Introduction to the Travis Bean Documentary - "Sustain"

In the Spring of 2008, Hank Donovan of began the arduous process of locating all the Travis Bean Guitars (TBG) employees from 1974 to 1979. This was initiated when a former employee (Rick "Obe" Oblinger) passed away that same year. Knowing the importance, as well as the understanding the lack of information known about the people that worked and crafted these, he began making contact.

Hank's initial goal was to write a series of articles describing the process, the people and the times they worked in. Almost immediately, it was obvious that words were inadequate to describe their emotion, pride and excitement when they reflected on those days.

Hank then combined forces with Bruce Tribbensee and Toni Matlock of Salty Snack Studios to help produce a full length documentary about the people that worked at TBG as well as gathering stories of various musicians that play these instruments past and present.

By the summer of 2008 the team made several trips to Southern California and Nevada to capture over 19 interviews shot in high definition video. Hours of video were taken of Travis Bean, Marc McElwee and Bill Lomenick to name just a few.

During the process of locating members of the factory, it was clear that they have not spoken to each other for several years (20+). Some individuals kept in touch with a few, but overall ties were long ago severed. As a way to say thanks for their contributions, and also the fact that friendships were made between the team and everyone they interviewed, they thought it would be appropriate to organize a private reunion for the crew.

In the Fall of 2008, the team organized the first official TBG employee reunion. All the individuals that were found attended, and it was very emotional and special occasion for everyone that attended. Employees as far away as Texas and Oklahoma were able to attend the reunion located in Burbank, CA.

During the reunion the team announced that Phase I of the project was officially completed. Phase I dealt specifically with employee interviews and the background story of the shop and the driving force behind it. Phase II will involve interviewing musicians for their perspective of the instrument.

Currently, the team is starting Phase II and have trips planned for Chicago, New York and Nashville. A return trip to Southern California is also on the drawing board.

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We need your help to complete this project. The Travis Bean documentary has been completely self funded, but now we are looking for help to pay for some of the production. We have multiple trips slated in the next upcoming months (Chicago, New York, Nashville and Los Angeles) and need help getting to those locations. With your help we can get this project completed!

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Travis Bean Shoot - Salty Snack
Bruce and Toni shooting a Travis Bean guitar (TB1000S) summer 2008