Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Brooklyn Guitar Company A Real Riff Among Bass Players

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A couple of guys from Brooklyn who love the bass guitar started a little company 30 years ago to make some themselves, and since then their basses have become among the most sought after musical instruments in the world. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

Musician Joey Lauricella wasn't playing just any bass guitar on Tuesday. It's one that was made by the company he founded along with Vinny Fodera 30 years ago.

"I feel like I'm blessed because I'm a bass player, I'm a bass builder and I felt like I hit the lottery, you know?" said Lauricella.


Lauricella is a professional bass player who had a chance meeting in Brooklyn with Vinny Fodera, who was then making guitars for another company. The two decided to go in to business together and developed a brand of bass guitar that is known the world over and used by top bass players.

The two Brooklyn natives kept their business in their home borough, and it's now based at Industry City in Sunset Park.

"Everybody here is a musician. We all know what they should feel like, what they should sound like, and we all have a deep passion for what we do," Fodera said.

The bass guitars became so popular that there was a three and a half year wait to get one, with prices ranging from $6,800 to $10,000 dollars and more for special custom jobs.

The two brought in Jason DeSalvo in 2009 to help them with the business, and since then the wait time has been cut down to around a year with revenues jumping to six times what they were before. The company makes around 370 basses each year.

"We still are very much an old world shop, and every time we want to grow production, we have to get another set or sets of human hands trained to a level that's on par with the work we've been doing for thirty years," DeSalvo said.

If you haven't seen an advertisement for a Fodera guitar, there's a pretty good reason for that. Most of their business comes from their reputation and also from musicians out in the field playing gigs and folks saying, "Hey, I want one of those."

In the fall, Fodera will expand to twice its current size in the same building, continuing to get instruments into the hands of musicians seeking a little something extra when they slap their bass.

For more information about the company, visit fodera.com.

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