1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baurspotting Meets Mikey Wax!

Regular readers of Baurspotting may know that I am a history guy as well as a 'car guy'.   Part of my attraction to the BMW Baur is that has a story to tell about a nearly forgotten period in automotive history*.  And now, thanks to the young artist in the picture below, I own a great 12 string guitar that also has a great story to tell.   And it is a story that is still unfolding.

Meet Mikey Wax!

(OK, for the Mikey Wax fans:  scroll way down to hear some of his music right now!  But come back to the serendipitous story of how this all came about ---Baurspotting Meets Mikey Wax!  It was a fun day, and worth reading also!)

Musical artist Mikey Wax (left) brings out the beautiful Guild 12 string guitar that he had just sold to Tom, (right) on November 11, 2015 at Starbucks in Stamford, CT.  Pic by Brian Schuch.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself.

The story began about a month ago when, while looking through my basement for a Lincoln Assassination book ---- that I haven't seen since we moved about 8 years ago---- I came across a box containing some old pictures.  You probably know how that goes.  I became intrigued with the old pics, and naturally forgot all about the book I was seeking!  But I found a couple of gems:

 This was my first experience of a BMW:  my friend's brand new 1974 Sienabraun 2002tii!  Pic was taken in the summer of 1974 somewhere in the Virginia countryside near DC.

And then I found this pic.....

The Driftwood County Five (Tom, Gary, Mike, Jim and Jack), circa 1967.    My dad shot this blurry pic from way out in the audience with his Minox 'spy' camera.

Here is a close up.  C'est moi, 1967.  Me and my Gibson J-50ADJ.  I still have that Gibson, and the pic brought back a lot of fun memories from those halcyon days. 

Fast forward to 2014.

  This pic was taken in my backyard, capturing an informal family music session, led by my brother-in-law, Don Diederich (center), and his friend, Al Dimmock (right).   And accompanied by my sons, Andrew (sunburst acoustic Gibson at left), and Brian (acoustic bass, 2nd from left).   Yours truly (Tom) is next to Don, making a crude attempt to pluck the banjo.  
Here is a different angle, to include some obligatory car content!   :)  My white 1977 BMW 320i slick top (of Holeshot Drag Race fame) can be seen next to my 1975 300D Mercedes in the background.  The 1973 BMW 2002 is inside the garage, and my 1979  Euro BMW 323i is barely visible at the extreme left next to the garage.  My uber-rare 1982 BMW Baur is parked out in the front, out of this pic.  ;)  (I also have 3 other old BMWs stashed in various safe houses in the area, btw.)  Oh yes, there are a couple of other non-descript vehicular appliances at the right of the pic, one of which belongs to my wife. ;)  It is called a Subaru, or some such, and something called a 'Nissan' is parked next to it.  I frankly don't know where they come up with these names.   ;)  

So, anyway, the fact is, I got to thinking that music is fun, and it has been, and continues to be an important part of our lives.  My wife and I love music, and we love to dance.  When our sons were small, we decided to move to East Lyme (from Groton), largely because Groton was cutting the Arts from their school programs.  We wanted to live in a community that values the arts! We have never regretted that decision, made so long ago (early 1980's).  East Lyme valued the arts as a vital component of their school curriculum, and both of our boys received musical instrument training in elementary school.  Andrew learned the violin and cello, and then played the trumpet through high school, as a member of the high school band.  Brian started with saxophone and classical piano, continuing with both through high school and expanding to the baritone and tenor saxes before he graduated.  

In addition to the above, at home they were infused with reggae, owing to the fact that Mom and Dad spent their honeymoon in Jamaica, and continue to be huge reggae fans!  Since we downsized our home a few years ago, we have no room for the two pianos that we own:  a gorgeous circa 1903 Chickering Baby Grand, and a beautiful Baldwin spinet.  We are presently storing them, although that may change this Holiday season!  Our grandchildren (Abe and Ben) have room at their new house!    

OK, so back to our story!

After seeing the high school pictures, I got to thinking about resuming playing guitar... which I have only done sporadically since that pic was taken nearly 50 years ago.  I am getting close to retirement now, and I thought it might be nice to pick up, so to speak, where I left off so many years ago.  

I recently celebrated my birthday, and decided that, since I have always wanted to play a 12 string guitar, it is time for me to get one!  I began by looking through ebay, craigs list, and the various guitar store websites, like Guitar Center.    I had to be honest with myself:  was this just a passing phase?   Just in case, I decided to look for reasonably priced examples, either new or used, for this purchase.  That way, if it was indeed just a passing fancy, I wouldn't be breaking the bank to pursue it for a time.  After doing some due diligence, it appeared that a decent Yamaha 12 string would be a good choice, both musically and financially.  

I probably looked at over 100 online Yamahas over the next couple of weeks, and I actually concluded the purchase of one at an online Guitar Center site ... somewhere out in the Midwest.  However, the deal fell through --- after I had paid for it--- when I found out that the item had been already sold locally, and was no longer available.  Fortunately, I got my money back without a problem.  

And that is when I stumbled on the ad below.  Let's call it Kismet.  :)

Brand: Guild
model name / number: GAD-F212 Grand Orchestra
Case included. This Guild GAD-F212 is a beautiful 12 string guitar with a big, rich sound. It continues Guild's 12 string legacy with a grand orchestra-style body based on the 1954 Valencia, with a 16" lower bout and slightly narrow upper bout for a unique tone with lots of depth. The scalloped braced solid spruce top and solid mahogany body produces a dynamic range of tones.

This guitar has a very thin crack on the back, just left of center towards the bottom. It is so thin it might not pick up in the picture. No other noticeable flaws. The guitar has pretty much sat in a case for the past few years as I've had less use for a 12 string. 

A gorgeous Guild 12 string!  Lordy!  And amazingly priced!  Located in NYC, about 120 miles away!   Yikes!  This was almost too good to be true.  I loved it immediately, so I shot an email to the anonymous seller, who responded that it was still available.  He was going to be showing it locally over that coming weekend, and invited me to come have a look.  I told him that I was in Connecticut, but the distance made a visit impossible in such a short time frame. After several email exchanges, I had now learned that the seller's name was "Mike", and that he seemed to be a very nice fella, and quite accommodating.  He said that he had relatives in Guilford, which is nearby, and perhaps we could work out a viewing or an exchange there.  I liked him.  

Craigslist deals can be dicey, as I am sure you all know.  But this felt different.  I had a good feeling about this guy--- still totally anonymous, of course--- but I thought that he was someone who could be trusted.  And I decided to go with that! 

One of the things I have learned in my car hobby experience is that .... when you come across a good deal, and you have the attention of the seller.... don't let go until you either conclude the deal or conclusively decide against it.  If you dither, a more savy buyer will slip in and steal the deal right under your nose!  Which then leaves you empty-handed and kicking yourself!  Ask me how I know!  :)      He who hesitates is lost!

So I did a quick assessment:  12 string, check;  quality instrument, check;  good deal, check;  decent, trustworthy seller, check.

WTF are you waiting for?  Buy it!  :)

So I shot "Mike' another email in which I told him I would buy the guitar right now, sight unseen, pay immediately with Paypal, and we could then work out the details on how I could actually get the guitar.  All he had to say was 'yes', and the deal would be done!   I would pay immediately, and he needn't worry about any showings, etc.  

Mike responded quickly with a yes, and the deal was sealed. 

And THAT is when things got interesting!  


"Mike' sent me his paypal info, and I sent the payment.  I decided to look up that name in Guilford, CT, to begin to plan out a route to pick up the guitar the following week.  On a hunch I googled 'Mike Wax" with 'guitar', and this came up:
"Showing results for Mikey Wax guitar".  

Hmmm.  That looked somewhat similar to the paypal account that I just sent the payment to.  So--- naturally---  I clicked on it.  :)

Mikey Wax Live in Toronto 6/18/2014

Whoa!  Could this be the "Mike' with whom I just concluded the purchase of a 12 string Guild?   Did I mention that I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan?  I love mysteries.... and surprises!

And this story now has the potential for BOTH!  

Is my seller in fact Mikey Wax?  

And if he IS, then he probably has no idea that I KNOW that!   I love this!  :)  

Mike and I arranged to meet on Wednesday, November 11, (my day off because of the Veteran's Day Holiday) at Starbucks in Stamford, CT.    I filled my son, Brian, in on the details above, and invited him to come along.  By this time I was certain that the person we would be meeting was Mikey Wax.  And I had a sense that Brian and Mikey, being of the same generation and artistic spirit, would get along.  I had also done a little research and discovered some of his music---- and I liked it!  And so did my wife, Cathy!  I thought it would be fun to share the experience of meeting someone whom I believe to be a rising star!  

And anyone who knows me, knows that the prospect of 'sandbagging' him (in a very playful and respectful fashion, of course) was just absolutely irresistible!  :) 

So, we met as planned, and confirmed that this was indeed Mikey Wax!    

"On January 26, 2015, RantLifestyle Magazine listed Mikey as 1 of "15 Musicians You’ve Never Heard Of Who Deserve A Grammy", saying that Wax is a "piano prodigy" who writes "inspirational and lyrical" music and has "even managed to turn into a social media phenomenon."

So, meet my friend, Mikey Wax!

Mikey Wax and I with the 12 string Guild guitar at Starbucks in Stamford, CT.

Brian and I were seated in the window at Starbucks and, as Mikey approached on the sidewalk, I immediately recognized him from the pics on his webpage.  Bingo!  I greeted him as he entered, we did a quick introduction and I then told him that I knew who he was, and how pleased I was to have the opportunity for us to meet him.  I think he was totally surprised by that!  We laughed, and I thanked him for being so accommodating with the sale arrangements, etc, and I told him that I was really pleased to have the opportunity to buy this guitar!  

The three of us then spent the next hour or so chatting about his music and career, house concerts, guitars, my car hobby, the cliff-diving music video (coincidentally, Brian had actually DONE some cliff-diving in Capri, Italy years ago!---- do you believe it?!!), the "Love Always Wins" music (wow!), traveling to Italy---Do it, Mikey!--- etc.

Why was he selling this beautiful guitar?  Mikey told me that he has been using it less and less in his music productions--- he is a primarily a pianist---- so it was time to pass it on.  He said that he is also looking to add more production equipment so that he will be able to do more of his own productions himself.  That was an interesting point, and an experience that Brian could readily identify with, since he has also begun his own practice as an independent architect working out of his apartment.

We really had a great time!  I found Mikey to be exactly what I expected:  a very friendly, charming, funny, eminently likable, and generous young man.  Who just happens to be immensely talented to boot and whose story, I believe, is just beginning to unfold!  I have no doubt in my mind that we will be hearing from him soon in a big way, and I can think of no one more deserving of every success! 

I did ask Mikey to do me one favor, and he very graciously obliged.  Yeah, I went there.  ;)  I pulled out my black Sharpie---brought specifically for this one reason---  and..... yes, this is Mikey Wax's autograph on the back of my Guild 12 string guitar!  Thank you, Mikey  :)  

BTW, I have no plans to sell this guitar.  None.  This guitar will be an heirloom, and this autograph not only helps to establish Provenance, but it also helps to tell this story.  

Now, you have been very patient to wade through all of this--- and we aren't done yet, btw, so... how about some great Mikey Wax music?  :)  

Vertigo, anyone?  I double dog dare you to click on that video!  It is spectacular, trust me on that!  ;)

God, I love that video so much!  Perfect musical accompaniment! Kudos, Mikey!

Here is another great one!
"My best friend is gay. His words of hope and happiness after the Supreme Court ruling inspired this song. I truly believe that despite race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, love always wins. I'm also very honored that this song is going to be featured in the upcoming promo commercial for Caitlyn Jenner's new TV series "I Am Cait" on E! Entertainment."  ----Mikey Wax

And how about a song for The Car Guys in the audience?  Mikey's got that covered too!   I love this, and, if I didn't know better, I would think that it was shot from the front seat of a BMW 2002!   That is how I will always see it!    ;)

Drive On, by Mikey Wax, from the movie "The Road Within"

How about a Taylor Swift/Meghan Trainor Mashup!   Check this out!

Great stuff!  You go, Mikey!

But the story doesn't end there!  Two days later my wife Cathy is out for a walk to the beach with her good friend Cheryl.   They frequently walk the beach to collect sea glass, and then use the glass to craft little art works.  Very clever and beautiful stuff, btw!   Cathy tells Cheryl the story of our adventure with Mikey Wax, and Cheryl is stunned!  She can't believe it because..... she is a big fan of Mikey Wax and plays his music all the time!   Totally unbeknownst to us!   Too funny!   What a small world!   And she can't get over the fact that we met him, and I bought a guitar from him..... all through craigslist!  An AUTOGRAPHED guitar at that! I can't wait to show it to her!

Finally, here we are, putting the new-to-me Guild 12 string to good use! Sunday, November 15, 2015:
Playing 'Puff The Magic Dragon ' for my grandson, Abe.   He is fascinated by music and stories. His dad, Andrew Schuch, plays guitar to him all the time, since he was an infant.

A little family music sessionDon Diederich (Martin 6 string), Tom Schuch(12 string Guild), Abe Schuch (vocals, maracas and cymbals), Brian Schuch (acoustic bass), Andrew Schuch (Gibson acoustic), Ben Schuch  (crayons and percussion).

I do not yet have a video demonstrating how my Guild 12 string sounds, but as I told Mikey, I can't decide on the word that best describes the sound:  gorgeous or glorious!  

Probably both! 

And to think I came so close to buying a generic Yamaha 12 string off the shelf at a guitar store!  This story is SOOO much better!  :) 

What a beautiful sound and what a beautiful instrument!  I love it, and I am in your debt, Mikey Wax!  Thank you so much!  It was a true pleasure to meet you. Best Wishes to you and your future career:  I see great things happening for you!  And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy! 

Tom Schuch

Kudos, Mikey Wax! 

**Mikey Wax Links

Mikey Wax is available on iTunes!






*A little Baur rant from a while back:  the BMW Baur is an historical artifact.   :)

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