Suicide Is NOT A Solution …

By Gabriel J. Hernandez

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Chris Cornell’s apparent suicide yesterday has left me both shocked and confused in more ways than I ever thought possible.

He was – literally – one of the main voices of an entire generation, as well as one of my personal all-time favorites. Additionally, he and his band, Soundgarden, had just begun what likely would have ended up a completely sold-out tour. They had just played a sold-out, two hour-plus show in Detroit, where many attendees described Chris as being exceptionally jovial and interactive with both the band and crowd … something he wasn’t generally known for.

This – to me, anyway – makes it even more heartbreaking, especially when you think about how anyone can go from being in such a seemingly wonderful place – onstage, in front of thousands of adoring fans, jamming his ass off with long-time friends that helped each other become one of the world’s most respected and admired bands and singer/songwriters of our time – to ending up in an empty hotel room, in such apparent and intolerable despair to the point where he ultimately convinced himself the only way out was to take his own life.

Add the fact that he left behind a wife (his second), two daughters (one from his first marriage) and a son, and it truly is a tragedy of epic proportions, and one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. If ever.

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A writer from People magazine, who also attended the show and came away with many of the same observations mentioned above, summed it all up like this:

“To go from the stage and that crowd to the despair that one would feel to take their [own] life in such a way… It’s [truly] a profound way to hurt yourself. It had to be a very deep pain to get someone to step out of life, with their kids in their life, a pretty profound hurt. That is one of the tragedies of suicide and mental illness and depression.”

To all my friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or anyone else who may read this … if you’re feeling this level of despair, or having thoughts that come anywhere close to those that Chris may have been feeling two nights ago, for God’s sake REACH OUT AND TALK TO SOMEONE!!! Additionally, if you happen to know someone who may be having or experiencing thoughts of suicide or hurting themselves, for God’s sake REACH OUT TO THEM AND TALK TO THEM!!! Please … before it’s too late. Because this suicide shit is getting old.

Gabriel J. Hernandez is the owner of Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc., a guitar shop in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in the buying and selling of vintage and newer high-end guitars and gear. He is also an accomplished writer, having earned a B.S. in Journalism from The University of Florida in 1988. Over a 25-year career he has worked as an investigative journalist for several news organizations and publishing companies, as a staff sports writer for The Palm Beach Post, and most recently as the Web Editor for Gibson Guitars at the company’s worldwide headquarters in Nashville. Hernandez has played guitar since the age of six, and has been fascinated (some say obsessed) by the instrument – and music in general – ever since. You can reach him any time at 1-615-613-1389, or visit his company’s web site at http://www.bluesvintageguitars.com.

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About Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc.

Gabriel Hernandez is the owner and president of Nashville’s Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. He was born in New York City but moved to West Palm Beach, Florida at the age of six – the same time his grandmother gave him his very first guitar. He's been obsessed with the instrument ever since, though he realized early on he wasn't going to be a rock star. That, however, never stopped him from playing music simply for the love of it, and forming what eventually became one of south Florida's most successful cover bands. Along the way he managed to earn a B.S. degree in Journalism from the University of Florida (1988), and forged an impressive and successful career as first a journalist and then marketing and advertising executive for several Florida companies. He eventually moved his family to middle Tennessee in 2006 after accepting a job as the web editor for Gibson Guitars at the company’s world headquarters near downtown Nashville. His time at Gibson, however, was cut short when the country’s struggling economy forced the company to lay off 200-plus employees in December 2009. Not able to find a full-time job and needing to make ends meet – but fortunate enough to know a thing or two about marketing, business and A LOT about guitars – Hernandez began buying and selling guitars and other musical instruments via the Internet. Within a few short months, and with a few lucky breaks and a lot of hard work, Hernandez successfully turned his “part-time” endeavor – and passion – into a full-blown business, now known as Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc., and located in the burgeoning Nashville suburb of Donelson – just 10 short minutes from downtown Nashville. At first, Hernandez jumped right into the retail arena with a small shop near Nashville’s famed Music Row. But realizing that the bulk of his early business was generated thru online sales, Hernandez decided after one year to move into a more “office”-oriented environment closer to his Donelson home. It was a more intimate space where he concentrated on online sales while continuing to build both his global and loyal local following. Armed with just a small showroom and one employee, Hernandez welcomed his local clientele as well as customers from around the world, and over the next three years Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. continued to grow … seemingly parallel with Nashville’s own growth and emergence as one of the country’s best places for new businesses and careers. In early 2016, Hernandez finally decided to reenter Nashville’s renowned vintage guitar market with a beautiful stand-alone retail hub located at 212-A McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214, which is situated just a few minutes from Nashville’s International Airport and less than two miles from Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and the Opry Mills Mall. The results have been nothing short of magnificent. Today, in a city known for its historic musical heritage and internationally acclaimed musical instrument dealers, Hernandez and Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. have quickly become one of Nashville’s – and the world’s – premier destinations for the buying, selling and consignment of vintage guitars and newer, high-quality used musical instruments and equipment. In fact, American Songwriter magazine recently named Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. as “…one of the top three destinations in Nashville for vintage guitars…” in its July/August 2014 “Nashville Music Special” issue. Hernandez has also had the pleasure of buying and selling instruments to and from some of music's biggest names, including The Who's Pete Townshend, Vince Gill, Kacey Musgraves, David Haywood of Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Sam Palladio of ABC's Nashville show, Mike Wolfe of American Pickers, Jimmy Nalls of Sea Level, Brad Smith of Blind Melon, John Prine, among many, many others. Hernandez also found and purchased an old Martin Sigma acoustic guitar once owned by the legendary Keith Whitley – a guitar he eventually sold to Chris Young, who used it for the first time to sing Whitley's classic No.1 hit "Don't Close Your Eyes" at the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 26, 2011. You can watch a video of his performance at this link - https://youtu.be/H_qN1-Unnk0 - (copy and paste into a new browser). So whether you’re shopping for guitars online or simply visiting Music City U.S.A. to enjoy its rich music heritage and many diverse musical attractions, please make it a point to put Blues Vintage Guitars, Inc. on your itinerary and radar. We’ve got one of the country’s largest selections of vintage guitars and newer, high-quality used musical instruments, and our inventory changes daily. And – of course – if you’re selling your guitar or some other musical instrument, please take advantage of our willingness to pay more than anyone else in Nashville, or in the United States of America. Bottom line is you're selling yourself short if you don't call us BEFORE your sell your guitars or other musical instruments! You won’t be disappointed. We promise! And – as always – please remember: “Life is too short to play a lousy guitar!
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