Doyle Dykes is one of the most respected fingerstyle guitarists in the world. My dad and I got to hear him play a few years back in Southern CA before either of us knew who he was. Simply amazing.
Taylor Guitars partnered with Doyle several years ago to create a personalized guitar for Doyle based on his own specifications...the Taylor Doyle Dykes Signature Model Guitar. They began producing Doyle's guitar in "black" and "natural" (colors) for the public shortly after.
Beyond his specific musical, electronic and stylistic requests, the most identifiable feature of Doyle's guitar is the white rose of mother of pearl inlaid in the guitar head. Everywhere Doyle travels, he always plays a song he wrote for his daughter called "White Rose for Heidi". Before playing the song, he tells the following story...
When my oldest daughter, Heidi, was four years old, I asked if she wanted anything special from God. We were saying our bedtime prayers. She replied, "Yes Daddy, there is one thing I've been thinking about." "What is that?" I asked. "A rose," she said. "I'd like God to bring me a rose."
The next day, I'd forgotten about it. That night at prayer time, she again asked, "Daddy, how come God didn't bring my rose today?" I felt bad, as well as bewildered. I was really at a loss for words. Suddenly, I said, "Well, maybe you need to tell Him what color rose you want." She said, "Oh, well I've been thinking about a white one." We then asked God to deliver a white rose for Heidi.
The next night, after a concert a few hours away, a little lady, who apparently was "special," walked up to me after everyone had left. She asked, "Are you Doyle Dykes?" "Yes," I replied. "God told me to bring you something from my garden today." She handed me what I thought to be carrots or some other vegetable from her garden that was wrapped in aluminum foil. "Thank you, I'll enjoy eating this," I said. She giggled like a child and said, "Uh...You'd better open it."
I peeled back the aluminum foil to find a beautiful, solitary "White rose for Heidi."
A little over a year ago, on the second Sunday of June, my church presented me with a gift of money that they had collected, telling me to buy a new guitar. I've had the same guitar that my parent's bought for me as a Christmas gift about 15 years ago. It's been a solid, wonderful guitar for many years, but has never been something that was well suited for use on stage, especially in our church building playing with our band...in fact, I've been using a borrowed guitar on Sunday mornings for the past year (thanks, Rich!).
My dream has always been to own a Taylor guitar, and the church's gift not only allowed me to buy a Taylor, but to buy one that I would never need or want to replace.
However, partly because I'm lazy, but partly because I knew owning a new Taylor would be as much a curse as a blessing while we lived in Durham (because I would not have been able to play it very much), I put off making the purchase.
All this past year, Tricia has been bugging me about buying the guitar, but I've just been reluctant to do so until we were home again. I shopped quite a bit, looking for exactly what I wanted to buy...I just never bit the bullet. A few months back, after Gwyneth was born, I remembered Doyle and the story he told about his white rose guitar, and mentioned to Tricia how it would be cool to own one of those guitars. We even looked up a few on the internet.
About a month ago, she began telling me about how cool my Father's Day gift was going to be. I couldn't imagine anything better than her Christmas Gift and Birthday Gift for me this past year. But in the back of my mind I thought that maybe she was trying to get my guitar for me, which was a little scary because I knew the specifications I wanted, and I knew that Tricia didn't know much about guitars.
Despite my best efforts, including some intense questioning when she was coming out of sedation the other day (haha), she wouldn't tell me, even when father's day came and went last week. All she would say is that it was the best ever and that it was waiting for me when we got home.
Well, needless to say, Tricia is basically the best wife ever. She found a brand new, natural white rose guitar for an incredible price. She and my mom had it laying open in it's case for me when we got home yesterday, just in time for me to drool for a few minutes before packing it up and taking it to band practice. It is just about the most beautiful guitar in the world, it sounds incredible (especially compared to my old guitar), and it has some very rich and sentimental significance to me (hi, Gwyneth Rose!).
So, without further ado, here are a few pics of my new White Rose Guitar...
I've named her Emma Claire (or, E-Claire, for short).
I have a few more pics of the guitar posted on my Photo Blog. I'll let Tricia post, on her blog, the pics of me actually seeing it for the first time (I'll let you know when she does that).
A HUGE thank you to my Nags Head Church family...I pray that I can use your beautiful gift to continue worshipping God with you for many years to come!
And, here is a video of Doyle himself playing his beautiful song, "White Rose for Heidi".