So last week Thursday, I did a story on this guy who owns a harmonica customizing company. His name is Brad Harrison and he seems like an amazing guy. He was certainly an amazing interview. I don’t even know where to start because if I met a guy like him every week I do a story, my job and life would be so much more enjoyable and easy. He made carrying my awkward camera bag and equipment more than worthwhile.
Why, you ask? Like, what is so special about him you mean?
So, in 1995 I think it was, he basically was at a bar when he saw a musician playing a harmonica. He became so fascinated (as I was mind you when he was playing the instrument in his office) that he went out and bought one. He said he practiced daily. He went on to meet a man, who he describes as his mentor, Joe Filisko, who he describes as a guru. Filisko taught him many things about the harmonica including showing him the harmonica’s intestines and bowels and basically describing in intimate detail how it functions.
As if he wasn’t hooked already, he too all the knowledge and started finding out more about the instrument. Dudes, you should see this guy work. I even asked him whether anyone has accused him of being a mad scientist. He laughed and said yes.
Anyways, he eventually got contracted to work for Suzuki to do some work on their harmonicas. Oh by the way, who knew Suzuki made harmonicas? He continued to invent other ways of improving the harmonicas performance. In his mind, he wanted to give the instrument waaayyyyy more range. Anyways, thanks to his invention, they do. Suzuki, recognizing a good thing when they see one even offered him a large sum of money to sell his invention and work for them.
After much anguish, he said no. He wanted to create jobs in Illinois. He says he has a six month wait list for customized harmonicas and is planning on expanding his factory in Rockford. He will be releasing his own line of harmonicas later this summer. The first one out of Harrison Custom Harmonicas is “B-Radical.”