Somebody once told me that in the music business you have to spend money to make money. I always remembered that saying when it came to buying gear. Of course when I first started playing; I would pretty much take anything that anyone gave me, but as I became a better musician I wanted better gear.
I remember the first piece of cool gear that I got. For Christmas one year my parents bought me a Nady wireless system. I really thought that I hit the big time. I remember walking down the street on Christmas morning, in the snow, with my bass, while my brother and sister yelled out the window at me telling me that they could still hear my amp. I was definitely ready for the arena show.
When it came time to upgrade my bass I was pretty sure that $500 or so would get me something nice that would last me a while. Well I didn’t have $500, so I asked my grandpa for a loan. He gave me a blank check and told me to go get something nice (something nice, haha, God love him). I ended up spending a little more than $500 (about $1700 actually, it listed for $2400 though, what a steal!) and came home with an American made Spector NS 2. The salesman/owner of the guitar shop took me into his office when I bought it and showed me pictures of Sting, Eddie Van Halen, Kip Winger and a few others; all who were playing the same guitar as me! He really made me feel cool! (of course he just sold a $1700 guitar to0!) By the way, I still have that guitar and it still rocks.
The only problem with having a totally rockin guitar is that you have to have a big amp to go with it. I worked all summer and saved up my money and went back to the same guitar store and told them that I need an amp. Of course they were happy to help me and gave me another killer deal on an Ampeg SVT 140TC stack! I figured Ampeg because every famous musician I knew that had a Spector bass also had an Ampeg amp. I was definitely concert ready now!
And oh by the way, I still have that amp too.