I have a typed letter from Stan Jay Dated April 1979. It reads in part:
“Congratulations! Your new company has attracted the attention of
Mandolin Brothers. We shall now proceed to put you on the map….”
This was a happy day that launched a beautiful friendship between Stan and me that led to the validation of his prediction. Stan Jay’s seal of approval in this pre-internet age was equal to that of Tony Rice, Eric Clapton and Roger Siminoff of Fret’s magazine. Stanley brought our story to the world when self-promotion was limited to how many letters one could write.
When he discovered us half a decade into our career we were the only ‘Alt Brand’ on the landscape and Stanley took a personal interest in our safety and success. During these years we spoke often and shared houses and friendships between our families. Stanley’s stewardship and sage counsel spared us potentially fatal missteps and rightfully questioned our hubris at a time when there was no other model for what we were doing.
Stanley was a very fun man because he genuinely loved others. Smart as heck but never condescending, he could make uproarious fun of the self-styled expert and the rock headed ignorant, though never publicly and never a with knife in it.
As anyone of our generation has experienced; the intensity of many relationships is weighted back in the day. As Stanley and I gained confidence and security in our careers we didn’t have the former sense of necessity or urgency for each other’s consolations. Dozens of new boutique brands would vie for his iconic attention and Santa Cruz Guitar Co. would become my international thrill ride. We both now had people to handle the business that we used to do together and our friendship settled to the level of a soft glow fueled by our memories. It is here that we remember to say; “If you love someone…now is the time to tell them”.
The vintage market may be the product of many hands though it is quite possible that it would not have happened without the knowledge and love from our dear pal Stanley. If one finds any flaw in his legacy, as we say in Staten Island,… fawgeabowit!
Santa Cruz, Ca.