The Real Story of Rosie Flores' "Working Girl's Guitar"


November 15th, 2012 by Rami

Rosie Flores released her second full-length Bloodshot Records release, Working Girl's Guitar, on October 16 to a widely positive response. If you have read any press associated with the album, especially interviews features, you might notice Rosie talking about the origin of the album's lead song and title track, "Working Girl's Guitar” and about how songwriter Ritchie Mintz once explained to Rosie that her recently re-sold guitar wrote her the song while newly in his possession.

Then about a month ago we got an email from Ritchie himself – who it is important to mention is an instrument technician/music teacher/musician/songwriter – giving us a detailed lowdown on “Working Girl’s Guitar” and how it came to be. Below is the complete unedited account on how the song was born. Enjoy.

Working Girl’s Guitar: The Real Story

By Ritchie Mintz

When I first met Rosie Flores, she was selling some of her guitars. I bought her good old gig guitar, a Taylor 612-C that was her road ax for 10 years. It’s also the guitar she played on her album Single Rose. Although still a beauty, this guitar was beat up, had been smashed and rebuilt, and had years of scars from the road. As I packed it up to take it home, I told Rosie, "This is no hanger queen. This is a working girl's guitar." That night, I took it home and spontaneously played a riff that perfectly fit the words, “I’m a working girl’s guitar.” Almost immediately, that guitar wrote a song about being a working girl's guitar. I called Rosie and said, “She must still love you, Rosie, ‘cause she just wrote your story.”

I lived in Boulder in the 1970’s and worked in a music store teaching lessons and repairing string instruments. I was the Martin repair guy for 10 years. In that time, countless guitars passed my workbench with cracks, bent necks, worn frets, peeling bridges, and holes punched in them in every way you can think of from the airlines dropping bins on their boxes to drunks falling through them in bars. Every crack, ding, beer stain, cigarette burn, and hole told its own story of the harsh life on the road for a working musician’s ax. This song is about the relationship between a musician and an instrument -- like BB King and his black Gibson ES-335 (Lucille), Willie Nelson and his famous Martin with the hole in the top (Trigger), Bill Monroe and his famous Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin, or Earl Scruggs and his iconic hearts & flowers Gibson Mastertone banjo.

The working girl and her guitar are a team. They play wherever they are invited and live from tip jar to tip jar. They play the whole gamut from golden palaces to sleazy bars singing about life, love, and the Golden Rule. The working girl's guitar always looks out for her singer and even tries to find her love. Together, they’re goin’ to the top, gonna be a star, a working chanteuse and her working girl’s guitar.

Rosie has always been known as a singer and songwriter but her new album due out in October [ed. out now, here] is her step-out as a lead guitarist. She plays all the guitar parts on the whole album. And what's the #1 cut and the title of the album?? Working Girl's Guitar!! Next month, Rosie goes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to honor Chuck Berry. Of all the guitar slingers invited to play for Chuck, Rosie's the only chick! Go Rosie! If you've never seen Rosie live onstage, go and hear her. She's a force of Nature!!