The Greatest Guitar Chord Ever Played in Charleston

When Nick Collins III of Fowler's Mustache picks up his guitar again, it's going to be different than any single moment that came before it in Charleston music

The greatest guitar chord I've ever heard is going to be played in the Charleston area soon. I'm not sure when or where yet, but I plan to be there when it happens. Will you?


You're going to want to be there. 


When it rings out, history may record it as a simple G chord. Formed first when the player arches his left thumb and sets it on the convex curve of the back of his guitar neck. Then, the guitarist will curl his hand around the neck to place three fingertips on three strings just behind two frets. Perhaps he will use a fourth finger to play a D on the B-string and give the chord a little more power. It's really a simple position formed by countless players in history. 


On this night, it's going to sound different. It will be felt much more than it is heard. It will carry over a crowd filled with young girls who will begin to scream in ways that the Beatles never knew. Tough rocker boys will start to raise fists in the universal sign of cool toughness. Mothers in attendance who have long ago given birth will feel a tug within their wombs, and grab the arms of grown men who will find themselves unable to control the heaving and shaking of their shoulders; or the tears that press up from behind their eyes. The more religious in the crowd may, for decades later, tell a story that among the lights on the stage, they saw one single bright white light come through the ceiling of the room and grant glory onto that guitarist at the center of the stage. I, for one, will not argue with them.


It may feel like a moment of eternity for that pick to travel across all six strings. Nobody would complain if that feeling—that singular, beautiful sound—lasted forever. 


I will be there. In that room. I will allow the sound wave from that chord to wash over me. I imagine it will feel like Life. Rebirth. Victory. Love. 


It will be played by Nick Collins III


For my friends not in the Charleston area, you may not have heard of him. He's a member of a local band, Fowler's Mustache. Please take the time to look up the many news stories, the ones that detail the late-night car crash which threw Nick from the back seat of an SUV and onto a busy highway. How his friends tried to pull him off the road, but could not do so before a truck crushed Nick's legs and pelvis beneath nine of its 18 wheels, and continued on its way. Read those stories if you can. Then imagine for yourself how incredible it will be for everyone when Nick plays again. 


In an email from his father last week, Nick's dad outlined for me—a stranger—the details of some of his son's horrific injuries. However, within three lines of that e-mail, I was moved to believe in this future. This is a blog. I am not a reporter. So I have no clear rules on whether or not to quote his email. To be respectful, I will not type what he wrote. Suffice it to say that in three very short sentences, I read all I needed to convince me. 


I wanted to reply to Nick's dad that I also believe in the redemptive abilities of rock and roll. That the community of musicians can be as helpful as any church group. That with the pillars of church, family, friends, and music, Nick has a great chance to be on a stage again. I've never met Nick. Never seen his band play. I believe I will see him play guitar. 



Before I could tell him that, you showed him. You raised over $40,000 at a benefit for Nick. Someone shared with me their thoughts of what his bills may be and what insurance may provide. $40,000 is a fantastic start. More will need to be done. Let's not stop with a few benefit shows. I understand there is a web site at that is accepting donations. We can help this family. We can help this young man. We can help play the greatest guitar chord we may ever get to hear, the next chord Nick plays on stage. 


I've never been one to try to predict the future. Yet, I am certain this will happen.