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Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)

Mary Katherine 08 Jan 10 - 02:08 PM
open mike 08 Jan 10 - 02:36 PM
beeliner 08 Jan 10 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 09 Jan 10 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 09 Jan 10 - 03:56 PM
Stringsinger 09 Jan 10 - 03:57 PM
Mark Clark 10 Jan 10 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Dick Weissman 02 Feb 10 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Ray Fisher 02 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM
Deckman 02 Mar 10 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Steffen Basho-Junghans 05 Mar 10 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Mark Feedman 16 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Mike M. 04 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM
GUEST 04 Nov 10 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Sharon Reznick AKA Tanmaya 30 Nov 10 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,David Horgan 20 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Eric 12 Jun 11 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Brady Layman 28 Nov 11 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 28 Nov 11 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,R Newmann 06 Dec 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Denis Grace 24 May 12 - 02:53 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 12 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Leonard Hoback 18 Sep 13 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Ricky Ray 23 Sep 15 - 12:31 PM
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Subject: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 02:08 PM

Just heard from Lou Curtiss that Fred Gerlach has died. Not sure if many here knew/remember him; he had been living in San Diego for the last 25 years or more. A hell of a good guitarist. His nephew, Nick Gerlach, later changed his name to Jesse Lee Kincaid and co-fronted The Rising Sons with Taj Mahal. Anyhow, Fred always had lots of stories about the New York folk scene in the early 50's (said that Woody Guthrie used to stay with him & Tiny Ledbetter from time to time!)
It's too bad no one ever interviewed him about those days. He showed Lou some letters that Woody had written him in the early 50s! Wonder whatever happened to those! I think Fred had some kind of falling out with the People's Song folks way back when and it made him kind of bitter. But he was a really good twelve string player.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: open mike
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 02:36 PM

obit here from san diego paper

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/signonsandiego/obituary.aspx?n=fred-gerlach&pid=138241160

here is hisw web site with pix from 80 years old
http://friendsloveyou.com/

he was born in 1925
http://www.tributes.com/show/Fred-Gerlach-87468525


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: beeliner
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 07:34 PM

His recording of "Meadowlands" on the 1963 anthology LP "The Twelve String Story" (Horizon WP-1626) caused me to go out and buy a 12-stringer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 07:56 AM

I remember seeing Fred at the Showboat Lounge, Washington DC in 1962 or 63.

In those days a few of us, having heard Leadbelly and a few other 12-string pickers, were trying to learn to play that very different sort of guitar. Fred was a revelation: a master of the instrument while the rest of us were still trying to get the big instrument to calm down and stop sounding like the pots and pans falling downstairs.

He was also a genial guy. I barely met him but always had a sincere regard and liking for him, and his music sure was exciting at a moment in time when folkies were barely aware of what could be done with a 12-string. He was a real innovator.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 03:56 PM

Fred was one of if not the first guy that I saw playing a twelve string. He came over to Europe and appeared at our Ballads and Blues Club in London a couple or more times. Probably late 50's early 60's. Having only heard Leadbelly play 12 string up until then I was very impressed.

Another man done gone,

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 03:57 PM

I knew Fred. Guy Carawan and I stayed with him in New York just before departing for
our road trip with Jack Elliott. We three even slept in the same bed. He was a fixture
around Washington Square in the late Fifties. He was a nice man and generous.

Fred was enthusiastic and excited by music. He put out a recording...."Songs My Mother Never Taught Me".....something like that.

Not many people really knew how Leadbelly played. In trying to approximate that,
Fred developed his own style using an up strum in triplets.

Sorry to see him leave.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Jan 10 - 03:50 PM

I'm sure sorry to hear this news. I remember listening to Fred's recordings in amazement and it must have been nearly fifty years ago now.

There doesn't seem to be much on the Web about Fred but this German site is pretty interesting.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Dick Weissman
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 08:21 PM

Fred was a great guy, and a wonderful guitar player. I went along with him when he recorded Gary davis preaching a hellfire and brimstone sermon at a storefront church in the South Bronx.

I hadn't seen him in years.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Ray Fisher
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM

A new grandaughter was born in January of this year named Delilah. Made me think of Fred's tune. Samson & Delilah which I always loved.

Back in the '60's my wife Joyce and I used to play bridge with Fred and Barbara in Venice. I remember that Fred was building an airplane in his attic--how did he ever get it out?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 09:44 PM

These are very good memories ... we all have them ... and we all NEED them. Keep 'em coming! bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Steffen Basho-Junghans
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:33 PM

During a travel in late '94 I was guest in his house. I met a generous man, a craftsman, a storyteller, an unbelieveable 12stringer, a great guy - I'll never forget: When he opened one of these cases and started to play that 12 string guitar, he had made himself, my hair were going like rockets up to the sky...
There is esp. one story, that seems to stand for that, what had happened to Fred:
He told me, when he went into a San Diego guitar shop in the '80s (I guess, I remember correctly), he found a guitar hanging at the wall, he built years ago, for $10.000. He asked the guy in the store about that guitar and got the answer "Oh man, that's an original Fred Gerlach..". He asked: why $10.000 and he got the information:" because, he's dead, man!" Fred's reaction: "Aaaaaahhh,...." and he left the store. He was a legend and not many people had the idea, that he was living not so far - and what I've seen, very much alive, full of energy and ideas. I guess, he's checking the bigger fleamarkets now, suddenly playing one of these cheap guitars and making people standing there with an open mouth, like in '94


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Mark Feedman
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM

I got the news about a week ago that another old friend and musician buddy passed away. Fred Gerlach was one of the best twelve string guitarists ever. I met him back in the early '50's when we sang in the JYF chorus conducted by Bob Decormier, Peter Paul and Mary's musical arranger and director. Mary sang in the chorus too, and so did all the members of the group called The Harvesters. Fred was deeply influenced by Leadbelly, who he met and played with. Fred was ten years older than me. During the war (WWII), he was point man for a tank battalion. Most of those guys died doing their job, advance scouts searching for anti-tank bombs. He was profoundly shaped by that experience. Well, Fred mastered Leadbelly's style note for note and lick for lick. He had a beautiful bass voice too.   We played together quite a lot while I still lived in New York. Back around '66 we met again in Venice, California, and he wasn't playing so much then, but he was making guitars. He built an airplane in his attic which he then used to fly down to Central America to search for and buy the wood he used for his guitars. When I left music and Venice for farming and eventually joined Peace Corps and left the States for 20 years, I lost track of him. He eventually moved to the Long Beach, Ca. area and I believe his son is now the maker of Gerlach guitars. They're probably really great guitars. Well, now, after all these years I bought me a set of harps again and and I'm going to get with Fred (on his CDs), and harp on with him once again, life and death permitting.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Mike M.
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 03:47 PM

In the fall of 1970 I was only 10 years old and was priveleged to meet Fred Gerlach at his home in Venice ,Ca. He was building a wood constructed airplane in his shop...the same model my father was building. Niether my father nor I knew what a folk music legend Fred was until my later years when I began listening to Leo Kottke and recognized similarities in their playing style. It was sad when I recently heard of Fred's passing. I'll never forget when he played his guitar for my dad and I.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:41 AM

I never had the privilege of meeting him or even seeing
him in person, but his music made me, and many others
very happy. He was a 12 stirng genius.
(and now i learn he made airplanes too!!)

I tried and tried to play 12 string like Fred
by listening to his album. The one that had
Go down old Hannah, pork and beans, going down slow,
this little light of mine,
dekalb blues, gallows pole, and I dont remember what else.
Wish I still had that album. My ex got it..:(

Condolences to the family. I know you are all very
proud of his life and
accomplishments,

God Bless,

dan cucich
atlanta, ga


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Sharon Reznick AKA Tanmaya
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 01:07 AM

I remember Fred from the late 50's, early 60's. I worked at the Unicorn in West Hollywood and after work we would hang out. There was not place to play so sometimes we would hang out and Fred would play and sing at laundramats. Once at the old Los Angeles airport. He and Dick Rosmini were my favorite guitar players. It is great to hear that he went on to build guitars and planes. What wonderful memories.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,David Horgan
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM

Coming late to this thread, but fyi the album referred to above may be this Folkways album:

http://www.folkways.si.edu/albumdetails.aspx?itemid=365

Apparently Jimmy Page based his arrangement/intro of the Led Zeppelin version of Gallows Pole on this recording.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 10:14 PM

I knew Fred More for his fine ivory craftsmanship than his music. He had a special touch for working with this delicate and difficult material.
I think of him and speak of him from time to time. Mostly about his visits to my shop.
He is one of those that made a difference in my life and will i always remember him


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Brady Layman
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 08:54 AM

Years ago I learned Fred had recorded "Duncan & Brady". I found his address in San Diego and wrote him asking if I could get a copy of the recording. Just weeks later I got his cassette "Easy Rider" with a hand written "invoice" for $10. I sent him a check but was amazed he'd sent the tape "on trust". Wonderful recording from a wonderful man. Sorry to hear he has passed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 07:55 PM

He recorded some tunes with
Tiny Ledebetter Hudi Leadbelly's daughter. I wonder if they are in print?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,R Newmann
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 12:19 PM

Fred Gelach's Album entitled: 12 String Guitar Folk Songs and Blues Sung by Fred Gerlach on the Folkways label is available free on Spotify. Google Spotify, download the [layer and enjoy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Denis Grace
Date: 24 May 12 - 02:53 PM

I knew Fred from 1967 to about 1972. I used to buy wood from him in Berkeley. There was a brief time when I needed help and had to stay for several days in LA to resolve a business problem.. Fred helped me. He put me up in his house, fed me, gave me a car to get around in. I have never forgotten his generosity and kindness and that of his lovely wife. Fred was a truly great man in a quiet sort of way. I will remember him to the end of my days. ....


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 12 - 12:04 PM

I met Fred at Rare Woods in LA. I was there as a neophyte guitar builder looking for wood. Fred felt sorry for me and my ignorance and helped me pick out some timbers.

Years later when I lived in Pacific Grove Calif, Fred would drive up in his Caddy chomping on a cigar with a trunk full of East Indian and Brazilian rosewood sets. ( I had to pay as much as $25 for Brazilian and $15 for East Indian) We did business for a number of years and visted and stayed afew times. On one of those trips Fred named my new dog "Keesha.

We would sit and play for hours at a time... I still savor those times
and appreciate the playing tips... he had incredible hands and fingers and a dynamism and rhythmic control I have never heard from anyone else.

I bought one of Fred's 12 strings, played it for years but sadly let it go to fund buying my first house. That guitar had a gold and silver Horesman of the Apocolypse inlaid into the headstock. He was a masterful builder (with his own ideas) and a powerful player of both 12 and six string.


I visited Fred a few times in Venice, I believe on Rosewood street.
Airplane in that attic.. that would be Fred.

He also had an old German sailboat.. some interesting stories there..it had a one lung Mercedes auxilliary motor with a belt drive...

On ocassion I would locate ivory for Fred as he was making gun grips...found him a tusk in Big Sur as I recall.
Fred was a fine craftsman.

Fred knew Lead Belly well and was a long time companion of Tiny Ledbetter. Fred told me a few stories about his life and association with some "famous" folks and a law suit with folks who recorded some of his music without permission.

He did resent the music "machine" industry. Power and money destroyed music in his opinion.

I am very happy that so many people knew and appreciated Fred. Great guy, great craftsman, great musician. RIP.

Perhaps I'll go back to my shop and build a 12 string.. yeah.. that's it. Thanks Fred.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Leonard Hoback
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 10:03 PM

I had the enormous honor and pleasure of seeing Fred play in a private venue in the foot hills just north of Fresno, Ca. 1997. Learned so much, had a great time and most of all the music was incredible.
God Bless


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Subject: RE: Obit: Fred Gerlach has died (Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Ricky Ray
Date: 23 Sep 15 - 12:31 PM

I'm trying to track down a copy of Fred's Easy Rider cassette to digitize so that his great music can be heard for generations to come. If anyone has a lead on one, please email me at tykal49 at google's email service.


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