Chicago Music Exchange, located at 3316 N. Lincoln Ave. next to Rexx Rug and across from CiCi Nails, has a formidable selection of new and vintage guitars and other gear. So formidable, in fact, that the North Side business even occasionally attracts celebrities, who come in to ogle the merchandise and maybe make a few purchases along the way. One such notable is raspy-voiced, Chicago-born comedian, actor, and director Jeff Garlin (and co-star and executive producer of the just-revived Curb Your Enthusiasm). He recently dropped by the Exchange and agreed to appear in one of the store’s artfully shot YouTube videos, even though he’s not really known for his guitar prowess. He sits atop a stool with a sea-foam green Fender balanced on his knee, but he doesn’t play a solitary note of music for four minutes. “Generally, when you see a Chicago Music Exchange video, the beginning of it is one of these schmucks that are in the room sitting and playing the guitar,” he explains. He then qualifies this potentially insulting remark: “In my world, ‘schmuck’ means guys who plays guitar really good.” Okay, then.
Not wishing to sully the instrument he is holding with his “terrible” playing, Garlin doesn’t favor the audience with any heroic guitar riffs, alas, but he does engage in riffing of another sort. Always the motormouth, Garlin discusses a number of guitar-related topics in rapid succession, including how to select the proper ax based on the dimensions of one’s penis and/or breasts. Since musicians are going to spend a lot of time in close proximity to their instruments, that kind of thing matters. For anyone who might be curious, Garlin classifies his own genitals as “medium-sized.” Good to know. He also divulges that the very instrument he is holding was manufactured by unicorns and exists entirely outside the space-time continuum. “It’s a magical guitar that doesn’t exist anywhere in time,” he giddily explains. One wonders how that affects the price.