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Given that Dave and Titty had arrived, it seemed like the time to settle in for some real tourist crap: namely a day trip to Hollywood. The metro is a piece of cake to figure out, so instead of spending forty bucks on a guided tour we caught the bus and decided to take things at our own pace.

Yeah, yeah, we did the walk of fame (where “did” means “walked over peoples’ stars on our way to more interesting places”), the Kodak Theater and Grauman’s Chinese Theater and it was all very cool and flashy. Blade Trinity was premiering last night, which meant a whole bunch of cement handprints were inaccessible, but we made do. Tempted as we were to hang around for the premiere to ogle Jessica Biel and give approving thumbs–ups to Wesley Snipes and Ryan “Van Wilder” Reynolds, we figured we had better things to do: we needed a guitar.

One thing that we had planned a long time ago for this trip was to buy Dave a new acoustic guitar and hardcase and make sure we had plenty of musical entertainment for the trip. After all, all four of us are musicians of some bent, and our long–held tradition of taking a guitar on road trips was not ready to be broken. And given that we’re in the same town as the world’s biggest guitar shop, it seemed like the right place to do it.

The Guitar Center is depressing in its magnitude: some of the finest guitars in the world (though they only seem to stock Fender basses, curious) and all at rock–bottom prices. A Gibson Les Paul —the same guitar Dave bought back home for A$3000— was tagged at US$1200… and Mesa/Boogie amps at a third of what we’d pay in Australia. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. We settled on a nothing–special Takamine with a hardcase for $400 and headed out in search of a souvenir store: it’s our aim to buy a sticker from every town we visit and plaster the hardcase in the quintessential traveling–musician’s style. By the time we reach home this guitar case will be a testament to our youth, and our hunger for stickers will be unyielding.

Lousy tourist–store sticker vendors of the world, beware.