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Blog Archive

We will miss you Travis Bean

In 1996 I saw Steve Albini and Bob Weston playing guitars with Ts cut in the headstock. I was fixated on the look and on the sound. I've never seen Shellac prior, and I definitely haven't seen guitars like these before. Suddenly, my Les Paul looked inferior. Cruising around doing research on my Win95 computer, I started seeing mention of Travis Beans and Shellac. I confirmed that the guitars I saw... were Travis Beans. The quest begins.

In 1998 I saw that Travis Beans were coming out. Re-issues. Expensive. I was interested, but for some reason, I wanted the older ones.

In 2000 I purchased my first Bean. I still regard this Bean as the best Bean I've ever held. The best Bean I've ever seen. It's just a Standard, but there is something special about it. I remember buying it on eBay. Never held one prior. Never played one prior. Buyer's remorse was already setting in. I remember my wife calling me telling me the UPS dropped it off at the house. I left work to see this thing. My wife was standing next to me while I opened the guitar case. It was a very Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark moment. I swear light came out of the case. I remember saying.. Hooooly Shiiiit. My wife looked at it and she was floored. I've never seen anything like it, and to see it in my hand was special. You can feel the craftsmanship. You can feel the durability.

In 2001 I started TravisBeanGuitars.com. It became a home for serials and photos; a place to see other Beans.

In 2008 Rick 'Obe' Oblinger passed away. He was a major piece of the Travis Bean puzzle and helped make those guitars what they are today, and I felt a piece of Bean history was lost. So I started a new quest; the quest to find the personal stories behind the guitars. The concept of the Travis Bean documentary was born and that journey began. That eventually led to Travis Bean himself. Many phone calls and hours of video were shot. A friendship developed. Travis and I stayed in touch regularly via phone. Conversations would go well beyond the Bean guitar and into normal life conversations. Goings on, family, his illness, etc. we talked about everything.

July, 10 2011 - Travis Bean sadly passed away this morning in Burbank, California. It's been a hard day for me and an especially hard day for his wife Rita and the Bean family. It's a huge loss in the guitar world, but that loss is nothing compared to what Travis offered as a friend and husband. He helped design a fantastic instrument, but I'll always think about our friendship.

Rest In Peace
Travis Bean
Aug. 21, 1947 - Jul. 10, 2011

Today is a good day to play your Bean....


Phew... working on the Bean site is hard work. Why not buy me a beer so I can cool off? If this site has been helpful in finding or selling your Bean, or increased your knowledge of this great guitar/bass, how about buying me a beer? (Suggested: $3 a beer or $7.50 for a pitcher)


Submitted on 07/10/2011 at 1:41 PM
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r.i.p.
COLINM | 07/11/2011 at 12:20 AM

very sad here in australia
i was the very lucky "first" to purchase a bean guitar,in australia way back in 197?,a tb 2000 sn 468 (black) over the last 40 odd years we have been together,all through my professional life,this bass. is known as well as myself, amongst other bass players, the unique sound ,look and silk like playability, has given wonder to may, from the solid bottom end in a live show to the ease of getting THAT sound in the studio, this bass has never failed! travis lives on within this very special bass, as he does in all his children, all over the world words are not enough in moments like this so all i will say is "thank you"
George Munyan and Travis Bean
Adam | 07/26/2011 at 3:42 PM

i lived in burbank my whole life ..
i knew a guy named George Munyan . and he was very good friends with Travis ..

i got to meet Travis a couple of times .
got to see guitars my friend owned that travis had given his close friends.

anyways , thats all for now ..