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Thread: John sullivan

  1. #1
    Registered User bootinz's Avatar
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    Did amyone here go? How was it?
    KJ

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    It was a "once in a lifetime" kind of event, Kevin. #Sorry you couldn't be there.

    To see the timeline of John's developing artistry in the early instruments was amazing and humbling. # #

    I took these but they can't do it justice:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/Mandoniaa/JohnFest

    I know there were some real photographers there. #Does anyone know of any links to their photos?

  3. #3
    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    Great photo's and video - thanks for sharing these!
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  4. #4
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "I know there were some real photographers there. #Does anyone know of any links to their photos? "

    I'm no great photographer, but I'll start posting some here soon....

    Folks, Portland should be proud, because that event was an amazingly heartfelt outpouring of love and recognition for John and his work....
    I don't know how many folks came out for the event, but it was a substantial crowd...

    On the lower level of the Wonder Ballroom, John's instruments were on display. #There must've been 30 or more (I'll get a true count soon)...

    His first mando was there (it looked like it # # ), as well as archtop guitars, guitars, fiddles (including the 5-string he recently finished for Darol Anger), and of course lots and lots of mandolins....

    A film of John building an instrument was also played. #It was very hard to watch... #

    Upstairs, bands featuring John's friends and instruments were playing, and there was some great stuff coming from the stage...

    Seamus Eagan played a Sullivan tenor guitar, and tore it up.

    Jon Neufeld and David Pugh both play Sullivan instruments in Jackstraw....
    They tore it up as well....

    I'm bummed that I missed Taarka's set, featuring David and Enion Tiller who both play John's instruments. #I heard they were fabulous....

    Dr. Corn closed it out, with the inimitatable Stew Dodge on one of John's fiddles, and Greg Clarke on mandolin...

    Anyway, it was just an amazing event to honor an amazing guy.

    For someone who supposedly stayed "under the radar" (yeah, right... #
    # ), John sure touched a hellova lot of people. #

    I heard some amazing stories of his kindness, generosity, and zen-like approach to life and building instruments...

    Quite the day....



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  5. #5
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Tom Rosum takes a spin on David Tiller's archtop guitar tuned in 5ths...

    Tom also played a nice set upstairs...



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  6. #6
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "Seamus Eagan played a Sullivan tenor guitar, and tore it up."
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  7. #7
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Sullivan eye and ear candy....
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  8. #8
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Jon Neufeld of Jackstraw told me a great story...

    Sullivan pulled him aside one night and said "If I was in a band like yours, I'd come out and do a barn-burner, and then I'd go immediately into another, and then before the crowd could get their breath, I'd stick 'em with another, and then maybe another..."

    So, in his honor, that's what they did.... #
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  9. #9
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Jon Neufeld on a Sullivan archtop...
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  10. #10
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    John's first mandolin...

    He came a long long way...
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  11. #11
    Registered User bootinz's Avatar
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    Thank you for the report. I wish I could've been there. I heard the video was very moving but that it was classic John.
    KJ

  12. #12
    Registered Mandolin User mandopete's Avatar
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    Yeah me too! #I see Bill Wyatt's mandolin in a couple of the pictures. #While I never had the pleasure of meeting John, I feel I know about him through people like Bruce Harvie and Tom Brisk. #I'm glad folks got to hear Jackstraw, that's a great instrument pairing. Greg Clarke ain't no slouch either!



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  13. #13
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "Greg Clarke ain't no slouch either!"

    I'll say. Man, that guy puts his head down and just burns...

  14. #14

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    I don't think mandolin playing gets any better than Greg Clark, just different maybe.

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    Meitaki Maata ("Thank you, very much" in Maori)

    Thanks for the pics/videos JP and Bruce...

    Thanks, Bruce, for the invite to the wake...

    Thanks, Stew for hosting the wake, opening up your home, and playing some mean fiddle...

    Thanks all, for tolerating my joining in when I can never remember those fiddle/bluegrass tunes' names or heads...

    Thanks for playing my two 'shark' instruments and letting me hear them from in front of them, being played together by great players at the same time...

    Thanks for sharing your instruments...

    Thanks for all the great vibe from everyone...I don't think John would have built an instrument for someone that wasn't a fine person...What a great group of folks with great taste in instruments, luthiers, and people...

    John, once again, touched my heart by providing me the opportunity to meet so many super human beings...I am soooo glad I made the trip.

    Tom Brisk ended up crashing (more like partying) with me in my hotel room Saturday night/Sunday morning and we both agreed on this: While we both really liked each other's instruments as well as all of John's instruments, we wouldn't trade ours for any other...We'd also bet that everyone feels that same way.

    If any of you get down to the South Coast of Oregon, feel free to get in touch, visit, have some wine, and play some tunes....(whiteshark@starband.net). Through John's talent, kindness, and spirit of people and life, new friendships developed over the weekend. I know John was smiling!

    Kia Manuia,

    Dale

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    Forty-four instruments were on display all together. Inc. Mike Bellinger's harp guitar. Just spectacular. Anyone interested in some Sullivan background can go to the Mandolin Magazine archives from 2001 for Ginny Hollon's 'builder's' article on him.

    The event brought so many friends and family together. Reminds me of about 2000 when I had just started mentioning that I was thinking of selling the Sullivan F-5 I had at the time, that one didn't quite seem to have the high end I wanted. At the Produce Row jam John pulled me aside and said, "So I hear you're leaving the family?" Before I could choke out an answer he said "C'mon over, I just finished one I think you'll like..." Did he ever.

    The Gypsy Selmer he finished in Dec. '06 was his last mandolin. That and an F-5 were photographed this week in Kerr's violin shop and printed onto posters which will be on sale (probably will be posted available on the Cafe here) to benefit his estate.

    As far as brainstorming this great day, thanks to Ian Joel and Kevin Healey who thought a couple months ago "Somebody ought to put something together for John." Steve Reischman (John Reischman's brother, who is a Portland resident) took the idea and made it come together. As I was sitting in at an organizing meeting I looked around the table and realized that everyone there either was either a cancer survivor, worked with cancer patients, or had had someone in their immediate blood family who had been affected by cancer.

    Jim B




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    The posters...
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    That was a powerful weekend. Patty mentioned Saturday night that the roar of 10 or 11 Sullivan instruments all in the same jam circle was well... LOUD. Ha.

    There was a palpable power and aura in the instrument display hall.

    Imagine 40-some instruments all in one room, all made by one person with an intense love of the craft, the process, and the artistry that John put into EACH instrument. The intent to produce what John groked the person required, and then the presence of the talented owners/musicians themselves... who all loved and respected John.

    Then the fact that those instruments have had *thousands* of cumulative hours of energy pumped through them.

    Yup, there was some kinda power in that room.

    -Tom Brisk

  19. #19
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "Yup, there was some kinda power in that room. "

    Yep.....

    You know, I can't think of another luthier who was a go-to-maker for so many instruments...

    His mandolins obviously are fine instruments, but so are his arched top guitars. #

    And, as much as he didn't enjoy the building process as much as the other instruments, his harp-guitars are top-notch....
    (Those harp-guitars were a hard build indeed)...

    But the tragedy for me is that John was just hitting his stride with his true love--the 5-string fiddle.
    He just nailed that instrument, and with one in the capable hands of Darol Anger travelling the world, I have no doubt he would have spent many-a-year building 5-strings and really nailing his designs...

    To quote Vonnegut, "and so it goes"....



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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Seamus Eagan played a Sullivan tenor guitar, and tore it up
    I would love to hear that tenor! It looks good...

    Paula

  21. #21

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    Okay, I finally got the ad up in the classifieds. #
    (It's been a busy week.)

    The violin sets look like this framed.

    Each print is numbered and signed by Darol Anger. #

    The Gypsy Selmer and the Sully F are pictured up above, but here's a little more detail.


    I met John when he turned a mahogany newell volute for me in the late eighties. #He did a great job and was real easy to work with. #My wife Janet, otoh, knew John through her work at Kerrs. #She always spoke highly of his violins, but she flat-out loved John as a person. #Says he called her "Jan." (I can't get away with that!)

    I always thought there'd be time...

    (edited to add the new jpegs)




  22. #22
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Here's a link to that ad for the photographs of three of Johnís instruments.

    These are very high quality prints, and would look great framed....

    I picked up the print of Darol's 5-string fiddle signed by him. #Pretty cool...

    But I gotta say that my favorite instrument of John's among the 40 or so at the Portland show was James Bryan's Django-style mandolin, which is also featured on one of the photo sets.

    I remember seeing that rib structure hanging around John's shop for quite some time waiting for the inspiration to finish it, so it was a real joy to see and play it in person....

    Although it's not that loud, it has one of the sweetest and most complex tones of any mandolin I've ever played. #I just couldn't take my ears off of it...
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  23. #23
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    Those prints are really sharp looking. I just replied to the ad for the five-string fiddle series. Great idea.

    I've played a few of John's mandolins (including Greg Clarke's, which is exceptional) and always thought I'd eventually end up with one of his fiddles. I guess these prints of Darol's fiddle are the next best thing.

    I wish I could have attended the exhibition. I appreciate the pics and stories.

    Brian, in almost sunny Portland

  24. #24
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    This was the post I had put up when first bringing it home:


    http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin....esbryan

    JB

  25. #25

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    Someone asked me to post the back shot of the Gypsy Selmer.


    I agree w/ Spruce, that Gypsy is a rare and wonderful creature. #Thanks for letting us take her picture, JB.




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