The Elephant in the Room
Well the keys aren't Ivory and its far louder, but this Hammond has a story.
Bought quite a few years ago from Arthur Brown's keyboard player - He had a delightful ad on ebay that caught my eye. "I have three Hammonds in my dining room - quite a conversation piece and one that my partner is tired of having". The man clearly needed help and of course I was on hand.
Van hired (I picked up my first Leslie cabinet on the same trip), I took it back to the office. The guys sort of looked at me in that "what have you done this time" way but aided and abetted by the builders over the road we built a ramp, and up the stairs it went. Some negotiation with Michele my office manager was required, but ultimately it was agreed that a workstation could go, so it could have its own place (I still owe her a drum kit).
It sort of worked, but not very well, so i um bought another one in bits, that turned out to be the remnants of the house organ from the infamous Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel (where would we be without the Salvation Army) and with a new grenade cap from the Tonewheel Hospital in the US we were in business.
And there it sat in all of its glory, both good fun to have and play, and a real talking point for corporate meetings - you mean you don't have one in your office? But the time came when it had to move, when after 25 years it was time to move out and like everyone we had to work from home.
We had shifted most of the valuables out, and removed 10 tons of rubbish accumulated over the period but there was still this monster sitting upstairs, no builders, no ramp how on earth could I get it out?
Enter Tiny Evans of Hammond Hire, another of the Dire Straits associates - the man that knows more about these incredible instruments than anybody on the planet - the master restorer and font of all knowledge. If anybody knew how to move this lovely piece intact without it turning into an episode of Right Said Fred, it would be him. So I called him up, and quick as a flash he was over, got it down the stairs intact, almost single handed, and into the back of his estate car and home it came.
A not too dissimilar negotiation then took place with Kookie - but we were going to put a sideboard there, and its sort of matches the rest of the furniture. Yes but a a sideboard doesn't leak oil.
It's an antique, it's mechanical, it's valve, it's iconic, It has that Hammond smell.