#54 How it all started – 7

Back in the day (90s and early 2000s), students in Hong Kong had to do two public exams: the HKCEE and HKALE. They were the type of exams that could determine one’s life, as the results would count toward university application. I took my HKCEE in 2000, and having achieved a big task (without knowing my results yet), I asked my mom to buy me a fender.

We went to Tom Lee, and the sales could have handed me any guitar and I would have said yes. I was mostly trying Fenders (Gibson seemed a lot more expensive somehow), and ended up with a strat. Not just a regular strat. It is an “American double fat strat” with two double humbuckers (so is it still a strat?). I knew nothing about guitars (I still don’t), but I knew I should get an American one. Mr. Sales Guy mentioned “jazz” (do people play jazz on strat? what did I know about jazz then?), and rhythm guitar. I might have checked out some Jackson and PRS too, but… Fender!

It was a busy day, and at one point Mr. Sales Guy had to step away, as Eason Chan was there and needed his help. There was a moment Eason was next to me. We were both waiting for the Mr. Sales guy to return. Eason was friendly, and we had the most useless conversation. “Are you buying a guitar?? He asked, in his bright orange Hawaiian shirt and straw hat (I remember seeing him in the same outfit in the newspaper next morning). “Yes!” I replied. He was a budding singer at the time, not like what he is now.

I bought my Fender around year 2000, at an equivalent of USD $800. It was a lot of money, especially for a spoiled 17 year-old. I can’t thank my mother enough. At the time, I thought I would play that guitar a lot to make up for how much it’s worth. I still play this guitar today, and it’s my main axe. It’s the electric guitar I feel the most comfortable playing.

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