The 3/4 Nelson
Ernie "K" Doe (L) & the Drum Buddy (center)
Ernie knows: Right tool for the right gig.

    I've managed to land upon some great instruments as I've meandered along, and some folks have even asked me about what I'm using now or had used in the past. Some things were acquired after much thought and investigation, review of specs, and assessment of "bang-for-buck", but, like my life, there was a heavy portion of dumb luck.

    After 3 years of piano lessons (grades 2-5), I began the trombone, the same Olds that I have today. That horn & the school band program helped bring up my grade point average through my 1st year in college.

   In 6th grade, I got my first stringed instrument: a plastic Ukelele.

I learned "Thunder Road" & "Carry Me Back To Ol' Virginny". My folks bought me a larger "Baritone" uke in 7th grade (a babe magnet), which I used on my first "gig": My pal, Tom Bates & I did a couple of Smothers Brothers songs during band breaks at the 7th grade dance and then again at the 8th grade dance..we were "Some-Other Brothers". Tommy went on to become, among other things, tour manager for Foreigner, Dan Fogelburg, and is now right hand man for Don Law concerts out of Boston.

    I got a Kay 5-string banjo for Christmas in 8th grade. I learned frailing from a Pete Seeger instruction book. This style was not nearly as cool a Scruggs-picking, but it was a style I drew upon once I started playing acoustic guitar, about 10 years at the end.

    During my freshman year in high school, my parents had a unaccountable lapse in judgement.  I entered the world of rock `n roll with my first electric bass guitar: a Tempo bass and a Sears Silvertone 1 15" amplifier which was quickly replaced, with the help of my folks, by an Ampeg B-15 flip-top.

    The Tempo taught me how to endure hours of torture, bad sound, muscle & blister pain...this ablity would serve me later, in my comedy career. After 6 mos. of sporatic gigs with my first band "Alfie & The Others" (there was, after all, no real "Alfie" first scandal), I got a Univox copy of a "Beatle Bass", which would last me through the balance of highschool.

My folks never took my instruments away or forbade me to play a matter how "grounded" I might have been. I've always appreciated that of them. I know that it must have taken great pains.

    The summer after graduation, I bolted the neck and hardware of a second rate 6-string electric onto the body of the old Tempo was a true FrankenStrat. I routed channels for the 3 pickups into the body before I checked for bridge place-, of course, to be in-tune, the bridge had to sit on top of the 1st pickup.
...predating the Ovation, by the way.

I found my
`58 Fender Precision bass for $150 at a music store in Richmond, VA, while I was at VCU in 1970, majoring in Painting & Print-making. 

Later that same year, I bought a `65 Gretsch Nashville. This newer model had painted f-holes and the 'Marquis" tuning keys.

I sold this 4 years later (`74) when I was living in New Orleans, deciding that the darker, humbucker sound was just not me.

No padded-back guitar for me...
...I was a Tele player.


  `62 Telecaster with Joe Barden blade pickups 

`76 Ibanez Custom Agent
Model 2405 

CX-3 is my most recent life changing experience...
    Korg used "modeling" algorhythms to clone the Hammond B-3, copied the front panel control surfaces 
  • 2 sets of drawbars
  • Percussion key switches
  • Vibrato & Chorus knob
  • and
  • incorporated a Leslie Off/Slow/Fast switch 
allowing the operator to change parameters and work the instrument...just like thereal 350 lb. thing...
then store that patch in 128 user-defined presets.

This thing makes me sound like I know what I'm doing.

Yamaha P-80 graded-hammer action, 88 keys, with beautiful grand
piano & Rhodes Electric samples. Yamaha knows what they're doing.

The Korg T-3 Synthesizer was another milestone in musical technology
for me. 8 tracks, 16 note polyphony, great sounds, fairly easy to tweak
the programs, midi, and a great midi controller when I used it with my
Cubase sequencing software on an Atari 1040e platform.  I played all
of the music on "Air, Land, & Sea" & "Willy J. & The Werebunny" with
this instrument sequenced with Cubase.



- Thanks for playing along.  -

Steven D. Hudson



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