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  • Writer's pictureNick

A Tall Tale of music...

As a music lover, and a long time guitarist it's time to fulfill a dream.

In 2008 I was working as "lot lizard" at a small car dealership doing all sorts of things. Working on cars, selling cars, organizing, shopping, whatever... and one day I had a wild vision to make guitar speaker cabinets that are made of acrylic and have cool lights in them. I'm assuming this idea came from all the underglow trends of putting lights under cars, or the lights in the speaker boxes that pulse with the bass.

Somewhere around 10 years old, my parents got me a nice bass and a HUGE (to me at the time) Peavey bass amp and a few lessons, and then somewhere around 12 or 13 I was handed down a classical acoustic guitar from my aunts attic... and thus became love.

I eventually moved into electric guitars and have never turned back. My best friend I started a few bands, even doing some recording... I shudder a little bit... haha. I love it. I've carried that passion for a long time and started building a full rig, always flipping and trading or bartering my way into what I wanted, things that were usually too expensive, but that didn't stop me!

I eventually made it into my first half stack, a B52 AT100, now the band had matching amps! It was the poor man's Mesa they said, but it shook the windows and snarled death metal to the gods, and that's what mattered. Then one day I figured out that UnderØath used a blend of Marshall (Yuck but please don't hate me) and Orange...

First off... the concept that you could blend amplifiers blew my mind, but the sound of that Orange TH30... It ignited my next addiction. Well... a few years down the line we were pregnant with our second child, and it all went sideways... hard. He developed a CCAM in utero, a rare deformation in which his lung developed as a mass, not a sac. There is one doctor in America, in Chicago that could do the special surgery, and we all know how that goes.

I sold EVERYTHING, I sold all of my guitars, amps, pedals, I sold my other pseudo-baby, a 1952 VW Beetle, the one with the oval back window (If you know, you know) and started collecting donations from friends and family. I used that money to buy two iPhones, simply for facetime so my wife and I could reliably stay connected over the months she would be in Chicago. My Aunt was going to pay for the flights and I the day I went to book them we found out Noah didn't make it. A pretty devastating loss to the family.

Well life goes on and I eventually rebuilt some of my music gear over many years... cars usually came first, and I had some cool ones like a 1953 Plymouth Cranbrook that I daily drove! I never forgot about my idea, TallTale Cabinets, it was, and is still my main personal email after all those years.

A few years ago I hit the proverbial jackpot... I scored a Hughes and Kettner Trilogy all tube 100 watt amplifier, and guess what... it's acrylic face lit up blue:

The universe is funny like that... This was amp was something like $1600 MSRP in 2005, well... it sat in the back of the store collecting dust for 14 years waiting on me to take it home for $500 on layaway. Score. I loved that amp, I wrote many songs on it, it was super versatile, and EVERYONE including myself loved that it lit up blue, most people had never seen anything like it, or for that matter heard anything like the unique blend of hardcore, metal, and atmospheric binaural post-rock that I play (yeah)... anyways, as fate would have it, I started my haphazard hunt for an Orange.

Never underestimate the power of a shot in the dark.

I found one, the one, the exact one. The Orange Rockerverb 100 MKII on craigslist. This is a $2600 amplifier mind you, and it still had the Union Jack "Made in Britain" tag on it, mint condition. My shot rang out into the dark... and I hit, big. A straight trade for my cool blue $500 amp, all I had to do was drive 2 hours to Raleigh... I was in the car so fast that heads would spin, and just like that I had it...

How does this work on a blog about furniture?

Life has it's twists and turns and lessons, and while I ultimately decided to sell that amp because it was either sell it or lose my townhome... I am here talking to you and keeping my passions alive. I've developed a keen eye for design, and a real taking to mid century modern furniture (keep an eye on the blog, we just teamed up with a MCM dealer out of Raleigh and have some awesome projects in the works) and I have developed my woodworking and cabinet making skills to a new level.

So obviously it is a natural progression to fire up the old TallTale Cabinets brand...

What does Mid Century Modern have to do with anything? Well... maybe one day I'll do cool lights and really fun cabinets, but right now we're going to do something quite refined and extraordinary.

I present to you the first sketch of the new vision for TallTale, as fulfilled by Contemporary Custom:

Bespoke made studio cabinets for guitars, basses, and even for audiophile stereo systems. In true form of CCR, all materials and designs can be tailored to your preferences. The ideas shown here are in traditional MCM walnut fashion. These are for the true tone seeker's home or studio as a lifetime investment into a sturdy cabinet setup that will last the generations, just as many of the original 1970's Orange cabinets that still travel the world and serve their musicians, keeping Cliff Cooper's dream alive.

The cabinets pictured are heavy, and not for gigging about... but don't worry... the road cabinets are in design and will be on the way, built to the same high standards as these, inspired by the likes of Orange and Emperor (RIP). All woods, fasteners, drivers, configurations, even size is all available to be customized, or we have carte blanche and predesigned cabinets available for commission from us, all with the passion and quality we so heartily put into all that we do.

If you would like to commission a TallTale Cabinet you can join the waitlist here, or through the Design Store.

I sincerely thank you for reading such a long post and entertaining my musings of musical greatness, but I hope you learned to follow your dreams and passions... no matter how dark it may be when you shoot those shots into the void.


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