Everyday Stories: The Man Restoring Rock & Roll History
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About Geoff Benge
As a little kid there was music all around me. There were guitars, banjos, drums, a baby grand piano and lots of records. Late night jams were not uncommon. I started to play guitar at four years old, I also heard alot about my great uncle Elden Benge who hand made the famous Benge trumpets. With a propensity for taking things apart it wasn’t until around ten that I started putting things back together. I stated building instruments in junior high and by twelfth grade while working at guitar works in Evanston, built my first solid body guitars. Since then I have been repairing guitars and related instruments. In those thirty plus years I have done countless repairs on almost every type of guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, resonator guitar, oud, bouzoukis (both Greek and Irish), Baja Sexto, cuban tres, berimbau, hurdy gurdy, charango, tipple, Cuatro, balalaika and harp guitar to name a few.
From refretting D’Angelico’s and fifties strats to resetting necks on old Martins, Gibsons and Gretches I have seen it all. Among other things, I have restored over fifty guitars from the famous Scott Chinnery collection, including instruments pictured in the book, “The American Guitar” and one of the world’s largest collections of antique banjo’s on display at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
I pride myself on getting to know my customers and what they like. I have clients that have been with me for over twenty years, many of them are professionals and count on me to get it right the first time.
No job is too big or too small.