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total sl-prokeys hits since April, 2003

On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."


The Bitch Page

Before the bitching starts, I'd like to share two of the most astounding PUBLIC messages I've ever seen.  A little background is in order.  From the mid-90s until about 2003, I participated in two or three "Hammond Organ message groups".  These groups were populated with a variety of "types" .... from truly knowledgeable Hammond people, to insane Washington Haw-Haw-Haw-Thorn potheads, to 15 year old, never even PLAYED a Hammond "wannabe wishers".

One of the best was a wannabe clown named Dan "Spiffy" Neuman.  A nightmare in the IRC chat channel, "Spiffy" certainly knows HIS stuff!  He's undeniably "hi-tech". 

Below is his "solution" to a problem in RED, and my comments to his "technical wisdom" in BLUE

SPIFFY - Super Tech

Delivered-To: slprokeys@mail.powweb.com
X-Sender: slprokeys@mail.sl-prokeys.com
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1
Date:         Mon, 17 Jun 2002 01:23:26 -0400
Reply-To: The Hammond Technical List <HAMTECH@MAIL.HAMTECH.ORG>
Sender: The Hammond Technical List <HAMTECH@MAIL.HAMTECH.ORG>
From: Steve Leigh <steve at SL-PROKEYS.COM>
Subject:      Re: [HL] Got key?


At 11:43 PM 6/16/2002 -0500, you wrote:

"Bullbarn (Bullfrog Music)" wrote:

> OK - I done did it.  Broke a key doing a smear on a PortaB.


Hot glue will solve all your problems.  I once hot glued a key back on in the

middle of a solo.  Still caught all the changes (ok it was a blues so there

were like 3 of them :))


No kidding!

Was that instant hot glue?   That .003 second dry time stuff?  It must be.


And to be able to play a SOLO ..... AND fix a key ..... AND manipulate the

hot glue gun (which of course, was sitting right there, heated up, waiting

for the damn key to break) and NOT EVEN burn your fingers (which, of

course, you planned on the fly, as the solo progressed) - this is



But it's what we have come to expect from our ceiling fan expert - "Spiffy".


Please list members - don't use hot glue.  Spend a couple bucks, buy a

replacement key, and let Spiff-ola pull his magical tricks.




Steve Leigh

steve at sl-prokeys dot com


All List Related Links and Descriptions:


Spiffy - unique in all the world - very likely has 3 hands.  One hand to hold the broken key in place, one hand to manipulate the hot glue gun, and an extra hand to play his "solo".  We should all be as "technically" inclined as Spiffy!


I really love the inference that the hot glue gun was sitting nearby - waiting to be used. 

This is a "SPIFFY-MAGIC" HOT GLUE GUN.  It knew in advance it would be needed.

It probably plugged itself into an electric outlet - when nobody was looking - heated up, and told Spiffy, "Hey! I'm ready now, man!  Go ahead - bust a key!"


Remember the magic words: "Hot glue will solve all your problems."


I just adore fairy tales ....


Factually - a key repaired with hot glue will break again - at the same place the hot glue was used.  I've seen it happen.

Below, is a priceless example of the "knowledge" found on "Hammond lists". 

Sasze (who emailed many people his picture, wearing a clear plastic bag on his head as a "hat") sent the message below.

Sasze's text is RED.  Just below the original, is my reply in BLUE text.

X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.06 [en] (Win95; I)
Date:         Fri, 6 Nov 1998 15:47:20 -0700
Reply-To: The Hammond List <HAMTECH@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
Sender: The Hammond List <HAMTECH@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Sasze <derk@DOCTOR.NL2K.AB.CA>
Subject:      [HL] Another Leslie rebuild question
Please excuse my ignorance here.  I am needing to take apart a Leslie 147 amp to fix what
I hope is just a loose wire because of some AC getting into the signal line.  Wiggling
the Leslie cord seems to help if I can get it into the right position but after much
exploration I think the problem is in the amp where the pin connections connect.  My
question is how hard should the 6550 and OC3 tubes be to get out?  I would like to take
them out (assuming they come out) before I take the amp out for easier removal but
nomatter how hard I pull I can't get them to budge.  Are they supposed to come out?  I
thought they were.
Many thanks from an extremely amateur.
The Hammond-Leslie FAQ ...... - http://theatreorgans.com/hammond/faq/
Archives/Subscription Changes - http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archives/hamtech.html
X-Sender: sleigh@pop-server
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Pro Version 4.1
Date:         Fri, 6 Nov 1998 18:15:23 -0500
Reply-To: The Hammond List <HAMTECH@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
Sender: The Hammond List <HAMTECH@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Steve Leigh <sleigh@tampabay.rr.com>
Subject:      Re: [HL] Another Leslie rebuild question
At 03:47 PM 11/6/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Please excuse my ignorance here.  I am needing to take apart a Leslie 147
>amp to fix what
>I hope is just a loose wire because of some AC getting into the signal line.
> Wiggling
>the Leslie cord seems to help if I can get it into the right position but
>after much
>exploration I think the problem is in the amp where the pin connections
>connect.  My
>question is how hard should the 6550 and OC3 tubes be to get out?  I would
>like to take
>them out (assuming they come out) before I take the amp out for easier
>removal but
>nomatter how hard I pull I can't get them to budge.
First, you have to have the right tools.  Do you have a tube remover?
>Are they supposed to
>come out?  I
>thought they were.
Actually, no - the 6550 series of tubes are permanent mount, but with a
tube puller, you can *probably* remove them.  Keep in mind, too, if you
pull one, and the plate comes unhooked from the emitter, the diode will fry
the skim adjust, leaving the capacitater incapacitated.  The OC3 might
implode on removal, so you oughta have a plastic bag around to catch the
gas quickly when it does.  It's very very hard to replace that gas, man.
>Many thanks from an extremely amateur.
Without looking for a flame war, you are one "extremely amateur" that
desperately NEEDS to stay out of *anything* electronic for quite awhile.
Your lack of simple knowledge is destructive, son, and if you try to repair
or diagnose anything, it's at serious risk.
Steve Leigh
The Hammond-Leslie FAQ ...... - http://theatreorgans.com/hammond/faq/
Archives/Subscription Changes - http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archives/hamtech.html

Day after day I speak with people about Hammonds and Leslies.  Musicians, church people, backline people, recording studio people, homeowners who have a Hammond in the den.

It seems to be a universal belief that Hammonds don't need rebuilding or maintenance if they are still making noise.  The fact that the motors spin and sound comes out is - for some people - living proof that all is well in Hammondville.

It's almost impossible to explain or convince some people how much their Hammond will benefit from a complete rebuild.  I wish it was possible in every instance to place one of my own B3s and a couple of Leslies right next to theirs, for a side-by-side, hands on comparison.

The cost involved in a complete rebuild is the single factor which I hear the most about.  Frankly, I think it's a fair assumption that most Hammonds have cost absolutely nothing to maintain over the last 30 years or more, for most owners.  That is to say, except for replacing a tube or two, most Hammonds have had no service work or rebuilding performed on them at all.

In my personal estimation, this "free ride" can't last forever.  Hammonds are extremely complex electro-mechanical devices, and there are so many areas which require attention, cleaning, and rebuilding.  There's no question of "if", it's only a question of "when".

Below is the "ultimate repair procedure" for those Hammonds which the owners decide to give or throw away.

click picture for fullsize view

When someone hears a fully rebuilt Hammond, and has the opportunity to play it alongside their own, their reactions are humorously predictable.  The sad part about this article is how many people refuse to set aside the needed cash to take care of the series of problems which exist.

Instead, they go on playing a Hammond that sounds like garbage.  Somehow they're able to justify the maintenance-free existence of their Hammond, and expect it to perform properly, while it's actually degrading daily, right under their hands.  My experiences with this kind of Hammond owner has proven to me that they typically "yes, yes, yes" you to death, then do nothing at all to correct it.  In other words - they just waste my time.  I find this quite frustrating, since I usually get a call - invariably at the very last minute - to come and "put a Band-Aid" on the problem.  I try and explain that the organ needs much more than a "quick fix", and should be treated with reasonable respect.  My words aren't heard, because it would require money to get the Hammond straightened out properly.  Most owners seem to believe a can of Pledge and a dust rag will take care of everything.  I guess I'm bitching here.  It's time for a REAL laugh.


"Butcher Bob's" Hi-Tech "Leslie Work"

There is a "Hammond tech" in St. Pete, FL, named "Butcher Bob". 

"Butcher Bob" is really fascinated with Hammonds and Leslies, and he buys, sells, and "repairs" them.


The "Leslie" shown below was purchased for $400.00 - exactly as you see it - by a gentleman named John. 

John is a very nice man, but he obviously doesn't know much about Hammonds or Leslies.


This "Leslie" is "designed" to be amplified from a guitar amp, which explains why there is no Leslie amp.


One of the more interesting "features", is that this "Leslie" was made for a 12" woofer - but that's a 15" woofer in there.

I won't even try to guess where the bottom "rotor" came from.  It seems to be partially made from black electrical tape.  I don't have a clue.


There was no V21 upper driver - but there was a "horn".  The "horn" self-destructed when John got it from his van.

It was "custom made" from a broken top Leslie horn pulley, two ShopVac vacuum nozzles, and - I guess - a tube of Liquid Steel - and that's no joke!

I almost choked with laughter, it was so funny!   

(I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of that


I offered John a V21 and a stock horn for $100.00, but he couldn't afford them.  I declined John's "payment plan".


After examining this "Leslie" (long enough to take these five (5) pictures), I told John that I couldn't possibly help him in any way. 


I suggested he return this "Leslie" for a refund.  I certainly hope he did. 

I also offered him a stock, working 145, but he couldn't afford that, either.

You've really got to click and study these pictures - you'll love them.




Showing incredible finesse and style, it takes a really unique "class player" to turn a B3 into this, then proudly put a picture of it on his webpage. 


If this had been a ProKeys rental, $1000.00 would have been added to the price for complete manual disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly.  The plug would have been pulled long before it got this far, and the organ packed up immediately.  As the lid was closed, the player would have had a choice: get the hands away, or get packed up with the organ.  Where I come from, this is known as abuse and damage.


Also located on that webpage is a rave review that predicts "Booker T. and the MGs will be quaking in their boots."  Best of luck to Patrick Benfield.  May these hallucinations become reality no later than 2190. 

Time for a blood transfusion!

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