Death of An Instrument: How I Destroyed A Hammond Organ In Less Than 60 Minutes
I know some musicians will cringe when they read this, but this is how I destroyed a vintage Hammond organ in less than one hour.
45 Years of Musical Memories
It's not that this Hammond spinet organ was ever worth a lot of money, but it's been in our family a long time. Manufactured in the 1950s, this organ has been dwelling in my parent's house for the past 45 years, and it brings back some great memories of my mom playing the old hymns of the church. I've even played a few hymns on that organ myself.
Repair or Recycle?
My dad desperately wanted this organ to continue to live a productive and meaningful life, however, the years of wear and tear - and neglect had taken their toll. When you turn the organ on, the only sound it makes is a loud rumble - with the faint sound of a music note when you press a key. Could the organ be repaired? Perhaps, but at what cost? And if it were to be repaired, who's really going to want it and deal with moving 400-plus pounds of wood and metal?
Heavy As Bricks
We wanted the organ out of the house, but, holy cow, that thing is as heavy as a ton of bricks. I decided the easiest way to get it out of the house, was one piece at a time. And so, we took a screwdriver and wire cutters and gutted the inside of that organ. You wouldn't believe how heavy some of those internal components are.
Piece By Piece the Organ Is Dismantled
One by one the pieces were removed and carried outside. I couldn't help but feel a little strange snipping the wires, like a vandal recklessly destroying some vintage property. I thought about all the work that had gone into building that organ more than 60 years ago, and all the hours of music it had produced through the years.
Finally, all of the components were out - including the pedals. They sure looked a lot different than they did when they were attached to the organ.
With all of the components out, all that remained was the wood cabinet which we were able to easily transport outside and to the shed, where the wood will be used to make some sort of lasting memorial to mom and the music she made.
Meanwhile, the guts of the organ went to the landfill where it was dropped on the metal recycling pile - and the organ will, in some capacity, continue to enjoy some future usefulness. In less than one hour a beautiful organ became a pile of junk.