Schecter Van Nuys history - LesLIE BUTTS

LESLIE BUTTS shares with us his experience working as the Schecter Sales Rep ! (thank you Leslie !)

  

MY SCHECTER DAYS

1980-1983


I first was introduced to Schecter in 1979. My good friend and ex bandmate Benny Jones was working there and invited me out for a vacation and to hang. Went to the NAMM Show then being held at the Disneyland Hotel. Met the Schecter boys…Shel Horlick in particular…he made me feel like one of the family. 


I was trying to figure out a move from Texas where I was raised ..a sales job at Schecter came around….and off I went. Moved out on June of 1980. Drove across the states (desert) in a non airconditioned no radio Ryder truck….two days and nites….got to LA on a Friday at 6am by that nite I was on a plane to the Chicago Namm Show for my first day on the job!!!whew.


 

I worked at the Van Nuys facility (which I still refer to as the REAL Schecter) until 1983.Was a learning experience for sure. I am a drummer and knew gear but not really the ins and outs of components…Lots of stupid question were asked by me to the Shop guys…Tom Anderson, Tommy Keckler, Tommy Stinson…and of course Pat Wilkins!!! They humored me helped me out tremendously.  


 I Was always amazed to see Dave Schecter either winding pick ups or working on his hot rod El Camino!I 

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I got chosen by Herschel to appear in one of the Schecter Shop Ads ,
Pat did as well…Early media stars we were!!!


(NOTE FROM FOXYGUITARS: THIS NOW FAMOUS AD was set up at the Valley Arts Guitar Shop in the San Fernando Valley, and Leslie Butts is the 'CUSTOMER' with his back turned to the counter !... and the guy at the counter is.... Mike Mcguire , yes THE Mike Mcguire making Valley Arts custom guitars ! ) 


(working at Schecter) Was one of the best times of my sales and repping career…no money. but lots of fun. 

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(one day) I Was lucky enough to delivered a solid Rosewood Tele to Keith Richards at a show at the colosseum…Pat and I if I recall?...Didn’t get all the way in back stage to Keith but almost!!!


(NOTE FROM FOXYGUITARS: this 1982 picture IS the one Leslie must be referring to. from the info gathered at this website (https://iorr.org/talk/read.php?1,276422,page=7)  the neck from his 68-69 fender rosewood tele was fitted onto the Schecter body, body hardware, pickups and all are schecter except the neck. according to the website 'This was probably done by the guitar tech that worked on the 81 tour (I forgot his name, he's mentioned in the 1981 tour book), whom also worked for Pete Townsend and had an affiliation with Schecter." "Keith used this guitar for the remainder of the 1981 and 1982 tour. " , that would be Alan Rogan who was the guitar tech for Pete Townshend AND Keith Richards, but may have been Roger Giffin who did the assembly-ing.

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Herschel and Gene Rushall were a blast to work with as was of course Shel Horlick. Too many characters there to mention…was loads of fun. 


A side note…30 years after I left Schecter…I was attending a blues jam in LA…up walks a bass player that looked awfully familiar…it was Pat!! We immediately hit it off…played in a few bands together. Stellar human and as a drummer a great bass player to work with!


I’ve stayed in the industry for over 40 years now…and Schecter Guitar Research in Van Nuys was my start!!!



Leslie Butts

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