TRAVIS BEAN
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TRAVIS BEAN
Instruments previously built in Sun Valley, CA from 1974 to 1979.
The following Travis Bean history is reprinted here courtesy of Bill Kaman, who has been a Travis Bean fan from the beginning. Additional information supplied by Richard Oblinger (Obe), a Travis Bean employee; and Travis Bean, the man behind it all.
Travis Bean: It´s the name of a California motorcycle enthusiast who decided in the early '70s that aluminum would be a step forward in guitar design. He thought that it would be a much more stable material for the necks. Using a neck-through-to-the-bridge design also improved the sound and sustain of the guitars. While Travis played some guitar, he was a drummer and kept a drum kit set up at the factory to back up players when they were there to check out equipment.
The company was founded in 1974 and lasted five years, closing in August of 1979. They produced about 3,650 guitars and basses which are as viable an instrument today as they were when they were built. Initial production began in 1974 and continued until December 1977 when the factory was closed for "reorganization." In June 1978, it reopened and continued until August 1979, when the plug was pulled by the investors who had "reorganized" the company. Sashi Pattell was the major investor and "drove" the company for the last twelve months. During the first six months of 1978, limited "unofficial" production continued with a partial production crew who often took guitars in lieu of wages.
In 1977, the guitars were sold through Rothschild Distribution but that ended with the reorganization. When the company closed in 1979, everything was sold off at auction. Mighty Mite bought about 200 bodies and most of the guitar parts but never really did anything with them. There were about thirty TB500 necks left over and it´s not known who bought these. Mighty Mite itself was closed and auctioned off a few years later. Bean passed away on July 10, 2011 after a long battle with cancer.

From Blue Book Publications:


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