Better Days Ahead

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Bob reflects with bittersweet emotions on an unprecedented year.

Experiencing the upheaval of the last year has taken me and all of us on a journey the likes of which I’ve never experienced in my life. Collectively, it felt as if we were shaken to the core last year — in different ways in different parts of the world. Health, equality, fair opportunity, governmental leadership, populations’ willingness to follow, and many more ideas and conditions have been tested, evaluated, re-evaluated and discussed like no other time I can remember. This was global.

With every experience I’ve had in the past, I’ve always been able to count on people getting together to work, to put forth effort to get ourselves out of the mess. This time, however, the option of solving things by coming together physically was hampered, and in some cases, it evaporated.  

As we look into the new year, we can see we have a way to go in order to recover from the pandemic. But I’m looking forward to things getting better for all of us, and I miss all the people I’m used to seeing, both here in San Diego and around the world!  

One thing that became clear once again is that music helps people feel better. Historical data shows that during hard economic times, musical instruments have always done fairly well as a business sector because when people are forced to cut back, they seem to find that playing music helps their spirits. Never has this played out as obviously as the year 2020 for us here at Taylor. People bought guitars in numbers I’ve never experienced. I’ll admit I had a hard time reconciling the feelings I had as our livelihoods were supported with the knowledge that those of others were not. We’re happy we’re surviving and serving the needs of people, but heartbroken for those who are struggling.  

So when we reflect on our accomplishments from the past year, our feeling of good fortune is bittersweet. It’s not that we feel like the world would be better if we did worse for the sake of suffering, but you should know we all have been touched by friends and family who are not so fortunate. And I trust that on a personal level, all of us who are more fortunate during these times are helping those we know personally who are not.  

One thing that makes us proud is that when we make guitars, it really seems to help people. I love hearing how so many people have found meaning in playing music for themselves, for others, and with others. This is probably the greatest benefit and blessing I’ve known from a lifetime of making guitars. We’ve worked hard this year to make what players want. And just to be clear, when I say “we,” I really mean it. The Taylor team, represented around the world, is who I want to go through difficult times with. And that includes our dealers, and you who buy our guitars. Together, it’s a great team with a good outlook that makes beneficial deposits into the world. I couldn’t ask for anything better.  

In this issue, we’ll go on to talk about guitar models, construction techniques, guitar gear, music, sustainability efforts and other related topics because life goes on, and we want it to go on. I’m just here to say that we feel blessed that we’re okay, and truly hope that you’re okay. For those who are not, know that we’re thinking of you because we all know someone close who has suffered greatly.  

May I suggest to everyone: play music. Try to love each other. Help your neighbor. Make memorable times. You’ll never forget it or regret it.