2020 hey ......
It's been a year alright. Despite the complications forced onto small independent businesses since March I have managed, through what has been the most relentless mental and physical effort since I opened in 1997, to keep this entity operating due in a huge part to you. You who have supported me financially and through personal encouragement.
While many things fell by the wayside I did still manage to keep some things moving forward along with helping and supporting friends and charities that are close to my heart.
After a year and half of developing TMI guitars to put in the shop I only managed to finish 2 this year. One for a friend and one for me. While a few of the original 2018-2019 TMIs went off to places like Melbourne, Tasmania, New York and here in Brisbane, this year put a halt to any sort of "production" with time and materials almost impossible to find. At this stage I can't see how I will be offering these, or any hand made Tym/TMI guitars to anyone other than close friends for the foreseeable future.
I got to put on 3 instores before the end of Feb and then, well, everyone stopped touring and the shop closed in March. McLusky on Jan 13, Lou Barlow on Feb 2 and Rocket Science on Feb 22 were the only free, all ages shows I could manage. Thanks to these friends and people who came along to support them.
I only managed to make just over 200 Tym effects this year (about half of what I normally do) but some of these raised lots of money for humans who need it so there's a positive effect (pun intended). I introduced the Fuzz Sanitiser in April which I will keep making until things settle down. 50% of these have been going to charity and they have raised nearly $4000 so far along with all my other donation pedals and gear. The Murder Hornet was introduced in May and the the PIT signature pedal Sep. Thanks to everyone who supports this.
I managed to make 7 amps this year that all went off to people all over Australia. More of them coming next year when/if parts arrive.
I only made about 40 pickups this year and managed to rewind another 20 or so. I did finally develop my FMF pickup which has been bouncing around in my head for years and I'm VERY happy with the results.
I also managed to repair, restore and play LOTS of guitars, amps and effects, most of which went to the shop and were sold, but some that were lovingly bought back and given back to their owners to cherish again. Neck resets, trussrod replacements, custom made parts, pickup rewinds, old fuzzes brought back to life, old amps given another chance to make noise. This place has always been about salvaging gear, of any value rather than encouraging landfill.
Despite all this work in the workshop I have managed to open and work in the shop every Sat and Sun since the start of May, which I absolutely enjoy as I get to interact with humans about things we both love. Music and all that goes along with it.
It's been a pretty "unproductive" year for me which is at odds with the amount of work I've done. The fact that Australia is doing better than most during this global fiasco is not lost on me and while I'm appreciative that I can live with some sort of "normalcy" my heart breaks when I talk to OS friends who are getting worse and going back into extreme lockdowns making an "end" further and further away.
I promised myself at the start of this that anything I put online would be as positive as I could muster, or at the very least, not negative. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate and the fact that people support my humble little place in Brisbane, Australia is a constant source of amazement to me. I don't look at my place as a "shop" but as a space that hopefully encourages and supports people to make and appreciate music, which in turn makes the world a better place.
There's a long way to go to get back to Feb this year and start rebuilding but music is going to be an integral part of that process and governments and corporations aren't interested in supporting the scene we inhabit. They never were. It's going to be up to us to support independent businesses and collectives, venues, tour operators, merch suppliers, crew, sound people, studios, rehearsal rooms, etc, but, most importantly, the musicians and bands who have given up a lot, and will continue to give up a lot to bring us what our souls need for life.
Support independent everything.