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England Al Cass MPC

STEVE CASS EXPLAIN WHY SOME MOUTHPIECES ARE MADE IN ENGLAND

Yes, my father licenced, I believe it was Boosey & Hawks, to make his pieces.
So the story goes, direct from dad,(and is probably the reason you don't see my father's pieces coming stock in every horn made), That he was getting $1 for each piece. So, YES, these are made from his tooling, however, not under his direction. he was in the states collecting checks each month and finally, the checks starting coming down, $300, then $200, then $100, then one month $43 or something, so he flew over to England, walked in the factory, went into the machine shop area where he went in and talked to one of the head lathe guys and asked, "how's the Al Cass pieces going?" and the reply was "GREAT!" (I think legend has it they did about 1500 or so pieces that month)And so.......a law suit followed and, get this one......so I am told, that my father won the case, that he initially hired attorneys, whom he later fired, that he took the case over himself, and won on the day I was born. And he used to like to gamble(poker and dice) so anyway, my birthday is July 11, (7/11) .......

I am not completely certain about this bit of it, but, that's what I was always told.But yes, there was a period of about a year or 2 or 3? That he was in court, so if he won on my birthday, that was 1968, so he may not have made pieces because they had his tooling from 1966? to 1968. Or thereabouts.

The European models are stamped, my father hand inscribed his. From what I understand, he is the only maker to actually sign each piece. also, I don't know the numbering system/model #'s etc, that they used. The L1 by my father, was a trombone piece, that was later changed into the T1, however on the English models, the L1 is a trumpet model.

I have never had one of these pieces, though I remember about 1980, my father got a call from England, asking about a mouthpiece with his name on it, that washed up on a beach, and that's when he told me the story about him going to court to get his tooling back. From what I understand, tooling does wear and they would need to be replaced, he just didn't want to leave the tooling in their possession so they could spin more of them off.So basically, he was approached by just about every major, "old man Bach" very early on, but in the 1980's, there were a few companies who offered to buy him out, he was offered a lot of money, but he never sold out to anyone for the simple reason, even though he would have profited more than he could have imagined, they told him, "they'll put Al Cass on spoons" if they wanted, and that's where he just tore up the deal. He didn't want his name on anything inferior, or that he wouldn't have complete control and basically, they would have stuck his name on everything at the time, because in the 1970's he was extremely well respected from the top owners of those business's, and of course about this same time, there was a frenzy of companies aquiring companies. Plus he had that made taste in his mouth from these
English pieces. That's why I say it was because of this time in history, that he decided to never trust another maker, and is even reason enough today to think the same thing. It's an issue of complete trust. Probably the most important, yet hardest to find quality. In fact, there is none, it's all lawyers and who's got the smarter one.

this is the trombone version, found by Shawn Mc Henzie

 

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2013