Once upon a time I saw this thing sitting on a piano at Zeswitz Music. It had a tag on it- "$38, as is". I spoke to Nick, and he said that he couldn't sell it to me at that price. Instead, he gave it to me for 18 bucks.
The man had a sense of humor.
I patched up the holes and got it to play, but it wasn't in good tune, although it had a "unique sound". Eventually, that became a regular part of Namaste's World Beat sound. Then, after Namaste split up, I began using it to annoy people with the Sporting Hill Ramblers on St. Paddy's Day and the third Wednesday of every month at McCleary's Pub. Eventually Stanley got retired to the wall of fame.
Over time I accumulated a bunch of these things, picking them up used when the one I was playing wandered too far off tune.
The little ones (which I like best) could usually be found for around $100 locally. The two biggest ones in the back row were actually in tune, but I only used them for recording. Too heavy and too many buttons.
Well, I recently went a little crazy and decided it was time to have some of them tuned up. I dropped a few off at Liberty Bellows in Philly, where they did a great job restoring them.
If you are brave, you may listen to Old #1 on a song I recorded sometime before the Berlin Wall fell. Stanley sounds really watery on it because I was slathering on chorus effects to make it sound more evenly messed up.
No Chance of Meeting.mp3
No Chance of Meeting
She drew the curtain
Where the moon shone through her hair, around her shoulders
And looked, to the darkness,
In the shadows of the street where I was walking
Taking my time
Getting home before the dawn
For the day should not meet someone so alone.
She had been crying
And the tears upon her cheek sparkled like diamonds
Fallen from the darkest
Of eyes I'd ever seen, I stopped to watch her
She raised her face
to the moon which held her fate
and I felt my heart was beating out of place
She left the window
And the vision I had seen was in me burning
I walked, through the darkness,
And I knew there was for us no chance of meeting
Outside my dreams
She is on the other side And the wall that comes between us is so wide