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What are the strangest places you have found Hammond Consoles or Leslie Speakers?

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  • What are the strangest places you have found Hammond Consoles or Leslie Speakers?

    What are the strangest places you have found Hammond Consoles or Leslie Speakers? I have found them in Dog Shelters, Record Stores and by the side of the road. Some of you probably have some interesting stories concerning this.

  • #2
    I don't think it's up on the internet anymore, but there was a story with photos by an urban explorer who made their way into a condemned mental asylum which, like the web site, has now been removed. The climax of their story was the discovery of an A100 in the basement. I don't recall whether they managed to recover it or missed their chance. Darned creepy, those photos of abandoned places!
    -1958 Hofner 550 archtop guitar -1959 C3 and PR40- -1964 Busillachio Harmonium- -1964 M101-
    -1967ish Leslie 122- -1975 T500 (modded..chopped, and reassembled!)-
    -DIY 760 FrankenLeslie/rat hideout-
    -1980 Electrokey Electric Piano- -Yamaha electric Harmonium (early 80's?)-
    -1990 Jansen GMF150 amp- -1992 Korg 01W/fd- -1992 G&L S-500 geetar.

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    • #3
      This isn't what you are looking for, but the strangest place I ever found a Hammond tonewheel organ was a large, wealthy Lutheran church with a superb music program, in suburban Philly. I gently asked the pastor what the scoop was and he said that the "God-forsaken burp box" (his term) was donated during the church's young and poor days, and they were none-too-patiently waiting for the last member of the donor family to die- I think he said croak- so they could get a suitable pipe organ. :-)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brendon Wright View Post
        I don't think it's up on the internet anymore, but there was a story with photos by an urban explorer who made their way into a condemned mental asylum which, like the web site, has now been removed. The climax of their story was the discovery of an A100 in the basement. I don't recall whether they managed to recover it or missed their chance. Darned creepy, those photos of abandoned places!
        Hi Brendon.
        I have watched several youtube clips of urban explorers going into abandoned and decaying places such as mansions, houses, churches, funeral homes, gasometers, gas works, factories, theaters and lunatic asylums etc. There is definitely something very strangely and eerily intriguing about looking at creepy looking abandoned and decaying buildings and burned out houses and other burned buildings.

        I have seen Hammond organs in a few urban explorer youtube clips and photos of abandoned churches, funeral homes and houses.

        For any Organ Forum members in Jacksonville, Florida, there is an A-101 organ in a very dirty but apparently intact condition in the chapel inside the abandoned and severely decayed Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home at 9 W Union St, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
        Of course this assumes that the Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home has not yet been demolished.

        You can see the A-101 organ in a few youtube clips of the Moulton & Kyle funeral home. For example, the A-101 organ appears after the 4 minute mark in the following two youtube clips:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRjB_Gri5cQ
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5PCV8mIEfY

        The A-101 appears after the 5 minute mark in the following youtube clip:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXUoI1v4tyw

        The chapel is in a ghoulish looking state of severe decay so therefore if the A-101 organ can be salvaged, then it would need to be sterilized and thoroughly cleaned in order to remove all traces of toxic mould spores or animal droppings and plaster dust or asbestos dust etc.

        Last week the forum member "paulj0557" posted up an urban explorer youtube clip of urban decay in Detroit, Michigan and at the 25.11 minute mark a B3 organ in apparently good condition is shown inside an abandoned church which is only in a relatively mild state of decay. Hopefully someone can go and salvage the B3 before it gets vandalized or destroyed.

        I do not know what the American law situation is regarding salvaging abandoned items from abandoned buildings, but I wish that people would be allowed to go and salvage abandoned Hammond organs and Leslies before they are either vandalized or destroyed by hooligans, or end up rotting and rusting away due to dampness and mould, or end up getting destroyed whilst the abandoned building is demolished, or they end up getting carted away to the junk yard and buried as landfill.

        Even if there is a legal issue of someone legally owning the organs even though they are abandoned and left to rot, a person who salvages the organ could then try to contact the owner to seek to either be allowed to keep the organ for free, or to buy it from the owner. This is much better than letting the organ or the Leslie to needlessly get ruined.

        I do not know why people who abandon their homes or businesses leave valuable items in there to rot away when they could have sold or auctioned these off in order to help pay for any debts. I have seen beautiful antique grand pianos and ornate antique furniture left to rot away in many urban explorer youtube clips and photos.

        Years ago there was a website with photos of an abandoned large and ornate looking Roman Catholic cathedral somewhere in the USA and there was a close up photo of a C3 organ in the cathedral, and most of the keys on both manuals of the C3 organ were smashed to pieces, probably either by vandals or by the crumbling plaster blocks falling down from the ceiling. That cathedral was demolished soon after so I assume that the C3 was destroyed and dumped in the process.

        Speaking about finding Hammond organs in strange places, I came across my own 1965 C3 organ in 2007 whilst I was in an Anglican church and I when I walked into the back hall of the church, I found the C3 sitting at the wall, and the C3 organ was surrounded by large fluffy animal figurines and teddy bears so that only the top part of the C3 was visible.
        I made inquiries and I was told that a few years before, a Hammond technician had taken the Leslie 122 and the back cover of the C3 and he had intended to come and take the C3 but that for some unknown reason he never got around to coming back to take the C3 so therefore it remained unused inside the back hall, and the church board allowed me to buy the C3 organ for $500 Australian dollars.

        After my friend and I carted the C3 to my home, I then spent a week defoaming the manuals and repairing the corroded resistance wires and I partially rebuilt the AO28 amplifier and later on I did other modifications. The C3 is still working perfectly without any problems.

        Two years before I acquired my 1965 C3, my friend came across an advertisement for a cheaply priced L-143 organ and he decided to buy it, and I went with him to pick up the L-143 organ, and this beat up looking organ was (if I remember correctly) either in a welder shop or in a metal work shop. The seller told us that he found this L-143 organ dumped in a junk yard. Only the tonewheel generator and the manuals and the percussion preamp and the vibrato preamp and the speakers were present in the organ, but the power amplifier and the reverb tank and the bass pedals and the expression pedal were missing. The beat up cabinet had been painted an ugly looking opaque Mission Brown, but inside the organ cabinet I could see the original and much nicer looking red mahogany colour.

        My friend intended to use this L-143 organ as a passive organ with the direct organ signal from the drawbar matching transformer to be sent to an overdrive unit and from there on to a Leslie, but he lost interest in this project and he then sold the L-143 organ to me for the same cheap price that he bought it, and I eventually dismantled this L-143 for spare parts and I defoamed the manuals..

        All the best.
        Kon.
        Last edited by kziss; 06-06-2019, 06:52 AM.

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        • #5
          Good stuff. These are all good examples.

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          • #6
            One of my associates is a bass player and one of his musician buddies picked up an A100 that was dumped at the Salvation Army. The wiring had been ripped out presumably to salvage the copper. They probably got about $1.75 for it. I never saw it myself, but offered to buy it- no sale 8(
            Tom in Tulsa

            Fooling with: 1969 E100, 1955 M3, 1963 M100, Leslie 720

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            • #7
              I found a free C3 on Craigslist one time and I called the guy and he said he had it in a warehouse he recently received on some property in the middle of nowhere which he was tearing down. I was only about 2 hours from getting off work and going to get it, and about 3 hours after I called him he said I couldn't have it, because “his wife wanted to keep it.” One of them definitely just figured out how much it was worth, but I've lost much sleep over that as I still don't have a console.... oh well I'll get one one day.
              1949 Hammond CV w/1960 Leslie 45 (converted to 145), using H-1 and Leslie 25 amp
              1958 & 63 Hammond M3
              1963 Hammond L100 with 70s Leslie 120
              1979 Rhodes Piano

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              • #8
                I found two B3 organs and a player pipe organ console in a barn and had to move about100 bails of hay to get them out. The owner had been given the Hammonds and he got the player console from a funeral home. Sadly he did not know that there were pipes and chest etc. that went with the console.

                Michael

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                • #9
                  The B3 that I used for many years came out of a club that been torched and brought to the ground. In fact, according to the owner, it was one of the few things left standing. Naturally, the finished was burnt and bubbled, but she started right up and worked just fine. Luckily, the lid had been closed and the only other evidence that the organ had been a fire was a divet across each of the upper manual's black keys about an inch or so from the rear of the key. With the lid closed, I figured that the heat had bled in through the hinge, searing each key. Ironically--and I kid you not--a few years after acquiring the organ, I was working at a hotel downtown that had its upper two floors closed for renovations. One night the manager took my partner and me up to these floors to show off the work being done, and in the hallway of one of the floors I saw a black box next to the wall and immediately recognized it to be a 122-size Les!ie. When I asked him about it, he told me that before coming to the hotel he had been the manager of a club that had burnt down and the Leslie was one of a few salvageable items he had removed the next day and stored. He said he wanted to get the organ too but couldn't move it by himself. I then told him how I had acquired my organ, and after we both chuckled for a few minutes, trying to digest this huge coincidence, he said that the two should be together again and gave me the Leslie. It turned out to be a 22H and, naturally, it was pretty well damaged by the fire. The tubes were exploded, the voice coils of both speakers were warped, and most other plastic, cloth, and rubber parts were scorched. Pretty much everything had to be replaced, but I made it into a 122 with a suitable black finish and mated it once more to the B3. Wierd, eh...?
                  Over the years: Hammond M3, BC, M102, B3, four X77s and three PR-40s, a Thomas Electra and a Celebrity, three Fender Rhodes, Roland HS-10, HP-2000, HP-600, RD-600, JV-880, a thing made by Korg (?), two Leslie 910s, 122, 257, 258, 247, two 142s, and three custom-built Leslies. Wow, way too much money spent!

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                  • #10
                    That's awesome. I always say there is a ton of gear missing or that people don't know about still out there. Sal had found a ton of it in western NY because he worked on it. My buddy Tom in Trenton NJ the same thing. It's a matter of finding always.....

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                    • #11
                      My favourite must be the Hammond in Thursford Museum


                      Click image for larger version

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                      Neil Jenson 'Connoisseur' 3/35 VTPO. Gulbransen Rialto II.
                      Building a full set of WERSI W3 voice filters and designing new Hammond X-66 voice filters for a new MIDI controlled organ.
                      Various Leslie speaker projects including 'Rotosonic' L102, L103, L212S and building a new L122 cabinet.

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                      • #12
                        Love those bespoke Art Deco Hammonds..... that's what they thought “The Future” looked like in the 1930's and 1940's
                        Current:
                        1971 T-202 with Carsten Meyer mods: Remove key click filters, single-trigger percussion, UM 16' drawbar volume correction. Lower Manual bass foldback.
                        Korg CX3 (original 1980's analogue model).
                        1967 Leslie 122 with custom inbuilt preamp on back panel for 1/4" line-level inputs, bass & treble controls. Horn diffusers intact.
                        2009 Marshall 2061x HW Plexi head into Marshall 4x12 cabinet.

                        Former:
                        1964 C3
                        196x M-102
                        197x X5
                        197x Leslie 825

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                        • #13
                          What an interesting case.

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                          • #14
                            And theres more . . .

                            https://www.hammondclub.nl/db/upload...0-fyl3_mOK.jpg

                            https://www.hammondclub.nl/db/upload...PAGE-19-OK.jpg

                            https://hammondclub.nl/db/upload/cac...PAGE-12-OK.jpg

                            https://www.hammondclub.nl/db/upload...PAGE-11-OK.jpg
                            Neil Jenson 'Connoisseur' 3/35 VTPO. Gulbransen Rialto II.
                            Building a full set of WERSI W3 voice filters and designing new Hammond X-66 voice filters for a new MIDI controlled organ.
                            Various Leslie speaker projects including 'Rotosonic' L102, L103, L212S and building a new L122 cabinet.

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                            • #15
                              One of those is a Model E.

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