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 guitar

We 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

new Tremolos

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.


Italy

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.

Spin-Holder

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

TRI-TONE-BASS

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".


Duesen-Lamp

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

Los Dooros


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!

Beside ...

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.

And finally a little video with a "Paloma"-prototype

On the edge ... Finally one of my hate letters

After it was no longer bearable in my old BMW-BAUR convertible at almost 40° spanish outside temperature, I decided to have an air conditioning system installed. I had not found anyone in Spain who could do this. So I googled further and found a company in Frankfurt - FBS-Fahrzeugnachrüstung GmbH.They ruined everything you could ruin for an enormous amount of money. 
I should also mention that on the way back to Madrid I noticed that not only the horn, but also my CD player/radio was out of order.  And they had also reinstalled it upside down.  Absolutely avoid this company!

So it came to my angry, following letter. 

Mr. Wohlrab. (the managing director) 
Your company is a real mess, to put it in a nutshell!  And the fish starts to stink from the head.  This means that you are ultimately responsible for what your employees provide.  And with a spoiled boss, you shouldn't be surprised about spoiled employees!

It all started when you couldn't keep the agreed ten working days.  In view of the delivery modalities you described, you should not only have ordered the required parts much earlier, but also checked their quality and function much earlier.  Besides a lot of nerves, that alone cost me € 850 for return flights to Madrid plus a good € 300 now for the return from Madrid to Frankfurt. 

In addition, your "achievement" of leaving us a Berlingo van without air conditioning and practically without a drop of gasoline for the next three days at 40° C in Frankfurt was unbelievably unfashionable and cheap and in no way befits a company that advertises itself as "specializing in air conditioning for special vehicles".

Now back to Frankfurt for pickup: First of all, my car won't start!  After your employee has given me a jump start, I notice that the indicator light of the fuel gauge is on because the fuel level is practically zero.  Firstly, I had left the car at least a quarter full, and secondly, it is simply pathetic to hand over a car without a drop of fuel to a customer who leaves a good € 4,000 in your company after all that has happened before. I had to find out that the trunk was not locked.  After all, it contained objects worth almost € 800,-! The fact that your parking lot is locked at night does not say anything at all!  Anyone can go or drive in there during the day and could have just opened the trunk and stolen the things inside.  The fact that the air conditioning finally works after five weeks is the only sad plus point of your work. 

Next: Shortly after we were on the highway towards Freiburg, I had to realize that the horn doesn't work anymore.  And I had previously - especially in Frankfurt - The horn must be used abundantly.  After three hours we arrive in Freiburg at our hotel and I have to realize that the parking light cannot be switched off even though the ignition key has been removed.  After switching on the ignition I also had to find out that the low beam light is still working even though the light switch is turned off. I.e. we drove from Frankfurt to Freiburg with the air conditioning on and the dipped headlights on.  So how can a battery recharge itself?  And that means for me that simply nobody has checked these things. In addition, the idle point of the engine is below normal when the car is stationary.  That should have been checked after installation as well.  And then, after the air conditioning was installed, one of your employees drove my car into the parking lot, left the trunk open and also did not care that the car remained there with the parking lights on. No wonder the battery is at zero and my car won't start!

In the end, your employees ruined my light switch during the work and removed the contact to the horn. According to an ADAC employee the relay for the horn is working! But this ADAC man has found a way to switch off the light with more or less violent blows on the light switch. But to feel at least a little bit safer for the further journey, I preferred to buy a new battery in Freiburg the next morning.

Mr. Wohlrab, that's not how it works! For this you are a babbler of the first order, whereas your appearance is enough of a stupid and impudent pimp! You are outraged by foreigners, but you employ foreigners, and your repertoire of standard excuses is all the more implausible. You look ridiculous and just don't give a damn about your employees and your customers.

If I can do anything legal to put you and your business out of business, I will do it immediately!

The best thing for everyone would be to go up your ass!