Wow, the world of Hammond is really firing up! August was an incredibly exciting month for Hammond Australia, with Tim Neal’s B-3 Mark 2 launch here at the store, then a massive Hammond presence at the AMAC trade show on the Gold Coast.

Where do we start? On Wednesday, August 5, the shiny new Hammond B-3 Mark 2 organ was unboxed here at the store. The next day, it was placed on the stage and connected to the new Mark 2 Leslie 2101 speakers. Tim Neal arrived at the store and was the very first person in Australia to turn the organ on and have a play. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his eyes so wide!

On Thursday, August 6, Hammond lovers and MusiClub members united here at Bernies to hear Tim Neal and drummer, Mike Jordan, give this awesome new Hammond a workout. Our clever sound-tech, Michael Wallis, was on hand to record and make this night into a CD as part of the Live at Bernies series. With some incredible Hammond solos from Tim, and some cool drumming from Mike, this CD is going to be an awesome production.

The following day, six Hammond players signed up for lessons with Tim here at the store. Hammond really is one of those instruments that you can explore and experiment with, so you never stop learning. With Tim’s extensive playing and teaching experience, he is the perfect guide to helping you get the most from your Hammond. This was an interesting day for the Hammond players and we are thrilled to see people progressing with their instruments!

Tim didn’t get to stay home for long, because the following weekend he traveled up to the Gold Coast with Bernie, Franz and Craig, to the AMAC music products show. Tim was a guest artist on the Musico stand (Musico is the Australian wholesaler for Hammond organs). He spent a busy weekend chatting with people about Hammonds and giving mini-performances on the stand. Tim also gave a feature presentation on the new B-3 Mark 2 on Saturday afternoon, to a crowd of keen enthusiasts.

It was wonderful having Tim on the stand, because he has such a longstanding affection for the Hammond instruments and really understands the Hammond world. He is a massive fan of the new B-3 Mark 2, and it sounded powerful and gutsy when he played. It seemed that the Hammond stand was the “place to be”, with people standing round to watch and listen. Tim had numerous ‘jams’ with brilliant guitarists, saxophone and trumpet players who were also at the trade show. It was exciting and electric – just what the weekend needed!

As Tim returned home to get back to normal life, his Live at Bernies CD is in the making and he is already scheduled to return up the east coast to spread the Hammond word and give workshops at some of the fantastic Hammond stores, including Carlingford Music Centre in Sydney and Ellaways Music in Brisbane.

Michelle Capicchiano


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