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Forum :: General Discussion

Intro and a story


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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 03/27/2008 at 12:58 PM    Post subject: Intro and a story link

Hi all, I'm new here and figured I'd give a short intro especially since I'm probably not your average Bean owner. I don't play guitar, in fact I am pretty much devoid of any musical talent. I'm also abiut half deaf from years hanging around race cars. So what am I doing here? Now comes the story.

My older brother passed away earlier this month. His name was Rick Oblinger and was known here in LA as "Obe the Guitar Guy". He worked for Travis Bean for a couple of years at least. I don't recall when he started but I think he was there about to the end. After that he worked at Schecter Guitar and Tobias in Hollywood. For the last 15 years or so he built custom guitars and did repairs and restorations out of his house. I remember well in the late '70s he came over to my folks house and showed us a guitar he had built for himself at Travis Bean. It was an all black fretless bass. Damn it was beautiful. I told him it was a fantastic piece of design and would look right at home in the Museum of Modern Art.

I also remember Rick telling the story of meeting Jerry Garcia at the Bean shop. Rick was a major Dead Head from way back and I know he was really stoked about working on a guitar for Jerry. Rick never took to computers. One of his friends described him as an analog guy in a digital world. I actually found this site some time ago and I told him about it, encouraged him to look it up, how he could answer questions and give advice, even line up some repair work. He wouldn't have any of it. He just did things his own way.

If you are wondering if he had any TBs, yes he had some. I don't know how many right know because we haven't inventoried everything. I did open up one case and the guitar was padded in the case with original Travis Bean T-shirts.

I could go on and on, a lot to deal with.

If possible I would like to contact Travis Bean and any of the other guys that worked at he shop that may have known my brother. Well, that's all for now. As we sort stuff out I'll take photos and share them. Here's one for starters.

Later,
Kurt O.

http://img208.imageshack......g208/5613/beansigngy4.jpg



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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 03/27/2008 at 1:27 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

One more thing, if anyone would like to shoot me a note, send it to motorphoto56 (at) gmail dot com

Thanks,
Kurt O.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 03/30/2008 at 11:02 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Since my first post I've gotten a number of responses from people who knew my brother. I even had a great conversation with a former Bean employee who knew my brother back in the day. Thanks everyone!

Now, here a a couple more photos.

One of my brother's Bean basses.
http://img153.imageshack......153/6250/tb20001ednm2.jpg

And, a vintage TB T-shirt! Thing is, XL back then sure seems like L today.
http://img186.imageshack......6/914/beanshirt1edtj7.jpg

Cheers,
KO

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 03/31/2008 at 12:09 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Kurt,

This is great to see this stuff! If possible, please post more photos of anything. THANK YOU for sharing this information with us.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/05/2008 at 9:39 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

OK gang, another treasure from the hidden cave. 5 strings? And what are the two small switches for. Inquiring minds want to know.

http://img355.imageshack......355/3305/tb2000a5skf3.jpg

Cheers,
Kurt O.

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 303
PostPosted: 04/06/2008 at 7:29 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Interesting. Keith Richards plays 5 string guitars and is known have a 5 string Bean 500. I wonder if this might have been made for him. Thanks for the photo. Perhaps others have more info.

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 303
PostPosted: 04/06/2008 at 7:32 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

The extra switches are most likely coil taps for the neck and bridge pickups. There are a few Artists and Standards out there with that feature (often retrofit).

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/06/2008 at 9:18 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Thanks for that BoulderBean. I'll have to search my brothers papers to see if their is any mention of this one. A couple of other neat points about this guitar. The neck is black imron except for the face of the headstock, which is natural aluminum. Also, in the little compartment of the case are two little ziplock bags, one with the keys for the case, and the other with three allen keys, and the sheet of paper with the care instructions.

Kurt O.

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 303
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 8:38 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

In the book posting from "3rdparty" the following info:

"There were also 6 five-string guitars made that were standards and are serial numbered 1732-1737. These went to Keith Richards, Travis Bean, Richard Oblinger, Mark McElwee, and Bill Lominac (the head machinist at the company). All of these were coated necks and were 1.375 inches thick."

I think that explains the 5 string.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 9:07 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Thanks man, that pretty much nails it.

Kurt O.

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 11:47 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

hey boulderbean, what is this 3rd party book you are referring to? It sounds like a good source of info. thanks, charlie

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 303
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 11:57 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Check out this link: http://tinyurl.com/6x2kme

It was posted by the user "3rdparty" in a thread titled "Travis Bean book references"

Sorry for being too cryptic in my earlier posting.

-Peter

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 12:21 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

ooops , I missed that post from 3rd party, thanks for re-posting peter

Does anyone have the price book with the whole article scanned? I wonder who did that research seems like good details were gathered/recorded by someone.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/07/2008 at 10:08 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

The photo in the link below was taped to my brother's tool box on his workbench. He looked at it every day so it was special to him. It's out of focus, faded, and there are a couple of spots of what looks like polishing compound. But, it's still a cool image.

http://img358.imageshack....../img358/8954/jerryki8.jpg

Kurt O.

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3rdparty

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 58
PostPosted: 04/10/2008 at 12:17 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Kurt,

Do you mind if I upload your photos to my flickr account and post them to the flickr group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/travisbean/ ?

keep 'em coming!

Thanks


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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/10/2008 at 12:24 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

No problem, please do. There will be many, many more photos coming. I haven't even looked in my brothers personal photos yet. I expect there will be photos of the Bean shop in there.

And thanks for the link to the passage in the Blue Book about the 5-string, that blew me away.

Cheers,
Kurt

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/10/2008 at 9:31 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Some more of the stuff I am finding;

This is a box from the loft in my brother's shop. It's addressed to the TB shop and it contains exactly what it says, two sets of gorgeous bookmatched maple planks. Each pair measures about 18x20x3/4. Too thin for a body. Maybe they were going to make up a body with a maple top and some other wood bottom. Who knows.

http://img231.imageshack......img231/2512/topboxlh7.jpg

My best guess is that this is a test article. You have a new untried design and you make up some prototype pieces and then see what they can take until they fail. Now, I don't know Beans all that well but I thought there was a ridge in the middle of the trough to support the fingerboard. There's none here. On the face of the headstock there is stamped "007" with "7" below it. Maybe this is the James Bond model with the built in machine pistol and martini chiller. There is some writing in the pickup box but it's covered by overspray. At the top of the box the number "1590" is stamped.
Who knows, maybe this was the shop bottle opener.

http://img507.imageshack......g507/627/bentneck1ch3.jpg
http://img245.imageshack......g245/305/bentneck2fu8.jpg
http://img441.imageshack......41/3189/bentnecdetvo8.jpg
http://img170.imageshack......mg170/5720/neckboxic0.jpg

Travis Bean paperweight? Display sample? Who knows.

http://img132.imageshack......mg132/2213/neckdetps8.jpg

Closeup of the cut across the neck.

http://img444.imageshack......g444/5672/necksectou6.jpg

Thats all for now. I'm going to see if I can get the rest of the Beans home this weekend and take some decent photos of them.

Cheers,
Kurt O.


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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/15/2008 at 10:03 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Some more pics. This is my brothers fretless bass. Long ago I nicknamed it "The Black Shadow" after my favorite motorcycle, the Vincent Black Shadow. My brother listed it on his inventory as a 1975/78. It was built in '75 and I assumed he reworked it in '78.

It looks like my brother had taken off the strings, nut and tuning gears to work on the fingerboard. All of the parts are with it. There are rough splotches on the fingerboard almost like some kind of oxidation. Otherwise, the condition is very good.

http://img181.imageshack......img181/135/tbfbassie3.jpg

http://img181.imageshack......1/5227/tbfbassneckxs0.jpg

On the back of the neck is a dedication.
http://img186.imageshack....../tbfbassdedicationbx6.jpg

May 17, 1975 was my brother's 25th birthday.
It is also signed by Travis Bean and Marc McElwee.

This one stays with me.

Kurt O.



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Kevin

Joined:
16 Mar 2007
Posts: 147
PostPosted: 04/15/2008 at 11:24 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Thank you for the amazing pics. Whats strange is I have standard 1569 and it too has the same writting in the pocket obscured by the over spray. In fact it looks just like mine. Strange.

That bass is fantastic.

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Kevin

Joined:
16 Mar 2007
Posts: 147
PostPosted: 04/16/2008 at 7:23 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

By the way is there anything in your notebook about artist number 1397?

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 04/16/2008 at 9:49 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Hello Kurt

I sent you a couple of emails.. not sure if you've received them. I'd love to talk to you about some of that great Bean information. I think if would be fantastic to get some of that info up on the site somewhere.

Thanks!
admin

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/16/2008 at 11:34 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Admin,

Saw your emails late last night. I'm sure we could do something. I've got lots more info but some will need some investigation/interpretation. Remember, these were just personal notes and not really meant to be a conclusive or detailed record. There is a ton of stuff still to come! It's all taking time because I can only go to the shop or storage on weekends and I can only bring so much home. The wife asked last night, "How long are these guitars going to be under the bed?" I also have all the usual family and work responsibilities to deal with. (Reminder to self, mow back lawn after work.)

Hang in there kids!

Kurt

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/16/2008 at 10:01 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Kevin,

I show Standard #1569 being completed in June 1978 but no other info. Artist 1397 was completed in March/April 1979 but there is no other info. What is interesting is that Artist 1389 thru 1405 inclusive, have the note "PT" next to them, with the exception of 1397 and 1403 which do not. I don't know what "PT" signifies.

Cheers,
Kurt

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frankintank

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 33
PostPosted: 04/16/2008 at 11:14 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Kurt,

I sorta lost touch with this forum for a while, but someone sent me your story.
I worked with Obe at TB & have forwarded this info to a few people who knew your brother. Can't say if they will be compelled to contact you. My email is frankkelleher@yahoo.com.

I have a few interesting pictures & stories to send you offline.

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 04/17/2008 at 7:18 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Hello Kurt

I completely understand... not a problem. Just shoot me an email when you're ready.

Thanks!
admin

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 04/17/2008 at 7:18 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Hello frankintank!!

It's been a long long time. Glad to see you on the board again!

admin

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murtha

Joined:
17 Apr 2008
Posts: 1
PostPosted: 04/18/2008 at 12:15 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

I used to work with your brother at Travis Bean Guitars. I was only 21 at the time. I know your brother had about 5-6 years ( /-) on me. My position was paint production manager. Sorry to hear about Rick. I learned an awful lot working around him, Mark and Travis. You've done a great job putting this web site in order. I contacted others I worked with at Travis Bean - Frank and I email each other. I visited Mark last year when I was on a business trip in California (I live in Texas). I heard from Mitch once. I still have my Artist #160 that Rick did the pearl in-lays on. Everyone at the shop knew me as "Pat." Would like to hear more from you.

Take Care,
James

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 04/18/2008 at 11:04 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Hi Pat,

Thanks for the note. I've seen your name in my brothers notes. I can't take credit for this website, that's due to someone else's hard work, I'm just a visitor here. I've had email from Mitch and also had some email and a long talk on the phone with Frank. If you would like to contact me directly you can email me at motorphoto56@gmail.com

I'd love to hear some of your stories my brother and the TB shop.

Thanks,
Kurt O.

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Ezra

Joined:
15 Aug 2001
Posts: 69
PostPosted: 04/18/2008 at 1:58 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Honestly, I think alot of us would like to hear the storys about the shop as well.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/13/2008 at 9:21 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Here's another one for you guys. Standard #845. Sorry for the poor photo. This is just a snapshot I took for inventory. I'm making some homegrown softboxes so I can get some decent photos of everything. This one is in good condition with the exception of a patch of corrosion on the back of the neck where it sat in the saddle of the hard case. My brother had carefully sanded out the corrosion but still needed to polish out the scratches.

http://img212.imageshack......mg212/6414/img3148pf9.jpg

Also, here is some other cool stuff I have dug up.

http://img168.imageshack......img168/5575/parts2hv3.jpg
http://img368.imageshack......img368/1819/parts1dw7.jpg

This one is particularly interesting.

http://img118.imageshack......mg118/3894/pickup1lc4.jpg

Cheers,
Kurt


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Kevin

Joined:
16 Mar 2007
Posts: 147
PostPosted: 05/14/2008 at 7:00 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

If you ever decide to sell a set of those humbucking pickups please let me know. I have a 1000S with no pickups and that would be awesome to get a set. chrysler727 at aol dot com

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Seantseaton

Joined:
19 Mar 2008
Posts: 8
PostPosted: 05/14/2008 at 7:26 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

As do I, seantseaton@gmail.com. That's some great stuff you got there

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holmes

Joined:
29 Feb 2008
Posts: 182
PostPosted: 05/14/2008 at 10:00 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

...me too, i have a 1000a that was totally butchered by the previous owner and doesnt have the bridge which was hacked out! it deserves better.

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AT13

Joined:
28 Apr 2008
Posts: 9
PostPosted: 05/14/2008 at 12:32 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

help us obie (won) ur our only hope!

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/14/2008 at 9:39 PM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

"help us obie (won) ur our only hope! "

In that case you guys are all in deep kimchee!

Kurt

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/15/2008 at 11:36 AM    Post subject: RE:Intro and a story link

Sorry gang, I was trying to be a little funny in my last note and I think I may have been misunderstood. The fact is the parts, and there are more than just the pickups, will be sold as well as the guitars. That includes the 5-string and the TB500 prototype. In addition there is a collection of Bean literature, brochures, price lists, etc. that will go as well. This is going to happen over time. The Beans constitute a very small part of my brother's overall collection so they will be spread out amongst all the rest of the stuff. We are going to do this through Ebay, despite its drawbacks. I don't want to get into a situation where I have to try and decide if one person is more deserving of something than another. My life is difficult enough as it is. I will try and give a heads up on here just before something gets listed.

Thanks,
Kurt

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