Joe tells his story
how he came to the organ:
In the mid 60's I bought a Farfisa organ and taught myself to play best I could by
listening and playing along with records. I learned songs like 96 Tears, House of the
Rising Sun and other "garage band tunes" of the day. I bought every record I could
that had some organ on it. One of those records was a Spencer Davis Group album ...
There was a tune called "Blues In F" on this album that totally knocked me out. In
fact I can listen to that cut today and still be amazed by the incredible Hammond/Leslie
sound on that cut. At the time I had no idea who the organist was or how he got that
sound, but I literally wore out that track listening to it. It didn't take long however
to figure out that I couldn't make my Farfisa sound like that. A trip to the local "hippie"
music store revealed the truth to me. In a separate little room was what I thought was a
church organ. Of course it was a B3. I was not initially impressed. At the time it looked
like something that should be in my grandma's parlor. They assured me this was the best,
so they started it for me and I sat down to play a little. I don't know how to really
describe what happened next but when the store closed, they politely asked me to leave.
Frankly I was still a kid and not much of a player yet, but this instrument brought out
things in me I didn't know existed. I think that may be the true beauty of the Hammond
organ, if you have anything at all inside you, it will coax it out of you if you let it.
That was 1969 and I'm of course still playing the Hammond. I've also played pianos and
synthesizers over the years but have never gone with out a Hammond. I think most Hammond
players probably feel the same, but when I sit down in front of the instrument, it's like
I'm home, everything is right and day to day hassles are gone, at least for the time I
get to play. Gigs are great, some amount of notoriety is nice, but simply playing the
instrument is my greatest musical pleasure.