Where our name "Mandolin Bridge" came from:

Naming your band is like naming your baby only much harder. You want  your baby to have a good name so you buy a book of names and pick out the best one. When you name your band there's no book of names to chose from. You want a good name that no other band has. With the advent of the internet it's even harder. If you think you've picked out a great name and Google it you will probably find bands with the same name in various cities all over the country.

You can get quite slap-happy after spending weeks and months trying to think of a name. Then you start throwing out names like "Harmonica Lewinsky". Even though you don't want to name your band Harmonica Lewinsky you can still Google it and a band out there has it.

People often tell us Mandolin Bridge is a pretty cool name. Then they ask how we came up with the name. We didn't come up with the name. The name came to us. That's part of what makes the name special, even magic.

Over a decade ago I fancied I was going to get into the vintage guitar business. Every week I would scour the auction lists in the newspaper in search of guitars. Then I would plan which auction I would attend with the idea being I would get the guitar for much less than I would sell it for. I soon discovered many other guys were doing the same thing. The only guitar I ever won I paid too much for caught up in the excitement.

I decided to go to one last auction and it was more of the same. I spotted a crude old and obviously hand-made mandolin on a table of junk. I ended up winning it for $7.00. It wasn't until I got home that I found a tag on it that read, "Made by cousin Chas G Herber in 1895." The tag even gave the Cleveland, OH address where he made it.  A hand inked label in the sound hole was also elegantly inscribed "Made by G Herber"

The strings were in bad shape so I removed them. The strings were holding the mandolin's bridge in place so when I removed the strings the bridge fell off. The bridge is the wooden device that the strings attach to near the sound hole of acoustic instruments like guitars, fiddles and mandolins. To prevent me from misplacing the bridge I placed it in an empty shaving kit bag and labeled the bag with a sticker that said "mandolin bridge" and put it away. The shaving kit bag ended up in a storage tub when we moved. Then we moved again and in spite of my precautions the bridge was lost amongst dozens of storage tubs in our attic.

I was in the attic going through the storage tubs looking for something else at the time we were trying to come up with a name for this band. I picked up a shaving kit bag not realizing for a second what it was only seeing the name "Mandolin Bridge" in another light as a bridge across a river called Mandolin Bridge rather than a musical instrument device. In one moment I found the old mandolin's bridge and the elusive band name I was searching for. All of that for only $7.00.

Robin

 

 

7 comments

  • Sylvia

    Sylvia Morrow, OH

    Wonderful story!

    Wonderful story!

  • Melinda

    Melinda Sharonville

    Great story. Hoping to see you guys soon.

    Great story. Hoping to see you guys soon.

  • Duane Steele

    Duane Steele Westchester

    Wow, cool story! Always wondered where the name came from. I can see that sequence of events happening, lol.

    Wow, cool story! Always wondered where the name came from. I can see that sequence of events happening, lol.

  • Diane

    Diane Middletown

    Sounds just like you.Great story.

    Sounds just like you.Great story.

  • Diana

    Diana Trenton

    It was just waiting for you to find it again. It was meant to be.

    It was just waiting for you to find it again. It was meant to be.

  • Bob Griffith

    Bob Griffith Kettering

    I often wondered about that name. You made it very clear.

    I often wondered about that name. You made it very clear.

  • Kathy

    Kathy Lebanon

    I heard the story a while back, great story, & re reading it just clarified it better..

    I heard the story a while back, great story, & re reading it just clarified it better..

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