THE TASKMASTER - FATHER
I moved the shop to my new home on Rt 109 in Milford, MA. The two family home was me and the family upstairs, and at one point guitar builder Al Fry downstairs. Eventually I took over the downstairs for my shop. That was a very prosperous time, before Mars and Guitar Center came to Massachusetts. My first full time apprentice Bill McCommis trained with me, and while taking care of special needs kids full time. Billy left to work for Guitar Center for 18 years. John Crowley, Suzanne Walker, Jonah Strauss, Jacqui Swenson, Nick Pantazi, David Becker all apprenticed with me there at length. That was for me over 10 years of working 7 days a week 12 hours a day, with no vacation. Every year over the fourth of July weekend I would have a customer appreciation party, an outdoor cookout and stage with open mike all day and half the night. Neighbors would wander in and ask me if I knew who was throwing the party, so would introduce myself and offer them a burger, hot dog, and soda. There was always a band ready to play when the last was band was done. I stayed home and ran the business and was a stay at home dad. The kids grew up in the shop, around people, music, and all kinds of things needing repair. Back then I was still doing warranty work for Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Ovation, Tacoma, and Zon.
I started the website guitarrepair.com - In the true spirit of the web, a place to find helpful information. The website has never charged a penny for anything. I had the first online guitar repair rate sheet. I was on the Approved Vendor List for Mars and for Guitar Center. I also started FenderNecks.com, FenderService.com, and RaynardAmps.com and PurposeBuiltAmps.com.
I was recruited at my shop by my hero, Ken Parker to come establish a much needed repair department. I was responsable for top nut installation, final setup and full functional checks of every instrument, as well as any repairs. I proudly played every note on every string, no riffing. You have to do the job before you earn the right to riff, and even then... really.