I must show you something, said Wrinkly Paddy and leapt up from his chair.
Look at this! he exclaimed, pulling something out of a bag. I got it last week.
I reached out and took it. It’s a guitar, I told him. A very small electric guitar. A child’s electric guitar, in fact.
With that, I handed it back to him, grinning smugly.
Look again, said Paddy, holding the instrument out to me.
On closer inspection, though it certainly seemed to be an unfeasibly small electric guitar, I noticed something not often found on guitars: it had four pairs of strings.
Good God, man! I ejaculated. Is it – ? It’s not a – ?
It is indeed, my good fellow, replied Wrinkly Paddy. What you hold in your hand is none other than an electric mandolin.
Well, I said. Fuck me sideways if it ain’t.
Indeed, said Paddy, and no ordinary electric mandolin either.
No, he confirmed. What you’re looking at here, my friend, is a Mandocaster.
Really? I was astonished.
Yes, really, he nodded. And do you know who used to own it?
Eh, no, I had to confess.
I thought not, said Wrinkly Paddy. The previous owner of this here Mandocaster was none other than a man by the name of Hendrix.
Would I jest about someting like this? Hendrix was playing this very instrument when the bikers attacked the crowd at the music festival.
Yeah, I said. Altamont. The Hell’s Angels. Sonny Barger. But I thought that was the Stones?
Paddy stared at me like I was mad. What?
Altamont, I said. ‘Sixty-nine?
Lisdoonvarna, he said. Seventy-eight.
Jimi Hendrix? I said.
Seamus Hendrix, he replied. Look. You can still see the burn-marks.