2015 - Julia, Rusty Steel, more tremolos
2015 - L.A.
Again a well tempered January week in Los Angeles. The weather is the good thing about L.A. And the whole fair has something familiar about it. You always meet the same people, shake hands and have fun - as much as possible - in the same places. And there are also guys like Daryl Jones, the Stones bass player, and his very likeable Tech Derek Phelbs, who I met last year in Madrid.
For Friday night Nathan had organized a session at Roscoes - just around the corner from his house. I played five Doors songs and was accompanied by the finest, including Peter Strout (great honor) and Nashville guitarist and singer Chris Rodríguez, who has played with all kinds of greats (Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Keith Urban, Kenny Loggins, etc.) Chris' specialty is singing the Loggins hit "Foot Loose" extremely powerful. We also used our new Julia guitar (named after my daughter).
Johnny Depp & The Hollywood Vampires
And again a glorious concert in the college auditorium with Johnny Depp and the Hollywood Vampires. On the left Felix, a good friend of Nathan and a very reliable security man, whom I have taken to my heart, especially since he always reminds me of guys like Humphrey Bogart.Abe Laboriel jr., an incredibly cool drummer. I have never experienced such energy before. And on top of that he is a super likeable, hearty fellow. He played almost the whole evening. Here in the picture with his bandmate Brian Ray, one of the very first famous Duesenberg players (but Abe also has at least three of our guitars).
Johnny Depp again extremely cool and tasteful, here seen with the "Planken" guitar. I've been his fan forever, more precisely since I saw him in the Jim Jarmusch movie "Dead Man" from 1995. That's really one of the best movies of all times for me! And please note that Johnny is also singing now. He recently performed "Heroes" by David Bowie in a very charismatic way.
There were again various line-ups, including the daughter of bassist Bruce. Our new amp, however, was in constant use - and our new Rusty Steel design was well received.
By the way, this concert was recorded by the Sennheiser company using a new recording method.
And for the first time including Martin Huch, our young Andrej Lillak, was also in on the action.
Duesenberg - Spain
The crème de la crème of Spanish musicians have also been well supplied with our instruments for some time now.
The Rolling Stones-signed 49er guitarWe had given two guitars to the Stones: one to auction off for charity and the other for us. And this guitar was somehow lost and just didn't want to come back to Hannover. Several emails with Pierre Debeaufort, who sent back monosyllabic, useless answers every time for months. "The guitar is in London." "Yes, okay, but where exactly, please?" Luckily, I had met Sally Wood at the Madrid concert, who appeared on stage during a choir rehearsal for "You Can't Always Get What You Want" together with Ronnie. Ronnie, a real gentleman, had greeted Paloma, my girlfriend, right away with "Hello Paloma" and the left and right kisses that are common in Spain. (Ronnie has a residence in Barcelona and therefore has a certain experience of Spain). At least that's how I got to know Sally, which later proved to be successful.
Months later, already in spring this year, the Outlaw still hadn't shown up, although I had emailed Pierre the exact delivery address and alternatively offered that one of us could pick up the guitar in London - if I knew where. My last hope was finally Chris Jagger, to whom I explained our dilemma. He immediately said: "I'm calling Sally Wood!"
No sooner said than done! In July I finally received an email from her, in which she first thanked me for the auction guitar, which after all had brought in £20,000. And additionally a thank you for my ashtray action. And just what kind of help I would need.
This was quickly explained and she immediately found out that the Outlaw had been safely in the Stones office in Chelsea for ages. Well, at least! I wrote back that I would come by in person to pick up the instrument and she briefed the people in the office accordingly.
So I booked two return flights; one for me and one for the guitar, because I didn't want to check them in as luggage. Because of the airfares this wasn't even a big luxury. So early in the morning from Madrid to London Heathrow, from there by train to Chelsea station and from there by cab to the sublime Stones office. I was warmly welcomed by a nice secretary, took a few photos, she generously got me a cab back to the station at Stones cost and I disappeared with that valuable possession, safely tucked away in one of our excellent Duesenberg cases. And since the train to the airport didn't leave until an hour later, I celebrated the reunion with my guitar in a pub with a few drinks and English sausages with chips and ketchup.
At 19 o'clock I checked in. First problems with the stewardess: "You have to give up your guitar!" "Wait, I have two tickets here. One for me and one for the guitar." After a short consultation with the chief steward she let me through with my guitar case and in the plane I strapped the guitar on the seat next to me. By the way, the two tickets were an idea of my already mentioned Swiss friend Kurt Scheidegger, who had flown out a Zemaitis guitar this way a long time ago. At night at half past eleven I was back in Madrid, everything was fine, but a relatively difficult birth.
Parts - 2015
Yes, the new pin-bearing tremolos, butter-soft and simply constructed!
Wandré / Davoli Pickups & Parts
And finally, these reproductions of the Wandré / Davoli pickups were in the delivery program. I could not stop following this crazy track and developing products from it. High tool costs, ultimately low sales, but I just had to have it. And after all, the Johnny Depp pickup was born from this conical shape. And there was not only a true to the original version, but also one that looked just as original from above, but had a higher housing, in which you could wonderfully accommodate various inner workings: Humbucker, Single-Twins, P-90 etc.
And in May a beautiful Italy journey inserted still fast, in order to visit among other things also my Wandré friend Marco Ballestri. If you come via Genoa, it's worth visiting the Mercato Orientale, an incredible range of fruit and vegetables.
As a guitarist and singer, I thought it would be nice and crowd-pleasing if I could quickly put away my guitar and do a little show dancing on stage while our other guitarist, Javi, holds the fort. With a "normal" guitar strap this is not so easy, because you have to pull it over your head. So I thought of a strap like the one used on a saxophone: just a central suspension. For this purpose I constructed a new neck mounting plate which had a keyhole-like recess in the middle. There you could hang the strap pin, whereby a small groove had to be made in the wood underneath, so that the pin finds its place. In addition, a solid stand with a horizontal end pin to hang up the guitar there and immediately have its freedom of movement. Unfortunately it has also ended up in the garage up to now ...
Grand Royale - A draft
The cool thing about this bass is that it has three single twins in its oval caps, of which you can switch the middle pickup to the neck pickup and the bridge pickup in series for fat sounds. And the sliding saddles of the bridge can be locked sideways, which makes the construction "like one piece".
In Madrid I discovered a company that produced artificial illuminated signs in the 50s look. We had these beautiful Duesenberg lamps made by them. I also had one of these gems installed in the Madrid Duesenberg store "Headbanger Guitars". There was also a nice presentation with los Dooros. Here with special guest Ramon Arroyo, guitarist of the in Spain very well known band "Los Secretos". A brilliant musician, who always reminds me a little bit of Helge Schneider.
Bigsby goes Duesenberg ...
A (re)construction kit to use the advantages of our system in a Bigsby tremolo with our shaft including string threading block.
Angus Young Prototype
Meanwhile we had a new drummer, Hugo Enrique Pastor, and you can see and hear: Such a Roland electro-drums is not that bad. Here a little blues in my practice cabin!
a first class Spanish ham and the old controversy ...
And something else about Spain including a small robber pistol ...
To be able to live in Spain is the best thing that could happen to me. The people here are simply pleasant people, they are communicative, a little mystical, more relaxed and they don't fear any loss of control.
However, as soon as you start doing business in Spain, the dark sides of this country often show up. Every day the news announces that another mayor has gone to jail for corruption or bribery. Recently it came to light that a Landesbank has been distributing "black" VISA cards for 11 years to exactly 86 persons of the high politics of various parties and to leading persons of the economy, with which everyone could "draw" no less than 50,000 black euros per year. With us, President Wulff had to resign for a benefit of € 700. Every Spaniard would only laugh about it. Here it concerns in things tax evasion and advantage taking around millions amounts! Even the husband of the king's daughter is threatened with a penalty of about 20 years! He has not only written huge bills to state institutions for work not done at all, nor paid one Eurocent in taxes for the millions and millions of dollars collected! And Juan Carlos, the king himself, had to apologize to the Spanish people for going elephant hunting in the company of women. And this long before it was revealed in 2020 that he had received 100 million in black money from the Saudis as commission for his mediation in the matter of a gigantic railroad installation and that he had supposedly signed over 65 million of it to his lover Corinna. What kind of conditions are these!
Spain, it is like a living body to which a myriad of leeches have been attached, and every leech sucks itself full of everything that can be taken. And most Spanish employers have the same sucking mentality towards their subordinates, which means that for most employees a sense of responsibility is a foreign word. Why take responsibility when you don't earn shit? Shortly before he went to prison, the President of the Spanish Employers' Association announced that Spaniards had to work more and earn less.
So no wonder that there are a lot of irregularities here! So now to my story:
Raimundo & FEDEX
My good friend and guitarist Raimundo Amador owns two Duesenberg guitars. And he wanted to have some things modified on them. So: have both guitars picked up by Fedex and bring them to me in Madrid.
Since Raimundo only had one box, I sent him a box with the guitar case in it via Fedex on Thursday, December 11th under the Fedex number 804473476396. I also instructed Fedex to pick up the two boxes from him on December 12th.
The following happened:
When the driver of "Correo Expres Sevilla" on behalf of Fedex wanted to pick up the boxes from Mr. Amador on Friday at 15: DP-PUNKT 00 o'clock, my parcel with the box and case had not yet arrived at Raimundo's. That's why the driver said he would come back later.
At 6:10 p.m. (according to Fedex research) the same driver came and brought the box I had sent. Raimundo opened it and the suitcase inside, packed the guitar inside together with the driver and glued the box back together. The driver then received the two packages, but did not leave a duplicate of the shipping documents. So no receipt.
The driver also had to take care of the delivery of a ham to Raimundo's neighbors. He had already called them to find out if anyone would be at home. The phone number of the driver "Daniel" was stored in the neighbor's cell phone. In addition, the neighbor's son had watched the driver carrying the two boxes from Mr. Raimundo's house.
After the guitars had still not arrived at my house on Wednesday, December 17th, I informed the responsible Fedex office. Here I was informed that the Fedex driver could not pick up the two packages at 15.00 because they were not yet available.
Thereupon Antonia Amador, Raimundo's wife, got the phone number from the neighbor and called the driver. This "Daniel" admitted to having picked up the guitars at 6:10 p.m. and also reported that he had seen them in the morning of Saturday (December 20) still in the warehouse of his company.
This sounded very questionable. Pretty sure that this Daniel had no order to pick something up from Raimundo, while Raimundo assumed that this driver had exactly that order. When packing the guitar, the driver naturally saw that it was a valuable guitar. And so he took the opportunity to take possession of the guitars.
So it all came out thanks to the criminalistic intelligence of Antonia Amador. This gifted woman is fully fit in the head, but because of Gitana (Gypsy) she can practically neither read nor write. This unfortunately happens in Spain with many older members of this guild, because Franco treated these people just as badly as Hitler treated various population groups. in Nazi Germany. Those who do not learn to read are less trouble and easier to keep under the knout!
But the thing with the various witnesses, including threats from the Amadors (better not mess with Gitanos!) made this windy guy so nervous that he finally turned tail.
Well, the guitars actually arrived the next day. The guy even called before at half past nine, he had them and needed the exact sender and recipient address. Of course he used it to create an official waybill so that everything is in order again. So I let five be straight and didn't report it.