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B-3 on a 6' 10" wide Narrowboat .. A World First ?

'Bob Blues' a London based Hammond Player and Radio Station DJ / Producer has taken delivery of his New Portable B-3p aboard his floating home / studio.. a NARROWBOAT !

YES … a 50' long by 6' 10" wide narrowboat !!! ……. A B-3 complete with 25 note pedal board, bench and Leslie Speaker
(which was already aboard)

Below are a few pics form delivery day with Bob, Barrie and Malc and you can then read all about Bob, his new Hammond and his music below.

Pathway leading to Bob's mooring

The B-3 Portable's new home

All unboxed and ready to go aboard

Bob and Barrie ready to take the B on board

Permission to board ?

Malc setting the B-3 up with Bob at the helm (couldn't resist that pun)

Bob's story ….

Ive been playing since I was 6 when I was allowed to play my Gran’s piano on a Saturday morning. I was originally trained on the trumpet but never progressed much beyond School Orchestra level.  One day I was listening to an old 78 record and heard some blues and I was hooked. The sound was terrible but the wonderful music of the blues just got into my heart.  On this old record was a Hammond and I knew from hearing this from the first moment this was what I wanted to play.

I got a chance to play an old B3 a few years ago and this was the moment knew I wanted one but cost and space was a problem. A few years ago I started playing with “Wendys Lost Boys” and I steadily progressed from an Oberhiem B3 simulator and Hefner Leslie simulator pedal to an single manual XK3 and Leslie 860 (Thank you Ebay). Although at this time I was using a stack of keyboards and midi gear on stage I was only happy when I was on the Hammond playing the blues. When Wendys Lost Boys folded (Arrgh girlfriends in the band!) I bought a lower manual for the XK3 and stopped using the synths and midi gear all together as the Hammond was such a nice instrument to play just sitting on it brought a smile to my face. I also do some charity work, which requires me to play a church organ so, I made up some drawbar settings that resembled what I had so I was able to practice with the same sound. (Between you and I the Hammond is a much nicer instrument than some of the church organs I have played!).
Late 2010 I bought and moved onto my 50ft Narrow boat and installed my studio in the living area with a squeeze (Hammond Xk3 system, Andomenda A6, several Yamaha DX7 and a 24 track mixer with Alesis Monitors) and for a year found the peace and tranquility of the life on the canal beneficial to recording. I could take the boat out, tie up and turn the Leslie up with out neighbors complaining.  
Since the first day of playing the original B3 I have always lusted over one so earlier this year I decided to finally go for it but as I lived on a Narrow boat it had to be planned very carefully as I needed to get it on and off along with the Leslie so armed with an expandable ruler I found I could get the B3-P in so the order was placed.
When it arrived, In a large van, on a large pallet, I honestly thought it would never fit in but after Malc and Barry had unpacked it, it all fitted in just as I had planned.
What is it like to play? Well the answer is just perfect; the keyboard action is as smooth as silk. The sound is amazing and IMHO so much better than the XK3 and is a total joy to play. The only thing I regret is not getting it earlier and as for space, the dog is a bit peeved that her bed has moved but there is only so much you can fit in on a Narrow boat.
The band I play with now is more rock and blues so my Hammond fits in perfectly.
If you are interested in the blues I broadcast a live Internet radio show from my floating studio every Tuesday and Friday 10-midnight in the UK on and the show is also available on iTunes search Dekadance and select Ain’t Nuthin But Bob Blues.
Have fun and Go for it!
Bob Blues


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