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Tuesday, April 10, 2012 

Hartley Peavey, Jim Marshall, Leo Fender

I was speaking with Hartley Peavey earlier tonight - it's no secret he's one of my favorite people in this world, one of those guys who somehow always makes me feel good about myself (how does he do that exactly?!?!? Maybe one day I'll figure it out). 

Among some other things we discussed--- which would be HUGE on a worldwide level if we can pull it off --- was my beloved, beat-to-hell Peavey Blues Classic amp with one 15" speaker. Which ain't working so good these days (pics below). 

I figure things like my amp are small potatoes compared to the other stuff we touch on, but I also figured he should know that I do play music on national TV for millions of people, plus thousands of people at live shows, etc. So I mainly wouldn't want Hartley to get irritated that I never brought up the possibility of endorsing his fine guitar amps. 

Then Hartley says the particular amp I own is his very favorite he ever made (I actually have two of them, a 15" and another with two 12" speakers). Strange, because I've had mine years and years before I ever met him. I've also played through tons of other amps: Marshalls, Hi Watts, Fenders, Randalls, Mesa Boogie, Yamaha, Crate, Vox, Kustom and a bunch of other boutique amps I can't remember. And you know what? Even though we often get to choose whatever we want for backline (i.e., drums & amps), I ALWAYS spec a Peavey Blues Classic with one 15" over all the rest. And I told him that tonight, plus how it's been kind of squirrely lately. But here's actually the point I wanted to make: 

Before I know it, Hartley Peavey, American icon-maverick-rebel-success-story-global-brand CEO instantly changes hats and becomes Hartley Peavey: Amplifier Repairman. He starts asking me about the amp's problems (random volume drops). Then he's telling me to pull out the guts, pull the tubes, how to pack it properly, and mail it to his attention in Meridian, Mississippi where he'll have it personally looked at and will throw in some new tubes - "what the hell."

While he's talking, it is not lost on me: This is nothing short of Leo Fender (the late/great father of the Stratocaster, Telecaster, P-Bass, Fender amps, etc.) tweaking out one of his priceless classics for someone; or Jim Marshall (who passed away last week) offering to have a look at a Marshall Stack --- just because.

More, here's an interesting fact: Hartley Peavey is one of the last great American-owned musical instrument manufacturers left, and I don't see how anyone could parallel his particular brand of success anymore, while keeping costs very affordable along the way. 

So thank you Hartley for (once again) making me feel good about myself; and for giving me a small dose of that personal touch, which is undoubtedly a huge reason for your amazing, blazing, lasting success.

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