EBMM Stingray bass green
Page 3 of 9 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 124

Thread: Some "Music Man" History From George Fullerton.

  1. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bklein
    Dear Big Poppa,
    Been a long time since we last talked.
    I can't believe you (and Mark) played at my wedding. :-)
    Man you were good. Well, that marriage failed, next one failed, and now maybe there will be new one if my girlfriend has her way.... Wanna play?

    I guess you will have to fill in a bit of history details before I started at Music Man, in March 1976. It was never portrayed to me that Tom did the original preamp designs - but it would make sense as I could not believe Leo was designing with an op amp. But I suspect that Tom designed the ORIGINAL preamp, whatever THAT was(!) as since I started Leo was the one messing with guitar/bass preamps - not Tom. The use of the LM4250 for that preamp was kind of mindblowing too - everyone thought it was junk and not worthy of an instrument preamp. And God - he was using tantalum capacitors in the audio circuit! :-)
    Leo knew that circuit better than anyone, knew what component did what and tweaked that damn circuit until both Tom and I just about went nuts. Tom sent me over there to work with Leo to try and finalize a design one time. I tried to suggest a totally different circuit. He didn't like it much. Leo didn't hear too well (after years of playing "ding dong ding" full blast in his closed lab) and he boosted treble to really high levels. Ughh. I wasn't a musician, and didn't understand how that cut through a mix or whatever.

    So Mark and Uschi went together... She was a pistol eh?

    Do you know whatever happened to the yellow telecaster that I used in the lab?
    Wish I could have kept that.

    I still have the guitar Leo gave me. My kids have dinged it up a bit. Leo was also into Nikon 35mm photography and gave me a Nikon AF, which I have but never use much.

    Sorry to read here that Tom has died. He was pretty good to me. Remember him driving that gold Cadillac? Really slow driver. I remember one time I was behind him and cussed him out for driving so slow before I recognized it was him.... ooops. Luckily he never heard me. I always wanted to talk with him again and get a better understanding of just what was going on towards the end there. He used to really interact with me and discuss design trends etc. and then sort of shut me out and hired a bunch of new people. And then there was the struggle with the necks and Forrest etc. - which I was pretty oblivious to.

    What was the reason the amp side of MusicMan did not succeed? Was it because of the op amp distortion circuit replacing the 12AX7? Given all the 12AX7's in effects, keyboards, and even computers nowadays it seems that was a serious error in judgement. The driven cathode circuit was unique and a tribute to Tom's understanding of tube design. Or perhaps it was due to the quality and lack of reliable supply of output tubes back then? I remember he was seeing a few issues with them and looking at doing a solidstate output bass amp.

    I look back at those years and feel really lucky to have spent the time with you, Tom, Leo, and the others. I hope my son can sometime live a dream like that.

    Barry
    Leo tweaked it but tommy designed it. Leo wasn't very current at that time. Im glad you back me on the leo hard of hearing story. I tell people that and they think that Im making it up. That is why the Strat is so bright and the stingray guitars ungodly bright. The sting ray bass teble sound is due to leos lack of hearing. Did he ever have you put the screwdriver to the cartiledge of your ear and press the other end on the bridge?
    That Same gold cadillac is the one tommy took to the Long Beach arena to bring the first prototype amps to Eric Clapton. I remember telling Tommy "Godfather, just trust me, I know you dont know who this Clapton guy is but if he plays the amps you will soon know. Tommy took my word and we went to the arena in this 67 sedan deville
    and Tommy and Eric hit it off pretty good and the rest is history.

    There are so many Tommy stories. In the old days of the NAMM show the companies would have hotel suites with cats playing and booze flowing. I used to jam with Lenny breau in that suite among many other legends chet was there just about everyone. I would come in and he would only have dark booze back then and .He would Yell , Godson! you ready for a beer?" and I would say yes and he would yell into the rommm service reciever "Bring a case of Heiniken asap for my favorite Godson!" I would have a few and the next night he would order another case when I showed up.

    I have the lab Telecaster and the silver face deluxe reverb Leo used. it was in the windowof guitar center hollywood for about ten years.

    The amps failed bexause they were too good and with the sudden pull out of leo on the instrument side
    (2,500 intentionally straight truss rods sort of killed it) Glad you remember that too
    That was either George or leo or someones viscious side.

  2. #32

    User Info Menu

    I'm collecting all this stuff in one huge "Big Poppa Speaks" file, and someday we're going to sit down and I'll show it to you and we can fill in the blanks and correct the slander and have Wonder Dog figure out if we're legally okay.

    You do have some great stories. They need to be all in one place, boss.

    Think about it.

    Jack

  3. #33

    User Info Menu

    Jack, that's a great idea.

    Sterling thanx for sharing I've enjoyed every minute.

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!!"

  4. #34

    User Info Menu

    Yeah BP I dare you!!!!
    Seriously it would be great to dismiss a few of the rumours

  5. #35

    User Info Menu

    its all good

  6. #36

    User Info Menu

    Wow. On the book comment-i think i'm going to look for Forrest White's Book. If there was an EB/MM Book to come out-i'd be placing my order as soon as pay day comes.
    Cam

    Main Basses
    EBMM 2003 Ray5 in Cherry Sunburst w/Maple Board strung w/Power Slinky 5s
    New Standard Cleveland strung w/Spirocore Wiechs

  7. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa
    Leo tweaked it but tommy designed it. Leo wasn't very current at that time. Im glad you back me on the leo hard of hearing story. I tell people that and they think that Im making it up. That is why the Strat is so bright and the stingray guitars ungodly bright. The sting ray bass teble sound is due to leos lack of hearing. Did he ever have you put the screwdriver to the cartiledge of your ear and press the other end on the bridge?
    That Same gold cadillac is the one tommy took to the Long Beach arena to bring the first prototype amps to Eric Clapton. I remember telling Tommy "Godfather, just trust me, I know you dont know who this Clapton guy is but if he plays the amps you will soon know. Tommy took my word and we went to the arena in this 67 sedan deville
    and Tommy and Eric hit it off pretty good and the rest is history.

    There are so many Tommy stories. In the old days of the NAMM show the companies would have hotel suites with cats playing and booze flowing. I used to jam with Lenny breau in that suite among many other legends chet was there just about everyone. I would come in and he would only have dark booze back then and .He would Yell , Godson! you ready for a beer?" and I would say yes and he would yell into the rommm service reciever "Bring a case of Heiniken asap for my favorite Godson!" I would have a few and the next night he would order another case when I showed up.

    I have the lab Telecaster and the silver face deluxe reverb Leo used. it was in the windowof guitar center hollywood for about ten years.

    The amps failed bexause they were too good and with the sudden pull out of leo on the instrument side
    (2,500 intentionally straight truss rods sort of killed it) Glad you remember that too
    That was either George or leo or someones viscious side.


    OK, I can go with you on the preamps thing then. I was wondering how the heck he started using op amps. In fact, I wonder how Tom picked up on em to start the MusicMan amp designs... I never thought about it back then.

    Sure, he taught me the screwdriver thing! I continue the teaching to Western Digital hard drive engineers - good way to hear track to track seeks etc.!

    I'm a kickass guy at WDC - always looking for a hint of "bad behavior" in disk drives I introduce into our external products. I then pester the HDD engineers until they fix them. I seem to remember a program manager being responsible for the issue at MM - but that is after the fact. The companies were physically separated and I suspect that there were business issues even before the quality problems arose. They didn't talk! I doubt that it was a decision by Leo or George to screw Tom and trash the quality. More likely it was employee sabotage or loss of quality control. If it were a top down decision, someone would have come out and said by now that they were told to screw up the neck channel router machine etc. to intentionally create the problem. Someone in quality would have said that they raised the issue and were fired etc. I suspect it just got by and the quality team was not up to par. I can see though that business can be really nasty. MM taught me those lessons and curtailed my dreams because of it. You had at least 4 key guys that should have been able to kick ass and take names and go way further than they did - but business politics and power struggles ended it. Guys that should have been lifelong friends wouldn't talk to each other. It works its way down too. I didn't see the nasty business side that Leo must have had to advance as far as he did. He was good to me. I remember a really nasty scene that will give you guys a clue. His longtime secretary was going through a real bad breakup or divorce and her husband/boyfriend came to talk with her, all irate and unapproachable. He eventually drove his car right into the front office door/wall! Of course she was in tears. But Leo was too, and was trying to console her. He treated those that worked with him like family from what I saw.
    Pisses me off that I didn't pay more attention, take more photographs, and write some stuff down.

    Tom came back from those shows always sick - probably from all the drinking. I wasn't in those circles so I didn't get any free beers.

    So you got the Tele eh? That's great.
    What is your brother Sherwood up to now? I remember he had a huge Prophet 10 synth back then I lusted after.... And when he (I think it was him...) took my crude attempt at an effects box to Knott's to play and got amazing sounds out of it.

    Another great story I remember is when Aerosmith came by and played "beer barrel polka" for Leo.... :-) I suppose several other notables did that as he seemed to really love it.

    Barry

  8. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bklein
    OK, I can go with you on the preamps thing then. I was wondering how the heck he started using op amps. In fact, I wonder how Tom picked up on em to start the MusicMan amp designs... I never thought about it back then.

    Sure, he taught me the screwdriver thing! I continue the teaching to Western Digital hard drive engineers - good way to hear track to track seeks etc.!

    I'm a kickass guy at WDC - always looking for a hint of "bad behavior" in disk drives I introduce into our external products. I then pester the HDD engineers until they fix them. I seem to remember a program manager being responsible for the issue at MM - but that is after the fact. The companies were physically separated and I suspect that there were business issues even before the quality problems arose. They didn't talk! I doubt that it was a decision by Leo or George to screw Tom and trash the quality. More likely it was employee sabotage or loss of quality control. If it were a top down decision, someone would have come out and said by now that they were told to screw up the neck channel router machine etc. to intentionally create the problem. Someone in quality would have said that they raised the issue and were fired etc. I suspect it just got by and the quality team was not up to par. I can see though that business can be really nasty. MM taught me those lessons and curtailed my dreams because of it. You had at least 4 key guys that should have been able to kick ass and take names and go way further than they did - but business politics and power struggles ended it. Guys that should have been lifelong friends wouldn't talk to each other. It works its way down too. I didn't see the nasty business side that Leo must have had to advance as far as he did. He was good to me. I remember a really nasty scene that will give you guys a clue. His longtime secretary was going through a real bad breakup or divorce and her husband/boyfriend came to talk with her, all irate and unapproachable. He eventually drove his car right into the front office door/wall! Of course she was in tears. But Leo was too, and was trying to console her. He treated those that worked with him like family from what I saw.
    Pisses me off that I didn't pay more attention, take more photographs, and write some stuff down.

    Tom came back from those shows always sick - probably from all the drinking. I wasn't in those circles so I didn't get any free beers.

    So you got the Tele eh? That's great.
    What is your brother Sherwood up to now? I remember he had a huge Prophet 10 synth back then I lusted after.... And when he (I think it was him...) took my crude attempt at an effects box to Knott's to play and got amazing sounds out of it.

    Another great story I remember is when Aerosmith came by and played "beer barrel polka" for Leo.... :-) I suppose several other notables did that as he seemed to really love it.

    Barry
    barry I love your posts because it stirs the old memory.

    It was Dennis Kovarik who would play beer barrel polka for Leo. He is the guy that added the extra fret to the sting ray

    Tommy was a lif long tinkerer up until his death. he made his own computers and was still fussing over distortion circuits at the time of his passing.

    If you thinnk that straight truss rods that Leo and George were caused by a low level employee then I have some land in botswana to sell you. Tommy had irrefutable proof of this and I have said this before I said "wy dont you sue the guys" and TOmmy said "thats not how my daddy raised me."

    YOu can slice it and dice it anyway you want. there were reasons for each of the splits Leo and Forrest had the intiail falling out then Forrest had a falling out with Tommy. It is just my opinion (covering my legal ass here) that Leo couldnt believe that the Sting ray and sabre guitars were such a collosal failure. His ego couldn't handle it.
    The bass was a smash hit and the amps were in great demand and top top quality.
    If the Leo Designed Music Man guitars had been a hit, I dont think that they would have ever parted company. The designs that G&L did were fender designs revisited, something that Tommy had no interest in. I am not bagging on G&L in any way, I consider their curren t owners the Mc Laren's to be as good as they come. It is just a fact that the guitars were based on Leos two biggest hits.

    Barry I know you were there but you did not get the inside and I know your parting was bitter. I was on the inside. I remember Tommy coming over to our house on Lido in Newport and taking my dad and I outside to talk. He said "Ern, I want Sterling to come to work for me, I could really use him". My Dad said "That's up to him, but I need him too" At the time I also had an offer to go on the road with Jethro Tull on the crew. I think that I made the right choice.

  9. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa
    At the time I also had an offer to go on the road with Jethro Tull on the crew. I think that I made the right choice.
    I dunno.. that singer from Tull makes some good dough with some sort of fish farm that he owns...
    JP6 Pearl Redburst
    Y2D Purple Sunset
    Dargie Delight (1) Bongo H
    Majesty (6 string) Glacial Frost

  10. #40

    User Info Menu

    I think that I made the right choice.
    Well, let's see, today's golf day with Bill Murray.

    Or, had you made different choices, you might be having catfish in Dothan, Alabama, with the ex-keyboard player from Molly Hatchett.

    Hmm, I don't know, looks about like a toss-up to me.

  11. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost
    Well, let's see, today's golf day with Bill Murray.

    Or, had you made different choices, you might be having catfish in Dothan, Alabama, with the ex-keyboard player from Molly Hatchett.

    Hmm, I don't know, looks about like a toss-up to me.
    LMAO!
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

    HEINZ

  12. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa
    barry I love your posts because it stirs the old memory.

    It was Dennis Kovarik who would play beer barrel polka for Leo. He is the guy that added the extra fret to the sting ray

    Tommy was a lif long tinkerer up until his death. he made his own computers and was still fussing over distortion circuits at the time of his passing.

    If you thinnk that straight truss rods that Leo and George were caused by a low level employee then I have some land in botswana to sell you. Tommy had irrefutable proof of this and I have said this before I said "wy dont you sue the guys" and TOmmy said "thats not how my daddy raised me."

    YOu can slice it and dice it anyway you want. there were reasons for each of the splits Leo and Forrest had the intiail falling out then Forrest had a falling out with Tommy. It is just my opinion (covering my legal ass here) that Leo couldnt believe that the Sting ray and sabre guitars were such a collosal failure. His ego couldn't handle it.
    The bass was a smash hit and the amps were in great demand and top top quality.
    If the Leo Designed Music Man guitars had been a hit, I dont think that they would have ever parted company. The designs that G&L did were fender designs revisited, something that Tommy had no interest in. I am not bagging on G&L in any way, I consider their curren t owners the Mc Laren's to be as good as they come. It is just a fact that the guitars were based on Leos two biggest hits.

    Barry I know you were there but you did not get the inside and I know your parting was bitter. I was on the inside. I remember Tommy coming over to our house on Lido in Newport and taking my dad and I outside to talk. He said "Ern, I want Sterling to come to work for me, I could really use him". My Dad said "That's up to him, but I need him too" At the time I also had an offer to go on the road with Jethro Tull on the crew. I think that I made the right choice.
    Yeah G&L Basses are great if you own a Boat I guess. My Opion only, I think the only thing they ever nailed was Sparkle Finishes. Other then that I'm speaking Basses only, They all feel like a Home Depot Bass, something that was made there maybe.

  13. #43

    User Info Menu

    Yes, you were much tighter with all of em than I, obviously. And this has been your whole life, and only a part of mine.

    A string of 1000 faulty guitars shouldn't have killed a multimiliion dollar company though. Something as simple as a faulty cap in an amp or guitar preamp could do just as much damage and a company should be prepared for it. It was mainly that it caused the arguement that broke it all up contractually. All of them had too much self-pride, not just Leo.

    I never favored the guitar designs. I had minimal experience with guitars going in and always liked the sound of his Strat or Tele more. I always preferred that lab guitar to every one I ever heard out of MM.... In fact, in Leo's lab there was a Les Paul. I told Leo that I preferred its sound much more - but found its physical architecture strange. I thought that if he could get that sound with the variability in tone control etc. he had in existing guitars he would have a hit. But he couldn't HEAR what I was talking about. He couldn't hear the discontinuous buzzes and off harmonics that I complained about in his guitar. He just heard the bite of the HF stuff, and had a lot of people around him that said yes to everything he ever asked. I told him what I really thought and I think maybe that is why he kept me around. Tom must have gotten tired of it and fired me :-)

    Thats a nice picture thinking of Tom working on distortion circuits etc. Wish I could have been there too. I think he was a ham (I am too) so that was the original source of his tinkering and learning of new electronics technologies. Funny to think of him working on computers!

    I think my beer barrel polka story is accurate. They came over in a limo, we drove separately and met them there. Several musicians had played this for Leo over the time I was there - I think I or someone else just joked "ok now play the polka for Leo" and they/he did.

  14. #44

    User Info Menu

    Keep em coming guys I am loving this thread really gives us all an insight

  15. #45

    User Info Menu

    Like a fly on the wall...
    It's all about the bass!

    My Stuff:
    2007 Bongo: Candy red, abalone, HHp - My number one!
    Ampeg SVT8-Pro
    Avatar B210 & B410
    Little Mark II Custom 1x12 Combo

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ernie Ball Forums