Jacksonville, Florida was home to Southern Rocks heavy weights: Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, and Molly Hatchet... just to name a few.
I was lucky enough to have made friends in the business, which lead me to meeting the local band "The Project".
A few of the artists in that band had played with the Danny Joe Brown Band prior to Mr. Danny re-joining "his" Molly Hatchet. The Project did well playing various shows throughout Florida and opening shows for the likes of Van-Zant & Molly Hatchet. The "Project", was later renamed "China Sky" and enjoyed some major success.
Enter Mr. Evors
He (at the time) was the stage manager for The Johnny Van Zant Band. Mr. Evors eventually hired me to be the keyboard tech for Brian Heatherington of Van-Zant, as they were opening for Night Ranger on the "Seven Wishes" U.S. Tour.
I ended up working for Van Zant from late 1984 through late 1987, keyboard tech up to guitar tech... then onto stage manager when Mr. Evors left. During this time, Van Zant was courted by Washburn Guitars providing them with an endorsement deal. Washburn gave me a tour of the plant in Buffalo Grove, Ill. I was educated further on guitar building, electronics use at the time and guitar set up secrets. Erik Lundgren and Robbie Gay were both provided exclusive guitar models for road testing of their product line, along with a great advertising campaign.
In 1987, Johnny took the helm of the regrouping Lynyrd Skynyrd band. I had hired on with Gene Odom - to assist him on the tour with selling his book "I'll Never Forget You". 2 days into rehearsal for the Tribute Tour in Oakland, CA - I was approached by "Big Lou" and asked if I could guitar tech for Mr. Gary Rossington, Jay Johnson and Tim Lindsey during the "Rossington Band" set opening for the tour. It wasn't to long into that tour, that I introduced the Rossington Band to their first Washburn guitars, again a Washburn endorsement followed.
My First Child Arrives
When my first child was born, I pulled off of the road and worked locally in Jacksonville. Working at the local music stores "American Music" and "The Music Box" filled out the next 2 years of life. It was during this time that I learned from the late, great Gary Smalley. Gary was one of the brightest individuals I have ever known - when it comes to doing ANYTHING with a guitar or bass.
In 1990 I was consulted with and hired to tech and stage manage for the newly reformed Molly Hatchet Band. I did several US tours for another 2 years, before the evils of the road got to me. It was enough... and time to stop the madness!
Re-Kindled My Love for Working On Guitars and Live Shows
So, I had left the music business all together. Time wave up to the year 2011... I am introduced to a young lady by the name of Cassidy Wetherell... a (then) 12 year old singer/songwriter who lived right across the street from me. It was through support of her, (and all of her fault I might add!!!) that I have managed to re-kindle that fire (I had) in the 80's & 90's with my love for working on guitars and working live shows.
Bubble Up's Guitar Works Opens In Palm City FL
So, in 2013, I decided to open Bubble Up's Guitar Works in Palm City, FL. At the time, there was only one local music store in the immediate area or you had to travel to Guitar Center in West Palm Beach, which is just a hassle, not to mention crazy - GC cannot give you the proper attention your stringed instrument deserves.
Since opening the shop officially in 2014, Schumacher's Music closed it's doors... opening doors for us! We started supporting local music "Cassidy Daniels", "In the Light of Led Zeppelin", "KISS America", "Get Closer!" and "EraSmith" performing both guitar tech and stage management duties.
Working with Local & World Musicians
We continue supporting local musicians and building relationships right here on the Treasure Coast of Florida!!! Great Bands such as: Cassidy Daniels Band, July Moon, Outlaw Tendencies, Glenn Whalen & The Shakers, Michael LeBon, Dayride Ritual, Big Pine Band, Carla Holbrooke, The Jake Walden Band & Led Zep Live!--- great local music is alive and well. We even support an extraordinary artist "Hellz-Abyss" in Sydney Australia and it's awesome to have Her support in the land down-under! See "Our Artist's" page for more info....
2020 We Moved in The Willoughby Business Park in Stuart FL
But... 2023 is here. We opened three years ago in Stuart, FL. Thanks to Jonathon "Hatchet" Chontos, Coby Widmer, & Treasure Coast Window Fashions- we continue to run the busiest repair shop on the Treasure Coast, right off Willoughby Blvd in the Willoughby Business Park - come on by and say hello! Coffee is always on...