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Post new topic RIP Don Young (National Reso-Phonic Guitars)
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Author Topic:  RIP Don Young (National Reso-Phonic Guitars)
Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2016 11:46 am     Reply with quote

https://www.facebook.com/WhyILoveNationalGuitars/

Quote:
It's with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to my dear, dear friend DON YOUNG. Don was the co-founder of NATIONAL RESO-PHONIC GUITARS, Inc. Beginning in 1989, Don, with co-founder McGregor Gaines, started building reproductions of 20's and 30's Nationals in Don's parents garage, then opened a small factory in San Luis Obispo, California that continues to this day to build the world's finest resophonic guitars. He passed away yesterday, June 15th.
Don was always funny, and generous, and a fine musician himself. He always had time for everyone, loved his work with a great passion, and left us a giant legacy. Rest in Peace Brother. You will be missed.



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Lee Holliday


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 16 Jun 2016 1:42 pm     Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=amF48Ji5Xec

A recent video of Don, Keen lap player, engineer, and all round good bloke.

Respect for all that you have done.

Lee
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2016 5:34 pm     Reply with quote

Don was a true visionary who was widely admired and respected in the guitar world at large. Sad to hear this news. RIP.
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2016 11:03 pm     Reply with quote

While at National, Don oversaw the rehabilitation of three '20s Nationals of mine--1927 squareneck Tricone (handmade by John and Rudy Dopyera--looks new post tune-up); round neck Tricone and an early wood-body Triolian. I brought the Triolian to him hoping he could correct its slightly gnarly action but after hearing him play it Hawaiian style, I realized I would have to bend to the guitar, because any action relief strategy--e.g., heat-pressing the neck, would disturb its original full-body and -neck "clown painting." And under Don's masterful touch, the Triolian sounded ethereal as it was.

Rewind: In 1986, I was trying to identify a curious Dobro-like object with lightning-bolt f-holes. Don at the time was at Dobro/OMI and after a brief phone conversation, invited me down to Huntington Beach to compare mine with an identical one of his.



(These seem to be one of several variations of Kay-made bodies with Schireson-like cone-bridge assemblies.) He patiently let me meander goggle-eyed around the factory floor. On my way out, I spotted a discarded Duolian neck (the stick runs all the way under the resonator) in a trash can with the fretboard mostly scratched off and which Don kindly allowed me to appropriate. I instantly knew its (eventual) destiny: old-guy walking stick. It took thirty years, but this vision came to fruition at this year's NAMM Show, as i was trying to take it easy on a bum right foot.



Hail and farewell (far too early, you're only 44 days older than I am) Don--the world is a far less resonant place without you.
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Sebastian Müller


From:
Berlin / Germany
Post Posted 17 Jun 2016 8:34 am     Reply with quote

I was very sad when I heard about his passing, what a loss, he was such a fine understatement player, the Resophonic world lost one of his heros.
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 20 Jun 2016 6:30 am     Reply with quote

Steve Schell wrote:
Noooooooo! I am so terribly sorry to hear of Don's passing. I brought him my terrible condition early strip grill Tricone (#169) a few years back and he and crew restored and repaired it magnificently. What a fantastic guy! He gave me and a buddy an hour tour of the facility when we dropped it off, and a similar tour when my sister and I picked it up months later. He said that he learned from my example as he was beginning to craft some hand-hammered Tricones in the manner of the earliest ones built by John and Rudy. I suppose that these few beauties are hyper-collectible now. Godspeed Don!

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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 28 Jun 2016 9:22 am     Reply with quote

I'm hearing from a friend in Central California that there will be a gathering for Don's family and friends in 3-4 weeks (late July, I presume). I'll update this as I know more.
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 6 Jul 2016 8:48 pm     Memorial details 7/31 Reply with quote

From my Central California sources:

Quote:
Amanda has decided to have the big Don Young party on Sunday July 31, 2016. The RED BARN in Los Osos is the location:
2180 Palisades Ave., Los Osos and will be from 2:00-8:00.
Bring instruments(if you play) and food. Potluck is the food scene and bring your own delicious beverage.
Putting together a photo show. Please send your best .jpeg photos and .mp4 videos to Jim D'Ville: dville (At) teleport (D0T) com.
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Bill Leff


From:
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post Posted 11 Jul 2016 4:07 am     Reply with quote

Really nice guy who contributed so much to our instrument.
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Steve Schell


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 6 Aug 2016 11:36 am     Reply with quote

Was anyone able to make it to the gathering on 7/31 in Los Osos? Any reports?
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 6 Aug 2016 12:54 pm     Reply with quote

For all my heads-ups and intentions, I was not able to go (medical obstacles). I'll ask a friend of mine who lives up there how it was.
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 8 Aug 2016 11:00 am     Reply with quote

As it turns out, my local source, Kenny Blackwell, was only able to attend briefly, as he had a gig that afternoon. His report:

Quote:
I could only be at Don's celebration for the first hour, then had to get to a gig in Buelton. Played 3 songs w/Dorian [Michael] ....there were already a lot of people early on and lots of music to be played in the Barn. Only had time to say a few quick hellos and run. But, pretty much all of his friends were there and it was a very happy vibe all around.
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Ron Ellison


From:
D.C.
Post Posted 26 Aug 2016 7:24 am     Reply with quote

Did not know this until checking the NRP website today.
Don and his crew built a couple of sweet reso's for me also. Including a lefty hollow neck tricone, that he hung in there for, and personally got involved, after years of issues, and let me have it for a lower price. He was the great American instrument builder. A large part of reso history. His instruments are proudly California made, and it was an honor knowing him.
RIP Brother!
And thank you.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 13 Mar 2017 12:35 pm     Reply with quote

Don is featured in this NAMM clip for 2017:

https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/namm-memoriam-industry-tribute-2017
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Jon Zimmerman


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 23 May 2017 1:35 pm     Wizard of Reso-tech loss Reply with quote

Wasn't much this capable man couldn't fix, improve, refine. or simply bedazzle all of us with a deep reservoir of skills. When he lived behind his folks house in a small workshop/repair corner, I brought him a tricone from 1928-29, AND a Gibson EH 10strg I'd found at an estate sale (by stroke of luck, help from friends), I barely could scrape enuf $$ to pay the bill. He generously gave me "wiggle room" so I got them completed and perfectly playable in due time. I lost track after a steady job and marriage took me out of the loop back then, but I'd heard of the replicas made in San Luis Obispo under his guidance. Another brilliant light is extinguished. Very Sad.
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