MEET THE STAFF

Stan Werbin

Founder / Co-Owner

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

My 1939 Martin-D28 Smoky (Pictured above)

The guitar was brought in to Elderly Instruments in 1978 and I had to have it. Besides the Army Air Corps insignia and the name Smoky on the face of the guitar, there are also several Michigan and Ohio cities names inked into the top above the insignia. I used Smoky from 1978 thru 1981 while playing with Michigan's Lost World String Band.

 

Lillian Werbin

CEO / Co-Owner

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

My favorite instrument is the banjo. Like me, its ancestry is complex and has been influenced by many outside sources. It isn’t stuck to one genre, or playing style, and I am always moved by the sound. Thanks to tattoos, I’ll always have a “banjo on my knee”, just like the song says.

 

Favorite Album:  Gorgon City’s Sirens and the Burns Sisters’ In This World. Both albums make me feel closer to myself and leave me reminiscent. I have fond memories of singing loudly in my car solo and ensemble style to both.

Favorite Concert:

I’ve been to so many concerts, the list I conjure won’t do me justice. My first conference was at 10 weeks old, and I’ve been seeing shows of all types ever since.

 

Michael Erlewine

President

Favorite Elderly Instrument: A Used Ellis F5 Mandolin that came into the shop when I worked in the Showroom. It had such a sweet and balanced sound. I played it every chance I could get until it found a new home.

Favorite Album: Frank Ocean, Blonde Even though it's been on heavy rotation since it came out, I still find new details and textures every time I listen. I think it is a masterpiece.

Favorite Concert: Andrew Bird at the Michigan Theatre 2009 - An incredible show! They played alternate versions off of Noble Beast and Armchair Apocrypha that were just as good as the album recordings. "Scythian Empires" in particular blew my mind.

 

Chris Beyer

Director of Finance

Favorite Concert:

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings @ Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. It was such an intimate concert with such phenomenal musicians.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

My Martin OM15. It was the first guitar I bought myself and it's still the main thing I play to this day.

 

Dawn

Director of Operations

Favorite Elderly Instrument: Early 1900's parlor guitar or early 1990's openback banjo. I love the voices the older instruments tend to have and also like to image all of the history these instruments might have witnessed.

 

Jeffrey Renton

Sales Manager

Favorite Elderly Instrument: Any bare bones Tele will do the trick for me! I love the simplicity of the Telecaster and the versatility in tone that comes from that straightforward two-pickup setup. This parts tele with a 52 body and 67 neck is an absolute dream!

Favorite Album: Modest Mouse's Lonesome Crowded West. It's a wonderful record from 1997 that goes many different places and does all of them well. I just love the way these guys play together! The superb songwriting, crazy idiosyncratic guitar, and melodic bass lines are all stand-outs for me. Teeth Like God's Shoeshine is a masterpiece and may be my favorite song on the album. And Cowboy Dan is without a doubt my favorite song to play to pester our very own Dan Bauman in sales!

 

Bruce Ignatowski

Showroom Manager

Favorite Albums:

Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti / more Zeppelin than a single album

Beatles - White Album - More Beatles than a single album.

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew - One of the most amazing albums ever recorded

Favorite Concerts:

Favorite Elderly Instrument: Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus - Translucent Amber

American Standard Roland Ready Stratocaster loaded with Seymour Duncan single coils

They both do everything they should!

James Jones

Sales

 

 

Joel Parshall

Sales

Favorite Elderly Instrument: My first nice guitar, which is a Wine Red Gibson Les Paul early 2000's my Mom bought for me from here when I was in High School.

Favorite Album: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Before I heard this album, no other music effected me emotionally the way their music does. It's an album that feels like a story, with no bad track or filler. Just music that keeps evolving, but while repeating familiar themes. Many of their other albums do the same thing. But this one is still probably my favorite.

 

 

DH Bauman

Sales

Favorite Elderly Instrument: My favorite instrument is my father's Loprenzi bought here in the 80's. That's the guitar I learned how to play on and still get to play it today.

 

Favorite Album: Continuum by John Mayer

 

Favorite Concert: The Acacia Strain/Harms Way in Detroit probably 18 years ago.

Erik Harms

Sales / Marketing

Favorite Elderly Instrument: My 1996 American Standard Fender Stratocaster. It is a special edition with a matching candy apple red finished headstock. I have had it since it was purchased brand new from a music store in western Illinois that was going out of business at a very deep discount. This is my second guitar and my first "real" guitar. To be fair, I probably play other instruments I own more often, but this one has a very special place in my heart.

Favorite Album: Broken Social Scene's self-titled 2005 release. Smartly structured songs with catchy hooks, layers upon and layers of swirly guitars and vocals. It has been constant in my rotation for nearly the last 20 years and a huge inspiration to my original music.

Louis Konkoly

Sales

Favorite Elderly Instrument: My Farida OT22. It was my first real guitar, and it started me along my musical journey.

Favorite Concert: A musical performance which comes to mind. It was shortly after the February 13th shootings at MSU. A group of us RCAH students and professors got together and held an open-mic night. Suffice to say, it was an emotional event, collectively processing through expressions of music and poetry.

Favorite Album: The Witcher 3 soundtrack has been one of my favorites. In particular, the song “The Wolven Storm”. Besides just being a beautiful song, it has a strong place in my heart because of how it is used in the game. The world of The Witcher is an unforgiving one filled with danger, betrayal, and sadness. But the scene with The Wolven Storm is, ironically given its name, a true moment of peace and sincere emotion, and a small respite from the surrounding world.

Jake Zemla

Sales

 

Ben Nelson

Sales / Marketing

Favorite Elderly Instrument: The Gibson Les Paul (1957) that we had in the store for a a bit. The PAF pickups were perfect. It was the best feeling Les Paul I've ever played. It had a little playboy bunny sticker on the pickup switch cover that someone must have added in the 70's

Favorite Album: Blink 182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.

It was the first album I found/listened to on my own.

Ben Nielsen

Sales

Favorite Album: A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson

I think it's his most realized album and has some of the best Outlaw Country songs on it ever.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

This Cedar Mountain JV Custom. It's a very articulate instrument, the note separation is fantastic, it's fairly light and feels fantastic in my hands.

Steve Olson

Repair Manager

Favorite Elderly Instrument: 1950s Gibson Electric Guitars. Being able to repair and set up the real deal to see the tonal difference and grasp the magic.

Favorite Album: Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat set the bar for groove and pointed toward all of the influences, not to mention slide tones. Also, Lowell George died on my 17th birthday, RIP.

Favorite Concert: The Who @ Pontiac Silverdome 12/7/79, 4 days after the Cincinnati event there was a palpable sense of rock 'n roll danger and attitude.

 

Scott Gierman

Repair Assistant Manager

Favorite Concert:

Pink Floyd at the Pontiac Silverdome 1994. It was one of the few concerts that they played Dark Side of the Moon in it’s entirety from start to finish. It was also to be their last tour and I was lucky enough to see it.

 

Mike Hoenerhoff

Repair

Favorite Album:

"Downward is Heavenward" by Hum. Because it's awesome and just Proggy enough for me.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument: That would probably be the Marshall 1967 18 watt 1974X amplifier we had until just recently.

Also the 1959 ES-355 that had been under someone's bed for 60 years that came in for a written appraisal and still had the original strings, and even the strap was still wrapped in the original tissue paper. That was pretty remarkable

 

 

Carlos Monserratte

Repair

 

 

Kyle Szarek

Repair

Favorite Album:

The Stones "Exile on Main Street." Pretty much a Keith Richards album, incredible.

Favorite Concerts:

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in 1998 at The Palace of Auburn Hills - 98% Zeppelin songs and Jason Bonham on drums. Unbelievable.

I recently saw Darrell Scott at the Ark and got to meet him and that was really special. Amazing songwriter.

Favorite Elderly Instrument: Any Collings guitar, best guitars in the world in my opinion. I purchased a Waterloo Jumbo King made by Collings that I love. Anything coming out of Collings is a special instrument.

 

Mitchell Yost

Repair

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

Martin 0-17s that was made during the great depression. They are pretty bare bones in terms of appointments and all mahogany, but every time I have had the chance to play one it just sounds like a guitar should sound. If there was one guitar that would be a dream for me to own it would be one of those.

 

Favorite Concert:

Death Atlas by Cattle Decapitation. I really enjoy the imagery and story telling in the album, and I was listening to the title track of the album when I was on the way to the hospital when my son was born, so it has a special place in my heart as being a part of that amazing transitional period in my life.

Bryce

Repair

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

Collings CJ45T. Sloped shoulder and mahogany back and sides from Collings makes an ideal guitar for me, especially with that dark sunburst.

 

Favorite Album:

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. As my introduction to country music and to Gram Parsons, this record is near and dear to my heart.

 

Frog

Appraisal

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

1992 Custom Shop Telecaster LH - arrived at the store the same day my daughter Hannah was born

 

Favorite Concert:

Aug 21, 1974 Rory Gallagher and Status Quo at the Brewery Lansing MI

 

Larry Scott White

Appraisal

Favorite Concert:  Kiss Reunion 1996 Tiger Stadium.

 

Favorite Album: Steve Stevens "Memory Crash"

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:
OM-18GE Custom designed after a 1932 Martin OM-18 owned by Stan Werbin. 35 were built between 2003- 2006

 

Brian Alvarez

Appraisal

 Favorite Elderly Instruments: Martin Custom B-540 Acoustic Bass (1998) / Ernie Ball Music Man String Ray 5

 

Drew Howard

Appraisal

Favorite Album:

Hear the Fabulous Heftones!

 

Favorite Concert:

Frog and the Beeftones Live at Johnson's Bar 1981

Cuz.... FRAWG

Melissa Scripter

HR

Favorite Album: Picaresque by the Decemberists

Favorite Concert: Gorillaz at the Fox Theatre 2017

Meli Marciniak

HR

Favorite Album:

Purple Rain - Prince and the Revolution

I am completely mesmerized by Prince's talent, knowledge and character. He was absolutely one of a kind. There are songs, lyrics, voices, guitar riffs, etc. of all genres, that truly speak to my soul and bring about emotions I didn't know were there....but hands down Purple Rain takes the cake for me.

Favorite Concert:

Bruno Mars because the man (and his group) knows how to entertain!! You know it's a good concert when you leave the venue and you feel like you were just in another world, and you're riding on cloud 9 until you get back "home."

 

 

Juan Lopez

Marketing

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

My Vintage Yellow 1986 PRS Custom 24. I bought it here at Elderly in the Mid 90s. Love at first sight.

 

Favorite Concert  Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.  

AJ Glaub

Marketing

Favorite Elderly Instrument: For me, nothing compares to the 1941 D-28SL Martin guitar. It's not just rare; it's one-of-a-kind—the only pre-war left-handed D-28 known to exist. Ordered by 'Lefty' Buchar, it echoes the personal story of a musician and his beloved instrument. Having that guitar in the store was like holding a piece of history.

You can listen to Joshua Davis play it here.

Favorite Concert: Cozyfest would have to be my top concert pick. It was an incredibly unique experience—a DIY house-show that took place within a roaming blanket fort with two stages and over 15 acts. It wasn't just a concert; it was a communal collaboration of music and creativity.

 

Graham Yinger

Shipping / Receiving Manager

Favorite Elderly Instrument: Cuica Drum 

 

Favorite Album: Kool Keith - Dr. Octagon

Favorite Concert: The one I haven't been to yet!

 

 

John Aleshire

Shipping

Favorite Elderly Instrument: I like my PRS 245 Standard it plays so easy and sounds great. Its the perfect guitar for me. But my favorite is my cat, Rusty, he was rescued from the parking lot! I use Fender pick 346 heavy and a Fender Supechamp XD amp on Bassman setting, it is not for gigging just practicing.

Favorite Album: My favorite record is the only record that anyone really needs, "Return of the Otis Brothers- Let's Go To Huntin'" featuring Bob Guida and Pat Conte.  

 

Jason Metcalf 

Shipping

Favorite Concert: Van Halen w/ Diamond Dave in 2015 as close as I would ever get to seeing the original line up. My teachers. My mentors.

 

One of My Favorite Albums: John Zorn Naked City

Everything seemed different after discovering that one.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:
1994 Fender MIM Wayne's World 2 Stratocaster. 30 years on and still going strong.

 

Rod Aleshire

Receiving

Favorite Concert: John Lee Hooker and Johnny Winter

 

Favorite Album: Live At The Regal B. B. King

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:
Mid 60's Epiphone Rivoli bass purple refin.

 

Kurtis Young

Shipping / Receiving / Sales

Favorite Elderly Instrument:

My favorite guitar is still my OT22, it is a first edition and sounds extremely good. It was gifted to me by father on Christmas when they first came out and remains my oldest and best acoustic guitar that I own. I only use it around the house and for songwriting.
The instrument that I get the most foot-traffic out of is my Ibanez SRF705. I originally got it because I was I became the director of the Charlotte Community Jazz Ensemble, a 20 piece jazz big band; my wife didn't accept an upright and after playing with Piezo pickups in my Guild B240EF I knew I could get a pretty convincing sound out of something like that. Furthermore it has a jazz pickup configuration of Bartolini pickups, a set that I have installed in my Squire Classic Vibe Jazz Bass 5. With it I play Jazz with the CCJE and other jazz ensembles and recorded my first rock album and gig with J. H. Patton & the Good Companions. It's the bass I most enjoy playing.

 

Bob Blackman

IT

Favorite Concert:
Although I mainly attend folk concerts, my favorite concert is probably Paul McCartney, at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena, in October 2017. I've loved the Beatles since they hit America in 1964 (I was in 6th grade) but had never seen any of them in person. As soon as Paul opened the show with "A Hard Day's Night," it felt like I was finally at a Beatles concert -- he played for almost 3 hours, and Beatles songs made up 2/3 of the setlist -- and it was truly thrilling.


Favorite Album:
I have dozens of favorites, but two special ones are Peter Ostroushko's "Heart of the Heartland" (Red House), with gorgeous mandolin and fiddle tunes composed and played by my all-time favorite musician, and "For Pence and Spicy Ale" (Topic) by the great English a cappella group the Watersons, for their powerful vocal harmonies on traditional British folksongs.


Favorite Elderly Instrument:
A Martin 0-15 mahogany guitar (1961) and a black Gibson A-style mandolin (1929), both purchased at Elderly Instruments, and both good choices for someone with small hands!

 

Cynthia Bridge

Purchasing

Favorite Album: Can't decide! I loved British & Celtic Folk rock when I started at Elderly in 1978. The first thing I bought after starting work was a record, The Transports, a British Folk opera by Peter Bellamy. It was a 2-album LP set (yes LP's were the medium of choice then!) and featured great artists of the British Folk Revival, all were new to me. I love those artists and songs still.

One of the perks of working at Elderly was the music played over the store sound system. Stan made cassette tapes of new record releases, generally 3 albums to a tape. They were always a mix of genres, an Old Time string band, followed by Cajun, followed by Blues. My ears were opened! Old Time music became a big favorite and led me to the banjo.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:
The Elderly instrument that got away was a Gibson pumpkin top oval-hole Mandocello. What a gorgeous tone! I knew I was not going to take up mandocello and left it for someone who would. It was in perfect playable shape, priced at $900 as I remember. Seemed expensive then!

 

Jill Messing

Purchasing / Accounting

Favorite Album: Can't pick a favorite, as I've an affinity for a variety of music across the board. I'm currently listening to the Yes album, "Going for the One"-- most anything from them is an aural ride through a gateless gate of some kind.

 

Jason Adams

Purchasing

Favorite Albums:

  • Miles Davis - Live-Evil
  • Ralph Towner - Solstice
  • Yes - Fragile
  • Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick
  • Deep Purple In Rock


Favorite Concerts:

  • Pink Floyd - Pontiac Silverdome, July 14 & 15, 1994
  • Jimmy Page & Robert Plant - Palace of Auburn Hills, April 1, 1995
  • King Crimson - Michigan Theatre, June 10, 1995
  • Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette - Hill Auditorium, September 23, 2000
  • Ornette Coleman Quartet - Hill Auditorium, March 19, 2004


Favorite Elderly Instruments:

  • WEM Super Starfinder 4x12 cab (c.1972)
  • WEM ER40 & GX40 amps (c.mid-1970s, from Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio)
  • Hiwatt Custom DR504 amp & 4x12 cab (c.1981/1973)
  • Marshall JMP 2204 Master Model Mk. 2 Lead 50 amp & 4x12 cab (c.1979/mid-1990s)
  • BSM HS-C Treble Booster (reissue of a mid-1960s Honrby-Skewes Treble Booster)

 

Michael Swartwood

Purchasing

Favorite Album: It changes weekly. This week it has been Rival Sons LIGHTBRINGER because it’s really good.

 

Favorite Elderly Instrument:
Warwick Corvette 5-string $$ because I use it just about every gig.

 

RJ Hatt

Amplifier Repair

Favorite Elderly Instrument: 

My 000-28H, from back when Elderly ordered that as a custom model from Martin. I got it before I was involved with amp repair at Elderly, but it's been a great companion for 13 years.

Favorite Amplifier:

Fender Vibrolux Reverb. I think this gets overshadowed by the slightly smaller Deluxe Reverb, and larger Pro and Twin Reverbs, but the Vibrolux is a great package that isn't too heavy.