Words by Aaron White, Photos by Will Milne
Samuel Clemens, infamous Foghorn Leghorn impersonator, once quipped, “Son, I say, a career in music has about the life span of a quail egg in the presence of Tim Love, boy.”
Odds are that most who attempt to make a living in music will fail to do so, for myriad reasons, yet tens if not millions of hopefuls move to Denton each year with designs on just that; their vision narrowed by the enthusiasm and delusion of youth, mental illness and/or THC. It stands to reason that with the large population of musicians, both independent and those attending the UNT Jazz program, there are several established instrument sales and service businesses in town. While the mainstays are readily apparent in a google search, there are some custom, more nimble shops and tradespeople we think are worth noting.
In a remarkable development for a music community with deep, old roots, Tex Bosley and Tom Miller, brother-proprietors of Tex’s Tubs Drum Co. and Miller Guitar Works, respectively, are providing DIY-minded musicians something new and innovative. While both offer a host of services for repair and custom builds of drum kits and guitars, they are opening their shop to the public. A potential godsend for those without the work area and tools required to properly maintain what most neglect - the instruments of their trade.
Starting on Sunday June 30th, from 11am to 2pm, pros and amateurs alike can benefit from a new program/hang-out/workshop aimed at educating and providing the necessary (and expensive) materials to the music community, while highlighting the more professional technical services they provide. For those willing to sacrifice a beater guitar in order to learn how to shape a compound fretboard radius, or simply glean from the experts how to evenly round a bearing edge on a floor tom, there is now a guided DIY space available.
Tex described Last Sundays as such, “We open the shop, you bring your instruments and have at it. We will help you, to a point, and the regular menu of professional services are open to everyone. We are there to help people make their instruments sound and play how they want them to. Come out for hot dogs, beer and shop access, then we’ll all go to Dan’s to see Hares On The Mountain afterward.”
There's free shop access, professional guidance, and a hang with someone you most likely know. Throw in some refreshments and free knowledge and you have a recipe for some amazing results. If you hit a snag or realize you’re in over your head, Tex or Tom is there to take it off your hands and provide their services. If we sound a bit wide-eyed and reverent, it may be because we’ve had a growing list of things to resolder, align, repair, replace, sand down, etc... and without dropping serious wads of cash, we're looking at tedious, disjointed sessions here and there. This especially appeals to the person who feels like they’d rather learn the work for future reference, rather than just take it in and pay the money, and we know a lot of folk in Denton like that.
We will be covering the specifics of both Tex’s Tubs and Miller Guitar Works in an upcoming Gear'd column, but for now, go to Last Sundays and rest assured that you’re in good hands (after signing the necessary waivers). With sufficient interest and attendance, Last Sundays will be a monthly event and could even lead to an ongoing appointment based maker-space type of thing.