Oral History -
David Prater has produced a series of successful albums for the bands Firehouse, Dream Theater and Night Ranger (among others). He recalls that he always loved music but pinpoints the birth of his true passion for music when he saw Frank Zappa live in 1973. David played drums, which landed him gigs with Santana, Patti LaBelle and Sam & Dave.
Byron Berline established the Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Oklahoma back in 1995. The store became a major hub for musicians which bought and sold a great number of both vintage and new instruments.
Vic Russelavage was hired by Chuck Levin as a repairman while Vic was playing his trumpet professionally. Chuck became a mentor and encouraged Vic to focus on the details and to take as much time with each customer as needed. As a result, Vic was inspired to open his own repair shop, which became a retail store in Colorado Springs.
Helen Meyer, Co-Founder of Meyer Sound in Berkeley California, remembers attending a rock concert while still dating John Meyer (whom she later married). John turned to Helen and told her he thought he could make a better system. It wasn’t long before the company was formed and like John, Helen jumped in with both feet.
Tim Shaw is the Chief Engineer-Guitars for Fender Musical Instruments, helping the company create guitars, pickups and other products. Tim’s career began when Charlie Wicks hired him to repair guitars for his retail store. He found his way to R&D at Gibson in Kalamazoo in 1978 and worked with the founders of Heritage Guitars before relocating to Nashville.
Aaron Friedman was composing in his New York City apartment when he was distracted by the constant sound of car alarms. He took action and helped create a city ordinance, which led to his involvement in the city’s government.
Kyle Lehning is a recording engineer and record producer who has worked with a string of artists in Nashville beginning in the late 1960s. As a result, he has worked with the likes of Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, Anne Murray, George Jones and Dan Seals.
David Davidson’s uncle, Bill Nimmo, was a professional drummer who opened a small music store on Long Island, New York in 1966. David was exposed to all sorts of instruments at an early age and for as long as he can remember, he was fascinated with the guitar.
Howard Lieberman began playing the guitar at the age of 6. A decade later he saw Jimi Hendrix in concert - an event which forever changed him. By the time he was seventeen, Howard was recording in Jimi’s Electric Lady Studios in New York.
Chet Roberts attended MTSU where he earned a degree in engineering. He was honing his skills in a studio when he met members of the rock band 3 Doors Down. Chet acted as an assistant in their Rivergate Studios in Tennessee before he was asked to go on the road as their guitar tech. It was an exciting time and Chet embraced the opportunity to do all he could to help the band.