Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Recently, I had a customer bring a bass to me with some seriously bad varnish issues. The bass had obviously been part of a school inventory in the past and had some major problems. Now I've seen my share of trashed school instruments. Initials carved into the body... candy wrappers stuffed into the bass through the f holes... boogers stuck to the the neck and fingerboard... You name it, I've seen it. This particular instrument had, at some point, been rescued from this abusive lifestyle and ended up in a shop in Connecticut. Being a smaller scale bass, my petite customer snatched it up and had it shipped directly to my front door.
Upon cracking open the shipping container, I hate to say, I was horrified. It looked as if someone had dumped a can of stain all over the instrument without bothering to clean up their mess. Although the bass was playable I absolutely COULD NOT allow my customer to play on a bass looking the way it did. Cosmetically speaking, this went way beyond an enjoyable patina and into the world of "Burn it, burn it, burn it!". I had to do something.
Unfortunately this "something" meant losing a few brain cells.
Fully outfitted in protective gear (respirator, latex, etc.) I went to work. Underneath the pitiful stain on the back of the bass, I uncovered the beautiful, original varnish underneath. Lovely, golden, European flamed maple began to show. A little bit of elbow grease went a long way. The top of the bass was a whole different story. After years of abuse to the varnish, the only thing I could do was strip it. Now usually this IS NOT the answer, but, in this case, we had to do it. After even more elbow grease (and some serious "light-headedness") we have a bass that's real pretty to look at. It sounds FANTASTIC too.
All in all, a really satisfying project.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
So, if I do a couple of blog posts a day, I can still make my "10 people in 10 days promise". With that being said, today I'm going to write about the one and only MR. STEVE CARDER!!!
Here's a couple of interesting facts about Steve....
-He has more nicknames than anyone else you know. Seriously. And he responds to each and every one of them.
-He grew up in Vienna. Vienna, West Virginia.
-The only boss he listens to is Bruce Springsteen...because #1, Bruce Springsteen rules, and #2 Steve Carder is his own BOSS! Steve owns one of the tastiest sandwich joints in Portland.
If you haven't already, go grab a snack at The People's Sandwich of Portland. I promise you, you won't be disappointed. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
And the final fact o' the day about Steve is that he has a million friends*. ONE MILLION. You don't have a million friends without being pretty darn awesome, and that he is. One of the most genuine people I know. Thanks for representing MDP Steve!
*Okay, maybe not a million friends but it sure seems that way.
p.s. If you go get a sandwich at TPSP and mention this blog post, Steve will give you a free HIGH FIVE! Alright!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I swore, a long time ago, that I would write a blog post about each and every person who sent me a picture or let me take a picture of them wearing an MDP t-shirt. I'm keeping good with this one. Let's say... 10 posts in 10 days. If I don't keep to my word, the first person to call me out on it gets a present. Seriously. I give you a present. It will most likely be a t-shirt.
OKAY SO LET'S START WITH THE AWESOME GUY WHO MADE THESE T-SHIRTS, MR. JOHN MONSEN-KEENE!!!!
John, more famously known as "Captain John", works at a pretty cool place in Wood Village, OR called Big D's Printhouse. These guys hooked me and a bunch of people I know up with some really great merchandise. Friendly? Check! Professional? Check! A job well done? Check and 5 stars!
I couldn't be happier with the work Captain John did for me.
In addition to being a master printer, John is also a badass bass player in Portland band DIESTO. If you haven't already, check them out! Next show is 2.18.11 in Seattle.
AND, in addition to being a master printer and badass bass player, Captain John is just one of those people that you are lucky to call a buddy. Thanks Captain! YOU RULE!
p.s. Sorry about the blurry photo. I'm still working on keeping my fingers away from the lens...
***one down, 9 to go....stay tuned!***