should be included on our invitation list. I certainly didn't expect anyone to make the trip all the way to Minnesota though. Low and behold, we received Jack and his wife Bobbie's RSVP in the mail and received an email shortly thereafter asking for recommendations on where to say. Sure enough, they flew into Minneapolis, rented a car, and drove the 200 miles to Fergus Falls for our wedding. I certainly can't think of anyone who came farther to watch us take the nuptials.

Jack's Gretsch Bikini Bass

Jack was a musician and regularly used his large collection of guitars on a regular basis. Clint and I began going to his shows when we were in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and quickly realized how talented he really was. Not only could he play bass, guitar, and sing, but he also busted out his rapping chops with Funky Cold Medina! We celebrated his 60th birthday as he and his band played at a cowboy bar. His entire family was there and we got to spend some time with them. Little did we know that he'd only have four more years on this planet.

Sixty-four is much too young to die, but when it's your time to go, you don't have much choice. A number of ailments plagued Jack, but it all seemed to start with his kidneys. Once he went to the hospital, he never really left. He had good days along with his bad days, but from what I heard during the eulogy, he still had his sense of humor while in a hospital bed. I'm going to miss you, Jack, but at least I got to come see you one last time in Texas.

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Strung Out - by Zachary R. Fjestad
 
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