Bruce Johnson gives talk at Fillmore Library about "Building Things"

bruce-library-03-14-18-1.jpg

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Packinghouse Creative's Bruce Johnson gave a talk at the Fillmore Library as part of library's ongoing series "Success through Reading." The topic was "Building Things" and included discussions about Art, Craftsmanship, and Engineering along with a brief overview of how Bruce makes his custom bass guitars. The event was sponsored by Fillmore Friends of the Library and Soroptimists International of Fillmore.

About Bruce Johnson
Bruce Johnson is a Master Craftsman and founder of Johnson's Extremely Strange Musical Instrument Company. To learn more about Bruce visit http://www.xstrange.com

Boy Scouts Tour Fillmore’s Packinghouse Creative

 (above) Boy Scouts learning from Bruce Johnson, one of several luthiers (guitar makers) at the Packinghouse Creative, teaching scouts about how he uses each tool in the guitar making process.

(above) Boy Scouts learning from Bruce Johnson, one of several luthiers (guitar makers) at the Packinghouse Creative, teaching scouts about how he uses each tool in the guitar making process.

Fillmore’s Webelo Scout Troop 3400 toured the workshops at Fillmore’s Packinghouse Creative on the evening of Tuesday January 30th. The Packinghouse Creative is a collection of craftspeople working out of the citrus packing house located at 341 A Street in Fillmore.

boy-scouts-2.jpg

The tour was organized by Packinghouse Creative member Bruce Johnson, Webelo Den Leader Chano Ibarra, and Assistant Cub Master Jaclyn Ibarra.

Den Leader Ibarra said, “The tour was part of our regular series of adventures designed to teach scouts lessons on a variety of topics. This particular tour focused on teaching scouts about tools and their use, about local history, and about learning what’s happening in their community.”

boy-scouts-3.jpg

Bruce Johnson, a professional guitar maker (also known as a Luthier) said, “He had a great time hosting the scouts and teaching them about all the tools he uses to make a guitar from scratch.”

About The Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest scouting organizations in the United States of America and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers. Learn more at https://www.scouting.org

About Packinghouse Creative
The Packinghouse Creative is a collection of craftspeople working out of a converted citrus packing house located in Fillmore, California. The Packinghouse Creative is not open to the public does host events and open houses throughout the year. Learn more at https://www.packinghousecreative.com

A Visit From Geddy Lee

By Bruce Johnson

I had a nice visit from Geddy Lee this week. If you've been away from the world of rock music for the last 40 years, Geddy is the bassist, singer, and songwriter of the legendary rock band Rush. It was great to meet him. I've been a fan of his music since the '70's, and he was a major influence on my interest in basses. We got to talk for about an hour and a half.

The reason for the visit is that Geddy is writing a new book about the early days of the evolution of the electric bass. It's called Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass, and will be published next year. His co-author on the project is Daniel Richler. They are putting together a story about how the electric bass was developed, in the time period up to 1972. How it evolved, as different individuals and companies experimented with the design. And how that design affected how basses were played during the early days of rock music. As part of their research, Geddy and Daniel have been traveling around interviewing various people who know the background of the instruments of that time.

Geddy has a large collection of vintage electric basses of his own. Over the last few years, he's become interested the Ampeg Scroll Bass, an obscure model of electric bass which was made from 1966-1969. Those basses are my particular area of expertise. I've repaired and restored more than a hundred of them for customers over the past 20 years, and I have several of my own. I've done extensive research and writing about them. I also build and sell new improved versions of the Scroll Bass, as my main product line.

In his collection, Geddy now has 5 nice examples of these Ampeg Scroll Basses. As he acquired these basses, his long time instrument technician Skully has been in communication with me. I've helped them with technical problems and historical information.

So, they came to my shop mostly to talk about the old Ampegs, as research for the book. How and why they were designed as they were. I pulled out my collection and we went through each of them in great detail. I showed them Ampegs that were completely disassembled and under restoration. We traded stories of Ampegs that became famous, and ones that had been badly abused. And of course, we covered my involvement with the Ampeg company in 1996-1998, and the evolution into my own Scroll Basses. Geddy tried out two of my own new models and really liked them both. It was a proud moment for me, watching him play my creations!

Geddy is very knowledgeable and curious about the engineering side of basses, and we got into all kinds of technical detail. We went over the internal workings of the original Ampeg pickups, and how I've taken the design further in my basses. We looked at how the Ampeg necks and bodies were built, and the research I've done on truss rods and internal structure. He also loved my shop and all of my old antique machinery. And he got a kick out of Banjozilla.

They brought their own photographer, and Daniel recorded audio of the whole session. Plus, they allowed our own Scott Duckett to shoot stills and some video. Here are a couple of the best shots by Scott:
 

Friend of Packinghouse Creative David Wilkinson (owner of Fillmore & Western Railway) issued a press release today regarding Zombie Hunter Trains

 

For immediate release October 22, 2017, 6:30 A.M. PST -

"The Fillmore Western Railway regrets to announce that 100% of the Zombie Hunter Trains have been sold out for the rest of the 2017 Zombie Hunting Season." Railroad Typhoon (CEO) David Wilkinson went further saying "The railway respects the United States EPA's hunting season guidelines regarding all endangered species and protection of natural resources."

http://www.fwry-blog.com

Johnny Agnew, Packinghouse Creative member and Co-Owner of Funky Junk Farms new television series “Junkyard Genius” premieres on the Travel Channel this Saturday August 28

johnny.jpg

Junkyard Genius is premiering Saturday 8/26 on The Travel Channel! Johnny Agnew is the genius behind Funky Junk Farms, a palatial property devoted to preserving America’s coolest treasures from the 20th century. From Trailers to RVs, Station Wagons to Signage, and everything in between, Johnny’s passion is finding a happy home for all things rare and funky. With the help of his friends Ryan (a skilled mechanic) and Lydia (an apprentice in restoration), genius Johnny is educating a nation of vintage enthusiasts on the gems of the past- and seeing some of the country while he’s at it. Watch the pilot THIS SATURDAY 8/26 AT 2PM EST 11AM PST! Only on Travel Channel! Check your television providers.

Packinghouse Creative protect citizens of Earth during 2017 eclipse

IMG951519.jpg

The local newspaper got it right when it said "Members of Fillmore’s Packinghouse Creative kept a close watch on the sun during Monday’s solar eclipse. A spokesperson for the group stated they were fully prepared to warn the people of Earth if the sun decided to try anything funny." Much like The Avengers, Packinghouse Creative takes its responsibility to guard planet Earth and protect its citizens very seriously.