Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rock around the clock...

I love restoring arcade games but I guess there comes a time where ya just feel like branching out a bit. For some reason restoring a jukebox seemed like a good idea. I love the way the "Happy Days " era boxes look and decided that I wanted to add one to my collection.

After talking it over with my buddy Tom I decided a Seeburg was the way to go. They look great. They sound great. They are fairly easy to work on . They have a fun vibe to them . A Seeburg just seemed to fit the bill. I lucked out and found an unrestored Seeburg G less than 30 minutes from my house. The owner had been collecting and restoring jukes for several years . His collection was nothing less than stunning . In fact , it was downright intimidating.

He wanted to be sure his jukebox was going to capable hands. After seeing some of my arcade restorations and talking for awhile I think he felt better about letting go of the G. I was actually a little nervous about getting this Seeburg and restoring it. What if I screwed it up ? What if he didn't approve of the finished product ? He made me promise that I wouldn't yank out the mechanism and turn it into a cd player and the deal was done.

According to the previous owner this little juke sat unwanted in the back of an old diner for many years until he came across it. The level of grease, grime , and unidentifiable muck that was present seemed to substantiate this claim. The most important parts were actually in fairly decent condition and the box was about 98% complete. The glass dome and selection keys looked good and so did the mechanism. Still, it would be a long road to recovery for this G .

This turned into one of those projects that would end up on the back burner for lengthy periods of time . The whole process took over a year . There were times that I was wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew. After seeing the juke just sit there and collect dust for far too long, I decided the day of reckoning must come, and must come soon . I had a week of vacation coming. It was time. I set aside the full week to work on the jukebox and nothing else. Tom came over and we worked diligently into the night each day for the full week.

I will never forget the first time I actually heard music come from the G. It was about 1am and the song was "Bye ,Bye ,Love" by the Everly Brothers. The perma-smile burned into my face was the result of countless hours, setbacks, small victories , large victories , moments of doubt , and lots of hard work.

As usual , in the end it was all worth it. I ended up with a great learning experience and the crown jewel of my coin-op collection .To top it all off the previous owner was pleased with the outcome . What more could I ask for .

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