Pickin’ Parlor woven into this weekend’s Rendezvous Music Fest in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Pickin’ Parlor woven into this weekend’s Rendezvous Music Fest in Beaver Creek

Kit Simon and his dog Toby Wan Kenobe enjoy a little pickin' time. Simon is bringing dozens of vintage instruments to this weekend's Rendezvous Music Festival Pickin' Parlor. It's sort of like an instrument petting zoo, and because the instruments are old and expensive, please pet them gently.
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If You Go ...

What: Rendezvous Music Festival.

Where: Various venues, Beaver Creek.

When: Saturday. Outdoors in Strawberry Park, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Six artists perform. Indoors at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, 7 to 10:30 p.m. Three artists perform: Jackopierce, Andrew Ripp. Patty Griffin.

Cost: Saturday Pass, $95. Strawberry Park pass, $35.

More information: For a complete lineup and lodging information, go to http://www.RendezvousBC.com.

BEAVER CREEK — If your hands and soul are both clean, if you promise to take off that rodeo belt buckle the size of a turkey platter and you ask nicely, Kit Simon might let you play his $25,000 Gibson Les Paul or his $10,000 Gretsch — like the one Chet Atkins used to play.

Go to the Pickin’ Parlor, part of this weekend’s Rendezvous Music Festival in Beaver Creek.

Simon, who owns the music store The Pickin’ Parlor in Arvada, is bringing a few dozen vintage American instruments to Eagle County this weekend. They’ll be at various house parties on Friday, as well as at the Beaver Creek Park Hyatt and in the Vilar Performing Arts Center lobby on Saturday.

“In conjunction with the Rendezvous, we wanted to display vintage American instruments,” Simon said.

Most instruments will have a plaque that tells its story.

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The Pickin’ Parlor, both at the Rendezvous events and Simon’s store in Arvada, is a little like sitting around your favorite uncle’s living room and playing music that everyone knows.

Be respectful and awestruck by these instruments and try one. Or two. But please, we’re begging you, don’t hammer out “Smoke On the Water.” Instead, pick out “The Wildwood Flower.” Bonus points for the Jim Stafford version.

“It’s sort of like an instrument zoo,” Simon said.

Many of the instruments are for sale.


The Rendezvous’ Pickin’ Parlor is Brad Quayle’s idea. He’s a local music promoter — B. Quayle Productions. He has been collecting guitars since 1966, and never really sold any. He bought his first Martin in 1968, and his collection includes 1944 D-18 Martins. Quayle bought a few of those guitars from Simon, so he invited Simon to come and bring some instruments.

The Pickin’ Parlor, Quayle said, is like “a gathering of friends.”

“Vintage guitar shows are always well attended and Michael Blanton’s Rendezvous music experience is designed to include different components,” Quayle said.

Here’s some Americana for you. The Les Paul that Simon is bringing is a 1953 gold top.

In the mid 1950s, Gretsch offered a black top guitar because it looked better on television, a rapidly growing medium at the time. Then they added a sunburst top, which didn’t do well on television. They added a gold top because it looks great on TV — hence the name TV Gold.

Anyway, Simon hauls all those instruments in the back of his van. He used to haul his kids in there. He took out the seats and now stacks the vintage instruments carefully and lovingly in the back of that same van, the one he’ll drive to Beaver Creek.

Simon just smiles when asked which he packed more carefully in that van, his children or his guitars.

At this weekend’s Rendezvous Pickin’ Parlor, you can ask him yourself.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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