Betsy Speaks Up

posted Jan 18, 2018, 5:32 PM by David Hakan
Most of my albums have a song where I play my 12-string. This new album in the works, Gypsy Wagon Man, will have three songs with Betsy. 
It is 1969 and my dad has agreed to get me a better guitar than my nylon string Epiphone. We go to Quigley's on Troost and try out some Martin guitars. One was a new D12-20. When I put that 12-string back into its case, I accidentally brushed the strings. So it rang. 
And rang, and rang, while dad and the clerk were talking prices. I swear it never stopped ringing on that open chord till I picked it up again and chose it. 
I played only that guitar for the first 20 years. Along the way, she informed me that her name was Betsy. (I really wasn't naming my guitars then.) 
I quickly switched to stringing her as a 10-string, without the high octave strings on the low E and A strings. The sound is unique, even among other 12-strings. 
"I love this old guitar, as much as anything. My fingers may hurt, but it's a hand powered machine."