President and C.E.O. of the world wide Donmo Corp.
I started my musical career as a harmonica player at high school. My first band, Pus Supernostril and the Bubonic Plague (later re-named The Mecca Powerhouse Five), featured amongst other things, washtub bass, washboard, and the “Drainola”, a piece of plastic drain pipe played via a trombone mouthpiece. The bloke who played it had perfect pitch so we used to tune the guitars to the drain. For a while we had a jug player called Grogan but one night he passed out from hyperventilation and retired.
Our attempts to go electric were thwarted because no one was old enough to drive a car. The bass player bought an amp and we had to get it to our practice room some three or four kilometres away. We decided to push it through the streets on its castors. The roads were so rough that the speaker cabinet fell apart en route and so the washtub survived a little longer.
Music became the dominating influence in my life from then on. You can read and hear all about my musical career on my other site HERE . As time went by I leaned more toward playing acoustic music which lead to my search for a metal bodied resonator guitar. They just weren’t available here in Adelaide in the days before Ebay and Asian mass production so I decided to try to make one. I’d always been handy with tools and my last hobby – grinding telescope mirrors and lenses – gave me confidence that I could make almost anything! There are no books, videos or classes on metal body guitar making so I had to start from scratch.
My first efforts involved the steel from the door of an old Volvo car but I soon realised it was way too heavy. I would lay awake at night thinking of ways to overcome difficulties and eventually got one guitar made well enough to string it up.
I made another, better, one and then one for a friend and now, 20 years later, I don’t have time to do very much else. In 2018 I sold my 500th instrument and so far I have made 380 guitars, 65 or so mandolins and more than 80 ukuleles.
Because I use my own guitars in many different situations – solo, duo, band, amplified, acoustic, for recording, for busking – I get a chance to see how they perform in all conditions. (Some customers may be disturbed to hear that their guitar has been road tested at the local markets!)