I was in conversation with Don Airey from Deep Purple recently and had a brief opportunity to ask him about his Hammond Organ setup and how he gets his sound. Although he didn’t want to give much away he was as ever the perfect gentleman and was very patient with my persistent questioning. I asked…
Welcome to Hammond For Hire
My name is Nick and I’ve been a Hammond organ player for three quarters of my life.
I’m based in the British Midlands and am fascinated and/or obsessed (depending upon your viewpoint) by all things Hammond. Over the last three decades, I’ve worked my way up through many of the best organ clones such as Yamaha SKs and Hammond XBs to arrive at my current setup of a Hammond XK-Pro rig for touring and a 1960 Hammond C3 organ for recording. I use these with either a Leslie 122 or 145, a Leslie pedal or a NEO Ventilator, depending on the need.
Over the year’s I’ve picked up a few tips on choosing, buying, restoring, gigging and recording these incredible instruments. This website gives me the opportunity to share a few of these and help keep the Hammond Organ sound alive for the next generation of players.
A Little History
This site began back in 2008 when I was looking around for a new musical challenge; hence the “Hammond For Hire” name. Today I’m the organ player for a 1960’s live act called The Quik Beats and am out gigging most weeks. We aim for that real, authentic vibe and the goal is to see how close we can get to the sound, look and feel of the original artists. That’s why for me, there’s no substitute for Hammond. I also take on the odd bit of session work when I can fit it around our schedule and even the occasional one-off live dep if its too good to pass on.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to play in lots of great bands, visited some incredible venues and even been booked to support some of my heroes such as Ian Dury’s Blockheads, Focus, The Pretty Things, Roy Wood, Slim Chance and Secret Affair. I’ve bumped into various members of Black Sabbath, UFO, Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull along the way too … and all thanks to the the fact that as a kid, I inherited a ropey Bontempi organ and discovered Deep Purple in the same month.
Most recently, I was amazed and honoured to win the Hammond USA Riff-Off, narrowly coming in ahead of some incredible organ players. Hopefully the information on this site might help inspire a few other players to go on and win the next one.
I came across an interesting article recently on Chopping an Hammond Organ that I thought I would share with you: http://choppersguide.blogspot.co.uk/ Its something close to my heart as I am on the lookout for a tired but fully functional Hammond M100/101/102 that I can have a go at chopping. When I get one I will…
From time to time I record sessions for people and this is something that I very much enjoy. This week I have four songs to record Hammond Organ for. the client is a prolific songwriter from Israel called Avi Rosenfeld and leaves me pretty much to write my own parts, with maybe the odd pointer…
Hi, so we are at the Season 1 finale of the Hammond for hire video blog and this time we look at the Hammond XK. Thanks for stopping by and sticking with them and rest assured more Hammond video goodness will be on its way soon after I do a quick tour of Europe. In…
Get in Touch
If you’re struggling with any aspect of the Hammond Organ sound that you feel I might be able to help with here, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Likewise if you’re an instrument manufacturer or retailer and need a little consumer feedback, I’m always happy to help.