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March 18, 2009


August, 2005 - The ARP 2600---a.k.a. "The Problem Child"---is back from Phil Cirocco's excellent care after an overhaul and a number of upgrades.  More on that later.  (Check out Phil's page about restoring a Hammond Novachord!)


We've had a MONEYPIT adventure in August 2005...and this time there was a special guest. 


Recorded during Christmas Week 2004, Mellotronist Jimmy Moore and I released a CD of Mellotron and synthesizer improvisations.  Click here for more information.  Also featured on the CD is Mellotronist Brad Schuman (on guitar).

The first track on the CD, the Berlin School-ish Arpeg Two, received airplay from The Greatest Show From Earth by DeLorenZoid (and where else?  :-) ) on May 29, 2005.


Yours Truly and friends Mellotronic gave a demo at The Gatherings in December 2004.

* NEW ARRIVALS GET POKED AT...2004 a busy Mellotronic year!

Not long after its arrival in the summer of '03, the "new" MG-1 had an oscillator fixed, a frequency divider replaced, and an un-modification.  See "MG-1 #2" here...

March 2004:  M400 #1037 makes noise

Mellotrons galore with MONEYPIT adventures in March, April, May, and July 2004!


Summer 2003:  A second MG-1 (in need of repair, but aren't they all?)

Fall 2003:  Mellotron M400 #1037 (in need of repair, but aren't they all?)


In early 2003 DJ Mark DeLorenzo was scouting around for Mellotron information, and he stumbled across my tunes.  Check out The Greatest Show From Earth!

The Greatest Show From Earth - The Voice of DeLorenZoid

A new job...
On April 1, 2001 HighGround Systems, Inc. officially became Sun Microsystems.
In January 2002 I said farewell to Sun Microsystems and embarked on a new stint at a startup company called AppIQ
We've been...uhhh...busy.
THE MELLOTRON BOOK is readily available!  Check your bookstore!
Frank Samagaio's THE MELLOTRON BOOK is set for release in September 2001.  Click here for more details.
Web Site Changes
I've been hashing out the web sites, just trying to organize things a little better.
HAMMOND A-102 Arrives
On June 30, 2001 a gorgeous old Hammond A-102 arrived.  Very nice, excellent sound!  You owe it to yourself to check one out.

Mellotron M400 #805 sees the light!

FREE SYSTEM PROJEKT and WAVE WORLD to play in Philadelphia - October 13.
I'm planning to go!  Marcel Engels (FSP) and Wave World will be part of The Gatherings this fall.  Click on the link for ticket information.  You can hear sound clips of both FSP and Wave World on the Groove Records web site.

SURPRISE GUEST for the Toronto Mellotron Symposium...Think King Crimson, think flute, think Ian MacDonald!  Plus Rick Blechta is cooking up some other 'tron goings on.  If you're hedging on attending, just plunk down your $95 and sign up, will ya!!?!?!

Finnish Broadcasting Company's weekly radio broadcast Avaruusromua ("Space Junk") put the spotlight on the Mellotron on February 22, 2001.  Aired were Patient Pondering, an excerpt from TellTale, and a demo I cooked up.  Details...

TWO Mellotron Symposia in 2001!
For those Mellotron owners who find Toronto a bit too far to lug your
Mellotron to, Martin, John, Jim and Joe would like to announce a Mellotron workshop in the U.S.  It is to be held in Concordville, Pa., which is 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia PA. in historic Delaware County. The tentative dates are Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, 2001. This is a perfect opportunity for Mellotronists to bring their machines and have new tapes, machine tune-ups, and adjustments with John Bradley and Martin Smith of Streetly Electronics, the original Mellotron manufacturers.

Martin and John have also extended their tapes, frame, and parts pricing
specials to the U.S. workshop participants and will personally deliver and
assist with the actual installation of new tapes, other Mellotron parts, and motor cards. They also will be demonstrating keyboard and machine adjustments and maintenance tips to keep our machines at optimum audio order. Attendance will be on a first come first serve basis, as there are a limited number of slots available. The cost of the workshop is $95.00 U.S. dollars which will include brunch for both days.

E-Mail to Jimmy Moore at for your reservation. Don't miss this opportunity to "tame your beast" and fine-tune our machines with the lads from Streetly electronics.
Another Mellotron Workshop is being planned for this fall, “Tronto MkII” as it were! Dates are September 22nd and 23rd. Those of you who were present for the first workshop will be glad to know that many things are the same--and many things are also different.

For those of you who want to learn more about the inner workings of your beasts and how to keep them purring along, The Tron Brothers, John Bradley and his comical sidekick Martin Smith, will again be present to answer all your questions, personally consult with you on your particular machines, and to also roll up the sleeves of their tastefully designed Streetly labcoats and dig right into help you get everything operating the way it should. In other words, if you can bring your Mellotron to Tronto, John and Martin will be happy to help you get it adjusted to factory standards--assuming it’s not in TOO much trouble! If you can't bring your machine along, just watch and take notes while the pros work on other's machines.

For those who attended last year or those whose interests lean more towards playing and recording, this year's get-together will also feature workshops dealing with effective playing and recording techniques for Mellotrons. I don’t have this part of the workshop finalized at this time, but I hope to have some very exciting announcements on this front in the near future.

The Tronto Workshop will again be hosted by Rick Blechta and will be held at Coll Audio’s newly expanded and incredibly sumptuous corporate headquarters under the generous auspices of M. Craig Collett. The fee will be only slightly higher than last year, that is $95 US or $135 CAN. (The increase is due to the traveling and accommodation expenses of the additional guests I’ve invited.) Attendees accommodations will again be at the nearby Howard Johnson and our “official pub” will be the Bow & Arrow (who are busily arranging for hourly beer deliveries for the weekend of the workshop).

At this point, I am basically attempting to find out how many of you are interested in attending. Please let me know as soon as you can if you wish to join us and whether you will be bringing a Mellotron. You are under no obligation!

Still hesitating? Streetly will be offering the following special deals to all workshop attendees (payable in pounds sterling at the event):
bullet1) M400 Tapes - L90 ( normally L165) 
bullet2) Frame - L225 including postage and packing (normally L225 + p&p @ L25) 
bullet3) SMS2 - L225 including p&p (normally 295 + Lp&p)) and installation at event if required. We will need to know the machine serial number as some have a transformer that doesn't readily like the SMS2!! These are a problem at present as we need to manufacture replacement transformers. 
bullet4) Azimuth alignment of headblock - 60 inc. return p&p (normally 80 + p&p).  This can make a tremendous difference to the sound of a machine. (Streetly will need your headblock a few weeks before to make sure they are returned in time for the event.)

How can you refuse? I hope you'll be able to join us for what looks to be a very informative and enjoyable weekend. More information will be forthcoming as things solidify. Please stay tuned to the Mellotronists e-mail list or contact Rick Blechta at

PATIENT PONDERING slated for airplay in Finland
Finnish Broadcasting Company's weekly radio broadcast Avaruusromua ("Space Junk") will be dedicating a show to the Mellotron on February 22, 2001.  Yours truly has provided material for the show, including a copy of Patient Pondering as well as a Mellotron demo in which I demonstrate some of the Mellotron sounds and talk about what it's like to play ol' #805.
Never heard Patient Pondering?  Head over to the ...kl...'s Tunes web site by clicking on the link above and give it a spin.

The Mellotron Project

The success of "Rime of the Ancient Sampler", a Mellotron tribute CD long out of print, has inspired the Mellotronists e-mail list to create its own CD of Mellotron tunes.

Get more information about The Mellotron Project at the TronSounds
web site.

Do you work with the sounds of the Mellotron in your recordings?  Amateur or professional, you are invited to participate.

12/30/05 - Well, it seems that TronSounds is currently dead.  :-(

The Mellotron Symposium
'Tronto, Canada - May 20-21, 2000

Mellotron Symposium - Toronto, Canada - 5/2000

Mellotron M400 #805 appears on
Michael Oliver & Go, Dog. Go!'s latest!

Dear ol' M400 #805 appears on "Pop and Circumstances", a release by Michael Oliver & Go, Dog. Go! from the Buffalo, NY area.  Michael's brand of folk-rock, somewhere between Tom Petty and the Beatles (with a little Aimee Mann thrown in there on "Vamp and Fade"), brings out the more whimsical character of 805 and, of course, Ken M.'s #1001, which is also featured on the CD.

You may purchase both of Michael Oliver & Go, Dog. Go!'s CDs from Online Express Music.  Look for "Michael Oliver" in the "K to O" section.  Michael's first album "How Does This Work" is similar to the current release, and it's got "The Argyle Cat," which is a folk-rockin' little parable that's gotta be my fave.

Click to hear Song samples

For more information about Michael Oliver & Go, Dog. Go!:
P.O. Box 933
Buffalo, NY 14220
E-mail:  He's Essex194 over at AOL

Thanks, Michael, for the CD and the mention in the liner notes.  Wow, this is so cool!  Excellent job, and best wishes for success with your albums!