Portland Tunes Scene Mourns Musician/Technician John C. ‘Chuck’ Davidshofer 1952-2021

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By MICHAEL “SHOEHORN’ CONLEY //  He was a person who intersected with a wide slice of the local audio scene and past: Oregon Symphony wind gamers, faculty band directors, band parents, and freelance saxophone players all came to Chuck. In addition, he experienced a further lifestyle as a bluegrass performer with the Sawtooth Mountain Boys Whisky Deaf Sam Hill and the Sleepy-eyed Johns.

“He had a large amount of mates, and to me that is what would make a particular person successful” Steve Bond
Wally’s Music Assistance, Washington Avenue in Oregon Metropolis

I park in front of a squat cement developing crusted with burglar bars on the bluff in uptown Oregon City. I have been coming to Wally’s New music Support for three many years to get operate carried out on my saxophone and obtain equipment. Within it appears to be like as if nothing at all has changed because the 1960s. There is a little exhibit situation of uncommon antique wind devices in an entryway hung with shots, fliers, and a bulletin board. There is an American-made tenor sax on prime of the screen case at the rear of the revenue counter which is not for sale. It belonged to the late uncle of the store’s co-owner. On the considerably wall is a glass showcase comprehensive of brass and woodwinds topped with a row of classic saxophones. This is exactly where my tale with Chuck began.

I was unhappy if not amazed when I read that my superior friend John “Chuck” Davidshofer experienced passed absent from lymphoma. I managed to capture up with him a pair of weeks before he died— he appeared frail and had to excuse himself after a short visit on his porch. He experienced previously struggled with leukemia for years, but till not too long ago we thought the worst of it was guiding him.

He ongoing to function at his music store until eventually previously this 12 months. Musicians from all more than the region would deliver their instruments to him for qualified service, and that is how I met Chuck, before I even moved here, when a local sax participant told me about him.

In the back again of the shop, earlier sheet songs and random used instruments, workbenches body the place which is my most loved part of the shop. In the incredibly again is the place Chuck worked, in a chaotic-looking sprawl throughout a number of counters and huge tool stations. There were instruments crammed on shelves over, versus the wall, and less than the counters, along with a turntable and stacks of vinyl of all flavors- Classical, Jazz, Americana, R&B, Nation, Pop….even kitsch. The guys were usually bringing in odd things to listen to whilst they worked.

As my all-time beloved instrument technician, Chuck became a very good close friend. In a way he was like my confessor, and he realized a great deal about me just by performing on my horns. He was a person who intersected with a wide slice of the community audio scene and past: Oregon Symphony wind gamers, college band administrators, band dad and mom, and freelance saxophone players all arrived to Chuck. Moreover, he experienced a further lifetime as a bluegrass performer with the Sawtooth Mountain Boys Whisky Deaf Sam Hill and the Sleepy-eyed Johns.

Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, Chuck was in several means emblematic of the sort of people that arrived from all around the nation to Portland in the 1970s-80s— doing the job course, creative, functional, savvy, and skilled— and he was a critical element of that neighborhood. Just one working day we had been talking about the changes to our community when he reported “You made use of to be able to arrive to Portland, lease a shitball dwelling and do whichever you wanted”.
Western Iowa Tech, Sioux City, Iowa

I interviewed Steve Bond from Wally’s, who realized Chuck for 50 years— they fulfilled at the instrument maintenance office at Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City, Iowa, in September of 1971. “At faculty in Iowa we were being 18 or 19 several years aged, and the to start with thing every person did was mature their hair out— you’re not around your mom and dad anymore so you can— and a person day the trainer explained you men all gotta get haircuts or you’re heading to have to don hairnets. So Chuck instantaneously went out and received all these hairnets for us and they were all pink or yellow, with minor ribbons on ‘em. Later we uncovered out the point out higher education board was going to appear examine the school and he [the teacher] didn’t want them to see us in these hairnets so he said we didn’t have to use the hairnets any longer, but we did in any case just to mess with him”.

Bond extra “Chuck would discover devices at garage income to deal with up and then just give to men and women who needed them. He had a lot of close friends, and to me that is what will make a particular person productive.”
Laurelhurst Club, SE Portland. November 20th, 2021

All around 150 masked guests collected for Chuck’s memorial potluck, most of them unknown to me. A microphone was handed all-around, and about a dozen people today made available private reminiscences. Chuck’s sister Cathy Ludwig, the oldest of his 7 young siblings, was potentially additional notable for her power and enthusiasm than any anecdotes she shared. Yet a pair of her tales did stand out. The supervisor of their hometown audio store experienced identified as their mothers and fathers to tell them that Chuck understood additional than their instructing team, and they could not educate him everything more. She also outlined that her brother experienced performed guitar for the People Mass companies at Dubuque’s Church of the Nativity. Afterwards, when I arrived at her by telephone, she explained to me Chuck, the firstborn, was the adored “golden boy” of their total spouse and children, and “I actually consider he was a genius in his individual ideal, I really do.”

Ludwig also uncovered that her brother experienced satisfied his initial wife Jo although serving as an MP in Korea. The couple had two children but the relationship ended in divorce. Chuck is survived by their adult young children, Charles and Alecia, two grandchildren, and his 7 siblings. Charles, attained by using messenger, wrote: “My father was the most eclectic gentleman I knew. He could perform nearly anything, and every thing. But his passions didn’t close there. My dad reported to me ‘CJ, I didn’t give you much but I gave you curiosity’. A reward I’m thankful for everyday. He constantly had a smile on his encounter, and required absolutely everyone to have one as well!”

Don Davidshofer spoke of his brother from his unique vantage as the only other boy in the family members, which includes a tale about the time Chuck requested “Hey Don, you want a motor vehicle?” It was truly an incomplete bunch of sections to a Volkswagen Beetle they slowly assembled and restored.
Chuck’s lover Kim Neely informed some tales about their courtship with fondness and humor.

Other friends who spoke at the memorial bundled two youthful girls that Chuck experienced mentored, a person in Bluegrass, the other in instrument maintenance. Each expressed gratitude for his help. Men and women he performed with also spoke, and there was a slideshow, just after which musicians performed in tribute, culminating in informal jam classes as the group filtered out.

Right after the event his friend John Kael wrote “Common themes in all of the stories were Chuck’s kindness, generosity, curiosity, and an skill to emphasis on the excellent areas of people, places and items.”Alberta Road, NE Portland

Saxophones demand regular maintenance, and it can be a supply of annoyance (and terrible notes) when it is not performed properly. The best sax techs, like Chuck, access a level of skill that delivers that added something to the get the job done and assists our horns sing.

Oregon City is somewhat significantly from my home, so Chuck offered to permit me drop my horn off at his property, which was not far from mine, and that’s when we became nearer close friends, as I would sit in his entrance home by the woodstove and we would swap lore, anecdotes, and jokes. Soon after Chuck received sick the very first time with leukemia, we shared a distinctive sort of experience— the listening and commiseration that goes with major health issues.

About the a long time I created artwork to give to Chuck and would at times bring him baked merchandise from our kitchen area. Chuck’s house was even additional packed with attention-grabbing stuff than his workspace. In addition to tools and devices there were all sorts of publications, books, and of class, documents. For the very last handful of many years he experienced two vintage industrial-sizing drill presses that he experienced restored following to the kitchen counter in a location of prominence. He also saved a smaller workbench for doing the job on horns in his entrance dwelling spot.

On a few of occasions, Chuck allow me see some of his most-prized instruments: and also a couple of his more eccentric collections— picket-taken care of screwdrivers, vintage flashlights, and previous Volkswagen auto radios.

Chuck was a male of many pursuits: mechanical, musical, culinary, botanical— he experienced a eco-friendly thumb, and constructed a subtle water catchment method for his yard with an underground tank at his property. Additional than a person individual attested to his skill to “fix just about anything,” and in accordance to Bond, he liked to make sauerkraut, and even acted as a judge for homebrew contests at county fairs. He experienced a sly feeling of humor and a skeptical eye.

From time to time when I dropped off my horn for company, there would be a Bluegrass session happening on the entrance porch or in the dwelling area. Chuck’s buddies would obtain, and they would trade solos and vocal functions, constantly following the all-strings format of reliable bluegrass audio, ( guitar, upright bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin) “He was a traditionalist as much as the new music goes”, explained Bond.

I read about and saw slides of tenting excursions to Bluegrass festivals in which Chuck liked to cling out. He was adept at bass and guitar primarily, but he could play numerous devices, and he knew tons of tunes. At one particular point in his profession he performed guitar in a dixieland band, and 1 time he pulled out a ebook of that style and he and I jammed for a although.

Kevin Blodgett, who worked with Chuck for the previous nine a long time at Wally’s, advised me “He was a excellent dude from the to start with day I received here, and usually introduced me neat points to see— these a generous male, sharing his time and awareness and tales, and was surely professional in the maintenance world— not just band devices, but almost everything.”

And this is wherever this story finishes, again at Wally’s. The 7 days after Chuck passed my saxophone was broken in a mishap and wanted an urgent mend. I utilized to tell Chuck he experienced to preserve preventing the sickness, since I required him to hold my horn in shape. Our typical upkeep had been on keep as I waited for him to rally to the result in, even as he confident me his coworkers have been up to the endeavor. Chuck generally knew what he was speaking about. My horn works wonderful.