The Gonzo Leslie: A modern discourse in subtle savagery

There’s little hope once I get something in my head. In late 2018, I got it in there that I needed an upgrade to my live Leslie situation. For us foolhardy organists still trotting out the big iron on a Wednesday night dues-payer, it’s a tale as old as 4/4 time. My existing 147 was a good cabinet, but was getting lost in the mix onstage. It was also my only Leslie at the time. I wanted a dedicated “road” cabinet, designed specifically for such. The off-the-shelf options were cost prohibitive, and lackluster–to me–in their specifications. While many of my more well-heeled compatriots would rather log on to Sweetwater and take Todd Rundgren’s 1972 advice to “just throw money,” being of simple means (read: po’) forces one to get creative; so does being exceptionally demanding of one’s gear. So does the desire simply to experiment. The only solution was to build what I needed. It would be as loud and clean as practically possible, giving more than enough headroom for any situation. And it would hook up just like a regular 147. Thus, the Gonzo Leslie was born. It thumbs its witchy nose at purists and the status quo. This is what it’s all about.

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