As a result, the Vox Museum has become a repository of some of the rarest amplifiers around, and with the book, I am able to share it with everyone.” Starting with that collection, which spawned an expanding database of amplifiers, Elyea also put in years of tracking down manuals; data sheets, log books and other documents, made many trips to the UK to talk to everyone he could find who’d ever worked there; did scores of interviews… This guy is thorough, and when he went out to find something, he went all out to find it, every detail.
Elyea informs me that there are “some other things” that he would’ve liked to include in the book, but it’s hard to imagine what could’ve been left out.
Just a glance at the book makes it clear that an obsession has been at work here, but reading it reveals a depth that could not have been inspired by obsession alone. Elyea says that after years of waiting for the next great book on Vox to hit the stores, it dawned on him one day that he would be the one to write it.
“At that moment, there was no question,” he tells me.
Recalling how organizing the data from all the amps he’d collected changed his approach, Elyea says, “at one point, I could see that instead of one large series of numbers that all the amps shared, each model had its own, distinctive sequence.
I then listened in horror as he told me of saving them for so long, only to give up and throw them away a half dozen years before I met him.” When I asked Elyea to describe how he was able to get so much information from former JMI employees, his response was, “back to back sessions in a corner table at the Bull and Vic pub in Dartford.
There was one trip in the late ‘90s where everyone I talked to had fantastic stories, and every tidbit was golden.
Quite a few of them had never been interviewed about their Vox experiences before, and many of them had very much to say.
Since so many years had passed, Elyea informed me, it took him a lot of time and multiple interviews to get the story, with all of its details, straight.
“After just a few minutes, he realized he was among friends, and warmed up.