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Old 03-23-2019, 06:40 PM
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Default New Feature: Interview with Scott Memmer, President of Charmed Life Picks

AGF Interview

This is the first in a series of interviews with Scott Memmer, Founder and President of Charmed Life Guitar Picks. Although Scott had been playing with the notion of starting a pick company for a year or so, CLP became a reality on January 1, 2016. For the first few months Scott sold only to friends and fellow players through PayPal, thinking it would go no further than that. But demand continued to grow and eventually he had no choice but to start a company. This was never his intent. His products started to turn the heads of people in the industry and a company was born. CharmedLifePicks.com went live on the internet July 1, 2016, so they are approaching the beginning of their fourth year in business.

IMPORTANT: Scott considers this not so much an interview as an interactive forum. He doesn’t like talking AT people but prefers talking WITH people. If you have any questions, by all means post them and he will do his best to get back to you in a timely manner.


(Scott and Rhonda Memmer, in 2018)

The interviewer, Linda Winters, is a long-term friend of Scott and Rhonda's and a fellow musician based in Los Angeles.

This first installment covers Scott’s roots and the beginnings of the company.

Linda Winters: How are you today?

Scott: Tired (laughs).

LW: From playing guitar or making picks?

SM: Making picks. I never play any more. I make picks. I used to play a lot till I got in the business. Now I know how Leo Fender felt. (laughs again).


(Brand new product, not even up on the website yet. This is the kid sister of our red casein line.)

LW: So I thought we’d talk today about CLP and how it got started, where this whole thing began.

SM: If you figure it out, let me know.

LW: No, seriously.

SM: I was just thinking the other day of that scene in THE WIZARD OF OZ where the Cowardly Lion brags and blusters about how brave he is. Then he says: “There’s only one thing I want you to do. Talk me out of it.” That's how I feel about Charmed Life. “Somebody talk me out of it. Somebody stop me before I do something stupid!

LW: This wasn’t in your plans?

SM: Not only wasn’t it in my plans, it's about as far away from my plans as you could get. If you told me five years ago this I’d be doing, I’d ask you to pass whatever you were drinking.

LW: So, anyway, before we get to all the business stuff, tell us a little bit about yourself, your musical background, your family, that sort of thing.

SM: I’m old. Really. That’s the short version. (laughs).
Anyway, the thumbnail sketch. I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. In 1969, when I was 15, my family relocated to Los Angeles. My dad taught science and ran the planetarium at Beverly Hills High School (they have their own planetarium; they also filmed most the film CLUELESS there) for many years.

Scott playing the famous ballad "The Dutchman" on his Eastman E-10SS.
In this case, he's playing with CLP's nf-75, a .75 mm casein teardrop.
And no pickup. He hates pickups. "Tone chasers don't use pickups."



LW: Tell us about your family.

SM: I was really lucky to be born into the family I became a part of. All the aunts and the uncles on my mother’s side were farmers. They were rural folks. My maternal grandfather, who died a couple years before I was born, was a farmer and also a rural mail carrier. I guess the post office hired part-time mailmen in rural areas back then. As legend has it, he was also a notorious practical joker.

LW: So you’re a real Buckeye.

SM: The genuine article. Born and bred. My Uncle Keith had a farm on State Road in Hinckley, OH, and my grandmother -- my mother’s mother -- always had a garden behind her house, well into her eighties. We lived in a suburb of Cleveland called Warrensville Heights, but my older brother Mark and I spent a lot of summers out in the country, playing war and shooting each other with stick guns.

LW: What about your dad’s side?

SM: One more thing about the whole farm thing. It was a great experience being around those people. I had drilled into me the value of hard work and, most important, the necessity of being honest. I even learned that I had to be honest when it it made me look bad. It's just the way those people live. Real salt of the earth people. When you made an agreement with someone, you shook their hand and looked them in the eye; your word was your bond. I’ve carried that with me my entire life. Sorry, what were you asking?

LW: Your dad’s side.

SM: Oh yeah. So my dad…. His people came from eastern Europe somewhere. When they came through Ellis Island, they lopped off the end of the last name. They did that if your last name was more than, like, six letters long. I guess it was something like Memmersky and Memmerstein, something like that. I’ll have to do the whole geneology thing when I retire. Funny thing: Every Memmer I’ve ever met has roots in northeastern Indiana. It's like poor little old Memmers right off the boat must have settled in that little corner of Indiana. That was the beginning of our troubles (laughs).

LW: Was there a lot of music in your family?

SM: No, not really. I mean, not at all. Just the usual sixties stuff. AM radio. Seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Dick Clark, American Bandstand. My dad used to dress up in drag for the high school musicals, make up and a grass skirt, the whole nine yards. I still have nightmares about that.

LW: So when did you start playing guitar? High school?

SM: Oh no no. No, not at all. I was a surf bum. My older brother and I had always been fascinated with surfing. Just obsessed. I guess like a lot of Midwestern kids, you know. Just fascinated. We saw all those movies. I thought if we came west and bought a surfboard, some girl in a frilly dress would run up and start shaking her hips at me.

LW: That didn’t happen?

SM: Still waiting, no. (laughs)

(PAUSE)

LW: So when did the music thing start?

SM: Well, you know, growing up in the sixties, it was just everywhere. Music was everywhere. I think we’ll look back at this in time as kinda like the ex-pat writers in the twenties in Paris -- Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein….

LW: I don’t know if we’ll ever see it again.

SM: Not in my lifetime, no. Anyway, so I got the bug right after high school, which was a LONG time ago, almost Paleozoic (laughs). Even before I started playing, I always loved the sound of an acoustic guitar, much more than an electric. Always. Liked the Martins jangling in Beatles songs. I still don’t own an electric.
(paise)
I got my first guitar when I was 19 -- a Takemine dreadnought, F-360S. Still have it. Bought it at Music Scene in Tarzana around 1977.

TO BE CONTINUED…….

Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 03-26-2019 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:01 PM
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To be continued.....
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:36 PM
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We've recorded and transcribed more of this interview, but I've just been slammed for months. Will TRY to get more up eventually.

scott
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:25 AM
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Hope I can add to this soon, when I have some free time (yuk-yuk).

scott
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:18 PM
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I'm pleased to see the number of page views on this new feature already. In the virtual environment, I've always wanted to learn who was behind that product or service.

I will adding to this periodically, but will probably have to wait quite a while. As usual, we're swamped.

If you have a question to do with our company, philosophy, products, or whatever, feel feel to post it in this thread. If you're thinking it, others are as well.

Take care & Thanks Again,
Scott Memmer
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:15 PM
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Hope everyone is doing great. Here's another listen to one of our casein picks. Yowzer. Pretty good for a $400 guitar.



Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:09 AM
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Thanks to the many of you who've read this. Hope to add more this summer.

sm
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for reading.

sm
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:37 AM
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Hope to add an update in here sometime in the next 30 days or so. Thanks for reading.....

scott
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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Thanks to the more than 1200 of you who have viewed this interview. Hope to have a second installment by July.

Thanks Again,
Scott
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:45 PM
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Thanks so much for reading about our company and our philosophy. We've made friends all over the world through our products, and for us that's the best payday of all.

Thanks Again,
Scott & Rhonda
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:10 PM
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Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

Scott & Rhonda
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:57 PM
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Need to post more of this interview. Already been recorded. Just need to transcribe and post.

Thanks for your continued support of CLP. We have some really cool stuff hitting in the next few months.

scott memmer
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