The Big Man – STEVE BENNETT
by Eric McKenna
It’s extremely hard to imagine Boogie Street Guitars being what it is today without Washburn Guitars. Washburn gave BSG the opportunity to express our ideas to the guitar marketplace. And I can’t imagine how we would have done that with Washburn Guitars without our man on the job, Steve Bennett.
Coming from a Corporate background myself, I’ve always been keenly aware of the difficulties of getting results while working for a mid-sized company. And ‘getting things done’ was the name of the game – and that game was played brilliantly by Steve.
To say Boogie Street’s initial run with Washburn was smooth would be a lie. While I think both companies had the ‘desire’ to make things happen and happen quick, Washburn was not prepared for BSG I don’t believe. And it was Steve Bennett who really saw my ‘vision’ for the Washburn/Boogie Street Guitars relationship. Steve understood the unique opportunity that lied ahead and he did all he could to make those guitars possible.
Whether it was the various USA Custom Shop Washburn guitars I commissioned or working very hard to help Boogie Street Guitars change the landscape of guitar buying with our launch of truly – TRULY – top notch Custom Korean Import Idols…Steve worked hard on each and every project.
I would be remiss if I did not mention another quality Steve brought to the Washburn and Boogie Street relationship – his eye for quality and his eye for guitar trim and design. He helped me spec and trim out many different guitars. Giving me a ‘different’ set of eyes often and I’m very proud of the designs we came up with.
Steve worked through many changes at Washburn. Many different management arrangements and many different directions down in the Custom Shop. Despite the obstacles – he worked hard to get Boogie Street Washburn Customs – built. His dedication to BSG and our BSG customers was effective and unyielding.
When Krissy and I made many of our trips to Chicago from 2003 to 2007, spending time with Steve was truly the highlight of our trips. He spent time with us in and out of Washburn. It was not just business – it was friendship. And that is rare in today’s society. I found a true friend who also was working with me – and for me.
Steve decided to leave USMusic (Washburn) in late 2007 for other opportunites. However our friendship remains. He will always be a part of the Boogie Street – the Boogie Street Family – and he will always be a part of Krissy and my life.
People like Steve are hard if not impossible to find in the world today.