I first met Irby Mandrell in Tacoma
in the early 60's when he was a salesman for Mosrite guitars and Standell
amplifiers at Ted Brown music. I was a crazy young kid who thought I had
just invented the world with the Touch Guitar™. It was the beginning
of a great and long lasting friendship. The next year after we met Irby
asked me to play the "then Duo-lectar" at the Namm show in Chicago at the
Palmer House Hotel. It was at this engagement that Irby introduced me to
Chet Atkins and later I was to meet Leo Fender for the first time. "Barbara
was 10 years young" wow but was she talented. Another gentleman and his
wife Rosy was Joe Maphis, probably one of the finest guitars ever. I really
don't think anyone to this day can play some of the great music Joe played.
In recent years I was invited back to perform with
Louise Mandrell at several Nashville fan Fair occasions, it was lot's
of fun. They are one of the finest Family's and group of folks you could
I'll never forget when I was waiting for my first
Cruise ship job at the Mandrells office in Hendersonville. Terry Quick
of Entco International called and got Irby. I probably would have given
away the farm just to get my first Cruise ship and was mortified when Irby
started demanding everything but the moon, but you know what, He got everything
he wanted, I guess power really does work.
Anyway thanks to this wonderful family for all that
they have done for me. Irby and Mary's house is my home when I'm in Nashville.\
In weeks to come I hope to dig out some
the old photos of the early years with the Barbara Mandrell show when we
were entertaining in southeast Asia during the Vietnam war.
I guess I really had it made in the good old days.
The Touch Guitar and the
history of this unique instrument was selected by the Seattle Times as there feature
story to run with the opening of the great Paul Allen EMP museum. "Check
it out below"
After 40 years of
tinkering, the dreamer of a new guitar holds in his hands not only an example
of musical innovation and technological know-how, which EMP seeks to embody,
but the work of a stubborn Northwest free spirit.
The Seattle Times, over the course of the past eight weeks,
interviewed Dave and his company in detail. Both in words and in color pictures
you will find this interview featured as the "cover" story in Pacific Northwest
Be sure to pickup your copy of the Seattle Times and read (and
see) all about Dave Bunker and his innovative instruments.
The magazine is included with the
Sunday Edition of the Seattle Times.
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