celebrity shopping

Strum Some Chords With a Guitar Strap Used by Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba

Photo-Illustration: Dave Bean

This project does not imply that NAACP_LDF endorses the Strategist or eBay.

This month, eBay, in partnership with the Strategist, went back to some of our favorite celebrity shoppers — including Dashboard Confessional front man Chris Carrabba — to ask them about things that they can live without and would be willing to sell at auction for charity. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (eBay is receiving and donating all proceeds and matching every dollar the auction earns). Click here to see all the stuff you can bid on.

Carrabba with his first-ever guitar strap. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Carrabba

This is the first guitar strap I ever bought. I got it in Hartford when I was 15 years old. I didn’t even know how to play guitar at that point, but I had saved some money mowing lawns, and my stepbrother was going to the guitar shop and asked if I wanted to come. So off we went, me with $20 in my pocket. This was the cheapest strap there; of course, the salesperson was trying to sell me on the more expensive ones. But it somehow stood the test of time: The strap never got lost or snapped; I used it for decades until I donated it. I taught myself how to play guitar using the strap. I’d just put a few chords together, maybe a melody. I didn’t care if I was as good as the musicians I loved — I got to play and make music, and that was all that mattered. I played my first shows wearing this strap, and wrote almost all of Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most using it, too.

The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most is our second album, but the first one that introduced many people to Dashboard Confessional. It was really important to me to release it on vinyl, but I wasn’t able to do that right away. Now, nearly 20 years after it first came out, we’ve finally made the vinyl version available for sale. With the guitar strap, I donated the test pressing — or sample of the final vinyl record — of the album. If, like me, you’re somebody who collects vinyl, finding a test pressing is like finding a brass ring. Collectors hunt for them, and if you find one, it’s a pretty big deal. They can go for a lot of money — sometimes more than a limited press. This is the first — and only test pressing — for the record. I listened to it at least 100 times.

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Strum Some Chords With a Guitar Strap Used by Chris Carrabba