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admin -- my introduction

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 01/22/2009 at 10:49 AM    Post subject: admin -- my introduction link

Hello All

After kicking the idea around, I thought it was probably about time to actually introduce myself. I know there are many of you that already know my name, etc., but I thought I'd take a minute to introduce myself. I'll be updating the About the page with similar information.

My name is Troy "hank" Donovan, and I'm from Missoula, Montana. Troy is my given name, but my friends call me "hank", family and old-old friends call me Troy. How I got that nickname is a long story, and something I'd rather not get into here. Trust me.. it's a boring story and not worth the bandwidth.

I often get asked how I got involved with Beans and this site. The first time I saw Shellac in person was in 1997 or 1998, I was immediately drawn to Albini's and Weston's instruments. I've never seen them before, and it sparked my curiosity. I was playing Les Pauls at the time and was in search of something else (and not a Strat/Tele or Jag, etc). After doing some research and discovered that they were Travis Beans, I began to really get interested in these instruments. I started identifying bands and musicians that played them (past and present) and thought it would fit the style of music I was playing in my band. Shortly after this, Travis Bean was announcing the re-issues, and I was excited to potentially picking one of those up. I was trying to justify the costs, but the instruments were always "Coming Soon" and I just couldn't wait any longer for one. I started searching eBay for Bean and after looking at a few auctions, I saw the Bean I wanted. It was the narrow horn, thick body Standard and looked beautiful. Immediately it spoke to me and I pulled the trigger and won the auction.

I'll never forget the moment when the UPS arrived and dropped that off. Pulling the case out of the cardboard enclosure and opening it for the first time. It literally took my breath away. I remember my wife even commented out how amazing that guitar looked. I immediately put new strings on it, set the bridge height, intonated and tuned it. I remembered that I had a show that night (just a few hours away), and I decided I was going to play the Bean on stage. Normally, I like to test drive anything for a long, long time before playing live with it, be it pedals, amps, cabs, etc. That guitar was literally like magic to me. It wanted to play. These were the moments I often say that the guitar has a soul of sorts. 10+ years later, and I still hold that guitar and feel the same thing.

I'm a web application programmer by trade, which is just a long way of saying that I program complex web pages (usually database driven applications). I was working at a firm when I was considering starting another site about Travis Beans. Jodi's was a major site (lexiconoclast.com/bean) and helped me in my education of Beans prior to my purchase. Her site had the first Bean database, but I felt there might be a easier way to maintain and manage the database by allowing individuals to post their Beans. Also, there were a few forums out there that discussed Beans, and I thought if we could combine the two, we'd have something great for the community.

After launching the site, the immediate support was amazing. I would get daily emails from many individuals talking about Beans. Bill Kaman was the first contributor to the database besides my lone Bean entry. Since those days, I've been adding more and more features, the look has changed and the site has evolved. There is a ongoing feature list next to my desk, but unfortunately work takes away alot of my free time, so it gets pushed off. I apologize for that, but I always try to hit pieces of that to-do list. It's been great, almost a thousand Beans in the database and over two thousand photos in the gallery, crazy!

I've gotten emails asking if I own a ton of Beans. I don't. I own my Standard that I mentioned above. Recently, I've been working on a interesting TB500 project, but that's it. I did own a Artist that was Lee Ranaldo's of Sonic Youth, I wrote about that on the forum and in a blog post a few years ago. Crazy story. As for my other instruments, I sold my Les Paul (like an idiot), and I also own a EGC Standard. I play through a Rivera Knucklehead 100 head connected to a Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with v30s. I don't use many pedals, I use a Audio Crowther Double HotCake, Ibanez TubeScreamer and a Boss Tuner. I like natural tube distortion with a good amount of mids in there. Wow, didn't mean to go on a gear tangent there.

The other big question, is why do I use the moniker of 'admin' in forum posts and emails. Well, simply I was attempting keep a layer of separation between me personally and the duties of administrator of the site. Why the separation? Not sure. And that's why I feel like now, it's time to introduce myself. I'll still go by 'admin' on the forum, but this information will be available if people want to know more about why I started this site, etc.

So anyway, that's that. Hello and how do you do.

admin/hank

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JohnBR

Joined:
20 Dec 2005
Posts: 223
PostPosted: 01/22/2009 at 11:41 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

awesome, Hank. I will say that besides the bickering and the bullying that has been a problem in the recent past, this is the most comprehensive and informative website about ANY guitar/amp/gear that I have found. Obviously most impressive is the database and that's what keeps me coming back. Each bean is very unique so it is incredible that you have managed to accumulate such a collection of documentation. I think when most Beans have been accounted for, you or someone should put out a coffee table book with photos of every Bean. They are so beautiful. Like your feelings of playing these guitars, I find it hard to put one down once I have picked it up. Like you say- they beg to be played.
One thing I wish is that everyone who posts here would list their guitars. I know that there are many regular posters who do not list their guitars in the database and that seems greedy to me.
One last thing about people's opinions on listing names- and to answer Peggy Foster's question on why someone would not list their name and use a moniker: besides the obvious issue of some people not feeling comfortable giving personal info on the WORLD WIDE WEB (my mother would NEVER give her name or a credit card #. I would however as I am more comfortable with computers and trust the security that I have paid for), I will just say that about two weeks ago I followed the herd and listed my full name which is unique. My father received phone calls from Japan, Europe and from around the U.S. At least one person was rude. My dad needs to have his phone # listed since he is an important person and needs to be accessible, So, that is one reason I can think of why I personally will not use my last name. If anyone wants to email me, just ask and I will give you my email.
other than that, Thanks for the info and thanks for all the hard work you have done through the years. I say we all send Admin $10 right now for making this website and for spending all the time and money that he does on it. You could not do a better job!
-Godspeed

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 01/22/2009 at 1:34 PM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Hey Hank! Thanks so much for sharing such a great resource as this site.

Your genuine enthusiasm for Travis Bean guitars for all the right reasons is an inspiration. I love that you only have one standard. One guitar that brings so much to you and your music. Makes me want to plug in and play loud...as only a Travis Bean can!

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Matthew Griffiths

Joined:
02 Dec 2008
Posts: 18
PostPosted: 01/22/2009 at 2:44 PM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Mr. Donovan,

Interesting stories, thanks in regards to being so kind enough to share.

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sam1716

Joined:
24 Feb 2008
Posts: 37
PostPosted: 01/23/2009 at 2:00 PM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Heh small world! I'm from Missoula too.

Being the brat kid that I was, way back when, we used to call the Albini residence and ask for Steve. His parents were always very polite and offered to take a message. Kids are such jerks :)

Thanks for the great post.

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peggyfoster

Joined:
20 Jun 2008
Posts: 83
PostPosted: 02/07/2009 at 1:33 PM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Thanks Hank,

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was curious about you but too polite to ask ...

So glad you started this site and movie. I hope it's as much fun for you as it is for us.

Peggy

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Joefish

Joined:
11 Dec 2008
Posts: 106
PostPosted: 02/09/2009 at 7:03 PM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Hank, To keep this "thanks for the site" vibe going, I cannot begin to tell you how big time I owe you!

If your work or movie project happens to bring you to Philadelphia, please email me a few days in advance and give me the opportunity to take you out on the town or Plan B, come by the house for dinner and meet the wife, kid, dog and Wedge!

Joe


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TomWanderer

Joined:
29 Jul 2008
Posts: 49
PostPosted: 02/10/2009 at 7:03 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Fantastic article in the Missoula independent, Hank. It's really interesting. Not only that, but it's an in-depth article about Travis Bean guitars and enthusiasts in the regular news! Much respect to your hometown for telling the story! I believe David Lynch also hales from Missoula, hell of a town!
Here is the link, I found it on Kevin's Electrical MySpace page this morning.

http://www.missoulanews.c.....4D1-1357-9CF7166E95A89315

Thanks, Admin!

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sam1716

Joined:
24 Feb 2008
Posts: 37
PostPosted: 02/10/2009 at 7:33 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

J.J. Abrams? :)

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 02/10/2009 at 8:14 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

Hello All

I just wanted to say "thanks" for the kind words! It's very much appreciated.

Take care.
hank

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 309
PostPosted: 02/10/2009 at 9:21 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

This is a wonderful article from the Missoula Independent. Congratulations Hank! I can't wait to see footage of the Bean employee reunion. It is awesome that you folks are doing this.

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Disclosure: Any links to eBay or Amazon.com are affiliate links. Affiliate links may provide commission payments to the site based on purchases.

charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 02/10/2009 at 9:34 AM    Post subject: RE:admin -- my introduction link

WOW Hank. Nice job....Great article! What a fantastic project....THANK YOU for everything!!

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