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4Oct/114

Ode to the Organ

I used to have a bit of a problem with G.A.S. - Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  Specifically with vintage musical instruments.  Most of it revolved around trading, selling, and upgrading my guitar gear but on a few occasions I even acquired rare keyboards that I knew I wouldn't play, just because they were cool.  The greatest piece of gear I ever acquired was a Hammond B3 Organ.  Organs might seem lame but not this one, it's the greatest rock/jazz/funk organ ever invented.  It was built from the 50's-70's and has made it's way into every genre of music for the past 60 years.  I even hear it in new music.  It's pretty easy to pick out this organ's distinct sound, especially since it's often paired with a speaker (usually the "Leslie" brand) that spins around in a box creating a vibrato sound.  Here's what it sounds like.

Here's a more mellow version that I hear more in pop music.  In this video, the B3 is playing the chords in the background, it's just B3 and drums at first, can you pick it out?

The tale of the sale

Anyway, all that just to say I LOVED having a B3 for the musician street cred but I almost never played it.  In fact, half the reason I kept it around was because I wanted to sell it someday when I needed a chunk of cash -  since B3's have been out of production for 40 years they've become quite valuable.

I tried to sell the organ before we bought the house to help finance the down payment but unfortunately the recession had put a damper on rare organ sales.  I tried to sell it again when we started saving for the basement but again had no luck.  I've actually posted the organ on Craig's List a dozen times over the last few years, lowering the price a few hundred each time, but I would barely hear a peep other than scammers and people who wanted it but didn't have any money (oh the economics of Craig's List).

I had pretty much given up hope on selling the organ.  The thought of donating it to a church before tax season began crossing my mind.  As a hail marry long shot we mentioned the organ on Craig's List when we announced our garage sale.  We didn't even say anything about it, just listed it in a series of sale items between toys and DVDs.  A few people asked to see the organ at the sale but I think they mostly just wanted to see one in person.  Halfway through the sale, though, a guy asked to see it and seemed a little more genuinely interested.  He had even driven 100 miles to come check it out!  I agreed to pay for a couple updates to the organ and a week later the deal was done and we were hauling it out to a moving truck for him to take it away!

We have our living room back

Katrina always liked the look of the cherry organ and it was definitely something unique to have in our living room, but she never loved how much room it took up.  It was basically a coffee table or the organ but never both.  We were so excited about selling the organ we forgot to take a good picture of how it looks in the room.  Here are some random pics of it we had saved.  This one is of Katrina playing the organ right after our wedding when we had no furniture and tons of boxes from wedding gifts.

Once we got our furniture we worked the organ into the set up.

And here's the most recent picture after we painted, bought a rug, and put curtains up.

Also, when we moved our TV out of the basement for the reno, the only place to put it was in the dining room.  Awkward!  We thought it was so weird we didn't even take a picture of it.  If we ever took a picture of the dining room for the blog it was always, "take the picture from this side so you don't see the TV."  Yeah, lame.  In that tradition, we forgot to didn't take a picture of the TV in the dining room but here's what it looks like in the living room.

This is still temporary as we're going to make a permanent home for the TV in the basement once it's finished.  A credenza or low bookshelf will most likely replace the TV next year, but for now, we're enjoying watching TV from the couch, not the dining room chairs!

Thanks for the help

The story of the organ wouldn't be complete without mentioning what a gigantic pain the organ has been to move.  It weights over 400 lbs and getting it, moving it into my rental, moving it from my rental to our current house, and moving it out to the moving van for the seller have all been an ordeal.  We owe a HUGE thanks for our buff friends that have helped move it each time.

In related news

We've been saving, saving, and saving for the basement since last winter and we were super close to having all the funds to finish the basement without any debt or loans. As of the day the organ sold, the basement is officially funded!  Happy dance :)  So while I loved the organ for the last 6 years, I am excited for this new stage of life and for our more spacious home!

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  1. The room looks great! Sounds like the deacquision was meant to be. Enjoy all that extra space.

  2. Congratulations on the organ sale and on completely funding your basement without debt. The organ was sweet, but you’ll use and enjoy that basement every day. Think of it as trading musician cred for DIYer cred.

  3. That’s awesome! The organ (I know nothing of musical instruments – cool), the sale and moving forward on the basement! Looking forward to seeing the progress!


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