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  #1  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:35 PM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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Default Miss you Stan!

It's hard to believe, but it's been five years since we lost one of the great figures in the guitar world. Stan Jay died on this day in 2014. Truly one of a kind. I have a quite a few wonderful memories of my visits with Stan at Mandolin Brothers. Bless you Stan!
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:43 PM
llew llew is offline
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I never met Stan but always hear the best comments about the man. Sorry I never had the opportunity as he must have been a great guy.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:45 PM
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SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
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I bought six guitars from Stan Jay. Loved his shop. And I miss his guitar writeups....

He was a good soul. I jammed with him once... a killer Gordon Lightfoot tune. Cold On The Shoulder
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:10 PM
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I loved his descriptions of the guitars in the Mandolin Brothers ad every month in Vintage Guitar.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:38 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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It was always a happy surprise to find a new Mandolin Brothers catalog in the mail.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:05 PM
Barb1 Barb1 is offline
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I always enjoyed visiting Mandolin Bros. and getting to play with Stan as he showed me beautiful guitar after beautiful guitar. I bought quite a few guitars from him. I do miss those visits to Staten Island.
Barb
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:37 PM
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Not completely sure why this discussion was moved to open mic, but regardless I have to say that I met Stan but once. At that point I had been playing guitar about 4 years and was not very good at all. Nevertheless Stan who apparently was very ill (he died a little more than a year after we met), spent more than an hour showing me around the store.

Once he figured I was much more interested in acoustic guitars vs. electric he showed me several very high end pre-war Martins and some boutique guitars well beyond my means. There was never a bit of pretension or snobbish behavior. I could try any instrument in the place. Told me some great stories about Paul McCartney and Paul Simon visiting the store. He was an entertainer a great business man and generally someone you don't forget meeting. One of my prized possessions is a T-Shirt from Mandolin Brothers. Pretty much every time I wear it someone comments on it.
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:50 AM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is online now
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Almost 25 years ago I stopped at the shop on my way to NYC for a couple days of meetings. Everyone was totally gracious and, for those that had been there and know, nothing was off limits. I played dozens of guitars with total abandon. Kept coming back to a new Martin HD 28vs.

Told my wife about the visit and this particular guitar. She called Stan, they talked Penn State football (both alumni and both fans) for a while. She described my visit and the guitar I gushed over. Stan remembered me, remembered the guitar and several months later it was a loving and thoughtful Christmas gift from my wife, all because of Stan.

The best advice I ever got about guitar was from Stan. The first time I planned on restringing this (itís a slothead) I called Stan and asked him what tips he could give me on stringing a slothead without buggering up the slots and the headstock. He said, and I quote, ďJust string it. Itís a guitar...itís meant to be played.Ē Still have it today, still play it (as I did last night) and still play it out on the rare occasion I play out. Truly a keeper.

He was a great gentleman, so knowledgeable, and really cared about his customers. It speaks volumes that his family could not sustain the business after his passing. He WAS Mandolin Brothers.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:02 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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He provided a wonderful space to play some great guitars and his descriptions of them were second on no one's. Even if you had no intention of buying, they were just fun to read.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:49 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Mandolin Brothers was my friendly local guitar shop - started going back when he first opened the shop in 1976, used to make the commute from Brooklyn a couple times a month to check things out. First time out I couldn't find the door (wasn't clearly marked back then) and wound up going into the sewing-crafts shop located next door in the same building - nice lady running the place laughed and told me "This happens all the time," and proceeded to personally escort me to the entrance; BTW Stan took over the craft shop when it closed, turned it into his electric-guitar/bass/lefty/high-end wing - and the former shop proprietor's been our band's vocalist for the last two years...

For those who knew Stan more closely he was truly one-of-a-kind - as already noted above the irreplaceable heart-&-soul of the business, as personable (he affectionately addressed my wife as "Mrs. Steve" during our regular visits to what she used to call her "Nightmare Realization Center," a reference to his "Dream Fulfillment Center" trademark) as he was knowledgeable (a knowledge he freely and joyfully shared - occasionally to his own detriment) - and the list of MandoBros alumni reads like a who's-who of the guitar world: John Monteleone, Mark Simon, Woody Phifer, Flip Scipio, Leroy Aiello, Hap Kuffner, Mark Horowitz, Larry Wexer, Otto D'Ambrosio, among others. To him a customer was a customer - come in, play anything, ask questions, stay as long as you like; it didn't matter if you were Ricky Skaggs, Muriel Anderson (both of whom I encountered in the store), the neighborhood doctor doubling as bar-band rock star on weekends, the Washington Square Sunday-afternoon folk singer looking to get back into playing after 50 years, or anyone in between, all received the same attention - "We treat you as we would want to be treated" was his customer-service policy - and I've personally seen him put a couple VIP's on hold while he finished working with a walk-in customer...

What many people don't realize is that he was perhaps the first to recognize the need to make the non-celebrity woman customer comfortable, at a time when Manhattan's 48th Street was an overwhelmingly male-dominated enclave, often high-pressure and intimidating to the uninitiated; from the early-80's on there was always a resident "sis" on staff - Ellen Sorstokke, Janet LaFata, and daughter Alison Jay being the best-known - and most of the women guitarists who have been on the local circuit for any length of time still use a MandoBros purchase as their primary stage instrument. FWIW there probably wouldn't be the flourishing acoustic music scene that exists here on S.I. today without Stan's input - Stan himself gigged regularly with a variety of local musicians, and the shop itself served as a kind of focal point/information clearinghouse much like the Folklore Center or Matt Umanov's in the heyday of the Greenwich Village coffeehouse era...

BTW I passed by the shop this week when I had business in the area - lettering is still on the building, shop is being used by a local politician as his neighborhood office/campaign headquarters...
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:49 AM
Bridgepin Bridgepin is offline
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Stan Jay was a very kind soul, he and his partner at the time played a major role in opening Martin's eyes to the value of having the custom shop. If you ever get a chance to play one of Mandolin Bro's customs you're in for a treat.

Some of those I remember

Custom D-45 they made 91 and 5 of those were made with BRW

Custom D-41 Turbo

Custom 15 and this model eventually became the D-28V
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridgepin View Post
Stan Jay was a very kind soul, he and his partner at the time played a major role in opening Martin's eyes to the value of having the custom shop.

Custom D-41 Turbo..
I have one of his D-41 Turbos. I've not yet met a finer dread.
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