Last week saw Part I of my interview with Ottawa’s Randy Little. This week, the final installment of our chat, conducted at the quaint and comfortable Bohemian Kitchen, turns to Facebook, money, cars and guitars.
I think I’ve got the title for this piece… Facebook is a Blackberry… I love that!
But, no disrespect of course.
Oh no, no…
But you know, Facebook’s not as smooth… I’m always going, “Hmm, why is it doing that?” And I’ve never owned a BlackBerry, because when I pick one up, it’s the same thing… I it up and think, “Oh it doesn’t do what I want it to do.”
I think we’d better steer the conversation back to your profession and ultimately to money… And the question is this, what would you say is the biggest issue—or maybe misconception is a better word—that people have about money?
I don’t know if I’d call it a misconception… maybe a perception, or a reaction, and it’s that too many people want to be like an ostrich…
Too many people don’t want to pay attention to their planning. I think that could be a big problem… And a lot of people fear the decisions they’ve already made, or maybe they feel guilty about some of them. Or because they don’t understand the decisions they could be making, they’re afraid to even look at planning.
So do you think then that a lot of that inattentiveness, that passivity, is based on fear?
Yeah, and it’s fear based on a lack of knowledge.
And I’m a strong believer in… the more you know, the better you’ll do. And too many people just don’t know enough, and it makes them uncomfortable and they can’t make decisions.
If there’s one thing—and just one thing—that you’d like people to do, what would it be?
I wish they’d build a habit.
A habit of what?
Planning… at whatever level, whether young or not, I think people should find a dollar amount they can earmark for planning and that they’re willing to commit to… You know, just build a habit.
Well both those books tell us to take 10% of our earnings and to salt it away…
Yeah, that’s right ….
Does that fit into what you’d consider planning?
Yeah, principally that’s right. And that is a habit, but of course, it also comes down to each individual’s goals… so if you’re a modest individual and you have modest expectations then your habit will, of course, be a modest one.
But if you’re someone with big expectations, then your habit needs to be more aggressive. But all of those principles still come down to it starting with a habit, you can express it in different ways, but essentially that’s exactly what it is, developing a habit.
Nice, nice… (changing gears again),,, So listen, I know you’re a guitarist…
Sort of… I have a guitar—I brought the guitar!
You brought it?
Yes, I went home and I have it. I’m not playing it.
Oh come on… You brought it, really?
OK cool… Now am I right that you’re sort of a buyer and seller of guitars?
Out of necessity.
Out of necessity?
Well I know that you play, and I know you don’t have this problem, being you’re not left-handed. But if were to go into any local guitar shop—they only stock low-end left-handed guitars. So to pick up anything that you’re actually going to like and get excited about, you just can’t do it.
Oh, I see
But to get around that problem I bought a guitar on eBay, then I bought another one. I played both of them for a bit, chose the one I liked best and sold the other one. Then I bought another one… Played both of them for a bit, chose the one I liked best, sold the other one, bought another one…. So I think I’m on guitar… oh maybe, number eight.
So what have you got now?
This particular one… while I did all that buying and selling, I was researching woods, construction and all those things, and I picked this guitar cause it seemed to fit what I wanted, and I finally found it in a leftie.
So what kind of guitar is it? (Maybe we should explain to any readers out there that guitarists love talking about guitars).
This one’s a Breedlove.
Oh, I don’t know those guitars very well…
Do you know Taylor guitars?
Yeah, I had a couple of those…
Well, Larry Breedlove is one of their designers, and Kim Breedlove, who builds the one I own, is, I believe, his brother.
Right… So how long have you been playing?
About seven years.
Aw, and here you are telling me ’I’m not a real guitarist’?
Yeah I’ve playing that long, but I’m self-taught. So, that’s seven years of sitting on the floor with a laptop and a guitar and just figuring out how to play chords…
That’s a bit of work…
I’m a good guy to play with, if the other player’s a real guitarist… You know, I’m great at playing behind someone,
You don’t like to solo?
I can’t solo (laughs)… That’s why I’m not a real guitarist.
Aw no, don’t sell yourself short…
I can do all the rhythm stuff—put a song together. And besides I’m a drummer by trade.
Yeah, yeah, I saw that on Twitter… So what kind of stuff do you play?
Almost anything…. But I guess I’m a folk-acoustic-rock fan… Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson. It was actually Jack Johnson that made me decide to buy a guitar.
OK… So let’s put the music and your profession together. What I’d like you to do is complete this sentence… “If I had a million dollars.”
I’d be rich? Hey! I can write a song about that… oh, wait…
Hmm, too late! Well, a remake maybe?
No, maybe not… So, if I had a million dollars? Let’s see, I have some close friends I’d want to help out.
OK, nice start!
I’d travel with my family…. Um, buy a nice car? (I have a feeling you’ll be interested in that).
Who me? So we’re both car guys and guitar guys…
Hey, you know what else I’d do?
No tell me.
I’d buy a ridiculously unreasonably expensive guitar…
Do you have one picked out already?
Actually Taylor has a second line
You mean R. Taylor?
Yes, R. Taylor, and Lauzon Music right here in Ottawa has the guitar I’d want.
Now it wasn’t a lefty, was it?
No it wasn’t, but I’d call Taylor and say, ‘Make me one of those.’ Can I tell you what blew me away about Lauzon Music?
Sure, go ahead…
I’ll tell you exactly what it is. It’s what differentiates that store… When I walked into Lauzon for the first time—and I know the quality of guitars that were hanging on the wall—I’m thinking, “ OK, I’ll stand ten feet away, I’ll take my jacket off, I won’t breathe.”
Oh I know what you mean, those expensive instruments can be intimidating…
But the sales guy came up, and he saw me looking at this $10,000 guitar, and he’s like ‘Grab it.” And I said, ‘I don’t think you get who I am here…’
Oh, that’s hilarious…
But he took it down, and he handed me a $10,000 guitar and said, ‘Just play on it.’ That blew me away that they were wiling to do that, and I think they deserve all the credit in the world.”
Great customer service, isn’t it? And it reinforces how someone who offers incredible customer service recognizes it in others…
Now in addition to guitars, (and you said I’d probably bring it up), I know you’re a car guy…
Well I like cars, but I’m not a petrol-head, where I’m going to tell you the compression and the hard numbers of every car. But I appreciate design and technology, and I’m very opinionated on cars. But I drive a minivan right now. So though I don’t own a high-end car, I certainly study them, and form my own opinions about them, and I’m more than happy to discuss them.
OK, so what to you makes an ideal daily-driver—money no object?
I did think about this, and it’s a very tough question… But, if I were to buy a car, today, cost no object, I’d probably buy a Nissan GT-R.
That’s not exactly a family car….
Oh, I think you can throw a couple of kids back there. Now if we were to throw practicality and price out the window… I saw a Carrera GT parked outside Brookstreet last week, now that’s always been my favourite car….
So how about both cars in the driveway, does that work for you?
Well then I’d have to get a different house, change neighbourhoods… No, we’re pushing it.
Too many complications uh?
Alright, let’s forget about that… Hey, we’re almost done… So, what I’d like do is ask you a few very short questions, and you can only give me a one-word answer
Oh that might be hard… I’m a talker.
Well you’re not allowed more than one answer. Sorry.
OK, first one (and I’m pretty sure I know the answer) four wheels or two wheels?
At the end of the day… Hmm. At the end of the day—Four.
American or import?
V8 or turbo four?
Oh really? That’s interesting…
Oh yeah, turbo four…
Canucks… Stanley Cup; Yes or No? (Note to reader… remember that this interview was conducted in May)
No… As much as I like them, I don’t think they’re playing well enough.
Acoustic or electric?
Six or twelve strings?
Beer or wine?
Oh that’s tough…
You can only pick one….
OK then. Wine.
Red or white?
Back yard BBQ or fancy restaurant?
And that, dear reader, just about wraps things up.
Before we go, though, and even if he said he wouldn’t, it turned out that Randy didn’t need much convincing to play a little something on his guitar. Come to think of it, it didn’t take any convincing at all; guitarists can’t keep their hands off of guitars!
So have a listen and tell me what you think. Pretty good playing, eh?