Oral History -
Roy Elkins was working in a bowling alley in Memphis when he saw a small ad for a guitar salesman at Amro Music. He jumped at the chance and was hired by Chip Averwater who served as an early mentor for Roy who took to selling immediately.
Steve Fister began playing the guitar at the age of five and by twelve he was performing in clubs. Nothing else seemed to drive him like music and so he kept pursuing the opportunities that came his way, such as touring with rock bands and teaching guitar in music stores. He toured with Iron Butterfly, which led to studio session work, which then led to jingles and movie work.
Gary Galanti comes from a well-known and well-respected music products family. His great grandfather began building accordions in Italy in 1890 and later his uncle and father sold them in America. Gary began in the family business by helping with the wholesale division while also expanding their product line to include organs and pianos.
Philip Bynoe was encouraged to play his father’s upright bass, which developed into an amazing career in music. Philip attended Berklee College of Music and would play at night in clubs throughout New England. During the 1980s he helped form the band Flash and recorded with the likes of Steve Perry and Steve Vai.
Leslie Buttonow has dedicated her career to the marketing and promotion of several iconic brands in the music industry. She has worked hard to develop new programs and campaigns to bring attention to the products companies she’s worked for, that her clients, including KORG, Marshall and Vox, create and most recently, IK Multimedia and The WiMN, among others.
Leo Nocentelli is an original member of the award-winning band The Meters. The group recorded a string of instrumental hits beginning in the 1960s, many written by Leo. Playing lead guitar and penning some of the most influential tunes the band recorded, Leo never stopped creating.
Kim Pang attended the NAMM Show in 1994 as a guest of the Zildjian company. While he there he accepted a job offer with the famous cymbal makers right on the spot. He was put in charge of expanding the brand in the Asian market and was always happy to be the first Zildjian employee from the region.
Yves Tieche opened a small shop building guitars in 1976, later expanding into a store and becoming a Martin dealer. While attending the 1991 Frankfurt Music Fair, Yves met Armand Zildjian who offered him a job. Yves became the rep for Europe and traveled to both big and small dealers in large cities as well as small villages.
Alan Greensall was working for Sound Technology when he helped broaden the reach of several brands into the British market. Among the brands were Taylor Guitars, Line 6 and G&L Guitars. This experience cemented Alan’s passion for developing brands in his country and by 2000 he established his own, Synergy Distribution.
Paul McManus recalls the moment he first heard the recording of T Rex. It is a moment most of us can relate to when music enters our lives in a way that we can’t deny. He began playing guitar in local bands and later switched to bass, playing at clubs and college parties.