Illustrious visitors
to the
Miner Museum

by Gregg Miner, as part of

We regret that the Miner Museum is not open to the public.
It is open by private appointment only to serious plucked stringed instrument researchers, collectors, aficionados and musicians.  Please provide references if requesting a visit.

This is a personal scrapbook of photos I wanted to share - as mementos of the wonderful times I have welcoming visitors to my little Museum room, which opened in November, 2000.  I resisted a page like this for the longest time (in fact, I rarely thought to even take photos) - I didn't want it to look like all those lame establishments you walk in to, where there's a wall full of pathetic photos of the owner posing with various stars, as if he's their close, personal friend. Still, I do get a number of fun and diverse visitors - some are well known, some are not, most are warm, wonderful, talented and creative - or all of the above...and some are my close, personal friends!  

2/27/2010: Carter Lancaster from Canada was in So Cal doing promotional videos for Holloway Harp Guitars, and paid his first visit here.  Carter is on my Harp Guitar Music label, and one of the best.

1/23/2010: Muriel Anderson stopped by while in town on tour with Tierra Negra - Leo Henrichs and Raughi Ebert, from Germany.  

Not sure why Raughi snapped this pic - Muriel wondered if she "was dubbing me with some honorary degree."  Either that, or crowning me a la the 3 stooges...

1/23-26/2010: No sooner had Muriel and gang left, than Andreas David from Berlin, came to stay for a few days of musical mayhem.  Andreas is a friend through the harp guitar (he has attended HGG5 & HGG7 with singer Katja Brauneis.  His real talent lies within his many multti-instrumental gigs, and he is a virtuoso on banjo and ukeule, besides guitar and Dobro, and who knows what else.  He had never experienced the range of unusual historical instruments, such as the outrageous Windsor 7-string bass zither banjo and the inexplicable Altpeter double-harp uke. The best part of the visit was when Jaci (a game collector) pulled out her latest eBay treasure, "Mensch argere Dich nicht."  Andreas taught us how to play, as it was the main game he played it with his grandmother growing up!
3/27-28/2007: John Doan stopped by after his Carlsbad Museum performance and other Southern Cal gigs.  He treated Jaci and I to about half the Sor pieces from his upcoming harpolyre recording project and about half the tunes from his upcoming solo harp guitar CD (trust me, these are going to be two "must-haves" for guitar fans!).  This rare 1829 harpolyre is likely the only specimen in the world that has ever been restored to playable condition and strung and tuned properly.  John is the first performer in 175 years to perform on it.  What a private concert!
11/21/2006: Michael Chapdelaine played a gig down the street from me and I invited him over for a quick tour.  Michael is a consummate classical guitarist-turned-steel string fingerstyle wiz - what an honor to get a private concert!  Incredible arrangements, unique technique, and an absolutely astounding guitar by luthier Kevin Muiderman.
2/20/2006: Harp guitar ace Stephen Bennett stops by for a visit. First he tries out a different type of "harp-guitar" - Stumpke, c.1840, patterned after the famous 1831 "Scherr Patent Harp-Guitar." Later, Stephen is introduced to the German Stoessel-laute, a hybrid lute-zither, tuned in thirds, which is fretted perpendicular to a guitar. In 5 minutes, he had figured out and already written a tune.
I hate him. 
OK, not really. 
Especially after my absolute favorite guitar player spent the evening serenading Jaci and I in our living room.... 

2/16/2006: Alex de Grassi (another favorite guitarist), who hopes to get a harp guitar of his own someday, tries out the c.1899 Knutsen Symphony. Most guitar players vote this the best-sounding guitar in the collection. But Alex and his friend, guitarist Thomas Leeb, are more delighted by the quartet of rare German Stoessel-lutes. 

2/11/2006: The Rex James Duo (harp guitar & mandolin) stops by on a road trip all the way from Idaho.  Harp guitarist Dave Powell is amazed by the tone of a 7-string bass zither banjo.... ...while brother Tone takes the Miner-cello for a spin...

2/10/2006: Carolyn Grant and Tatiana Sizonenko direct and curate (respectively) NAMM's Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA. With luthier-whiz Rick Turner in tow, they made the long pilgrimage to discuss some special exhibit ideas for the future. 

1/19/2006: The Annual NAMM event in Anaheim often brings a few visitors (not as many as I would like - most are swamped with business for the week).  My friend Rich Myers brought along the three gentlemen here: Versatile guitarist Joe Mass (again, loving that Knutsen!), electric 6-string violin player Owen Belduf, and Philadelphia neighbor Ed Angelo (a virtuoso amateur), captivated by the Mozzani.

August, 2005: Benoit Meulle-Stef, my dear friend from Belgium, visits with his girlfriend, Anne-Sophie, on our way to the Portland Harp Guitar Gathering. Here, Ben gets his first (and last) lesson on the concert harp. 2004: John and Deirdra Doan come to film my segment for John's In Search of the Harp Guitar DVD.

2004: Nancy Wilson (of Heart) came by to try out the Dolceola as an option for husband Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown soundtrack.  It didn't pass the audtion (as I expected, it was a little too quiet and "clacky"). OK, I admit I was just a little bit exited to pretend to duet with Ms. Wilson. God, I'm a geek! 2/16/2003: I finally met my special friends Jean and Gilbert Findlay face to face. Jean is Chris Knutsen's relative (the infamous harp guitar inventor/builder), and the impetus to start The Knutsen Archives (which, of course, led to, and my my own worldwide infamy.


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