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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > RIP hvyj (John Potts)
RIP hvyj (John Potts)
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7060 posts
Feb 27, 2022
11:12 AM
I just noticed that hvyj, who posted thousands of times on this forum, has passed away. It’s been a while, years since I’ve seen a post from John, but he was at one time a frequent contributor, and certainly had an impact on my development both directly and indirectly.
Hvyj was a big advocate for 5th position, ET harps, and clean microphones. He was fairly forthright about his opinions and it seemed fairly frequently he would have a difference of opinion with another member. Sometimes these were entertaining discussions, but I would often find the need to go away and find some information to help me understand the issues. I really learned a lot by watching hvyj and others argue.
RIP John Potts.
2289 posts
Feb 27, 2022
1:22 PM
What sad news! How did you learn of his passing?

At one time hvyj posted frequently on MBH and often shared good detailed theory information in addition to advocating 5th position.

Could you link the source of information about his passing?
Doug S.
7061 posts
Feb 27, 2022
4:26 PM
I saw people posting on his Facebook wall.
10395 posts
Feb 28, 2022
11:49 AM

That's sad news.

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First Post- May 8, 2009
1557 posts
Mar 02, 2022
8:38 AM
I am both shocked and saddened by this news. I built dozens of harps for John over the years and had numerous conversations with him. He was a very nice man. John had some eclectic tastes. He was a big fan of the Suzuki Olive. Aside from a few of sets of Olives I built for him, one of which was tuned to A=432 Hz and another tuned to what he called “Madcat Tuning”, he also had me build some other very interesting harps. For example, a set of Golden Melodys with Manji Reed Plates and another set of Golden Melodys with Seydel 1847 Reed Plates. In both cases, I had my machinist make custom combs that fit the Golden Melody Covers, but the hole pattern was changed to accommodate the Manji Reed Plates. And the in the case of the GM/1847 Hybrid harp, the spacing of the chambers had to be changed to match up with the Seydel design. John was opinionated and was not afraid to speak his mind. But he had a big heart and he loved all things harmonica. We’ve lost a good one.
Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
489 posts
Mar 04, 2022
8:06 AM
So true, florida-trader. hvyj had a big heart and graciously shared his vast knowledge of scales, patterns and positions. His understanding of theory, gleaned from his experience with jazz musicians, was concise and enlightening for me. There were a few things he loved to "harp on". Most vividly, I recall his many "choo choo train" comments! I remember a discussion about mics and range of frequency response. My post about the bottom end of my modded JT-30 was met with, "What alternate reality do you exist in?" I truly hope, as I continue to journey in my alternate reality, I will be able to chat, laugh, and learn from this generous soul!

Last Edited by orphan on Mar 04, 2022 8:58 AM
180 posts
Mar 04, 2022
4:36 PM
:( RIP hvyj . Thanks for helping me along the way...
1752 posts
Mar 08, 2022
6:20 PM
That is sad!

1101 posts
Mar 11, 2022
8:33 AM
I used to keep a document with clips from posts on this forum containing useful advice for learners like me. I learned a lot from hvyj, particularly about position playing and the pentatonic scale. RIP.

Last Edited by mr_so&so on Mar 11, 2022 8:34 AM
1562 posts
Mar 22, 2022
8:21 AM
Just an FYI. I have been in contact with John's family. John had a lot of harmonicas. I mean a lot. And a lot of them are custom harps. He supported several different custom harp builders. The family is interested in selling them.

To a non-harmonica player, a set of harps is just a set of ProMasters or a set of Crossovers and that is how they would be described in an eBay auction or other online listing. Imagine if you purchased a set of Manjis from the family only to learn upon recieving them that they are tuned to A=432 Hz, or "MadCat" Tuning when you have zero interest in either tuning - because the family has no idea how to describe them. I use those tunings as an example because I built a set of each for John.

I have offered to go through the harps for John's family so that they can accurately describe them when they offer them up for sale. They will be "used" harps for sure, but they will be harps customized by some of the top guys in the industry. I have told the family that any of the harps that are Blue Moon harps, I will clean and inspect and put them into good working order so that when they list the harps for sale, they can let potential buyers know that the harps are all in good working order and have been gone over by the guy who built them.

Bottom line, there will some good deals out there. I will keep you all posted about when and where to find the listings for his harps.
Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas

Last Edited by florida-trader on Mar 22, 2022 8:22 AM
7064 posts
Mar 23, 2022
6:44 AM
Thanks, Tom. I for one will appreciate that.
99 posts
Mar 23, 2022
10:03 AM
Tom-- Such a nice gesture for the family. Keep us all informed.-- 99
135 posts
Mar 23, 2022
1:46 PM

Can you say why John wanted the harps to be tuned to 432 hz?

1563 posts
Mar 24, 2022
6:45 AM
Tom585 - John played with, apparently, a few different bands, one of which tuned all their instruments to A-432Hz. He was just trying to be in tune with them. I don't think it was some philosophical statement.
Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
1567 posts
May 11, 2022
6:59 AM
I have an undate about our good friend hvyj.

I have been in touch with the family and they sent me all his harps to evaluate and appraise. I'm pretty sure that they are going to have me handle the sale of them. There is a lot of interesting stuff in the collection. For starters, I think like most of us, John apparently never threw a harmonica away. So there are some complete sets of Hohner Pro Harps that are simply stock harps. I didn't test or play any of them at this point. The first thing I wanted to do is figure out what he had.

Aside from the Pro Harps, there are some sets of old Special 20s and Golden Melodys. I don't think they are worth a whole lot but someone here on this forum might have an interest and the skills to put them in good playing order. I could do it, but I'm too busy to mess with them.

Moving on, there are also some very nice sets of Seydel 1847s, Suzuki Olives, Crossovers and Thunderbirds and some interesting hybrid harmonicas. I personally made some hybrid harmonicas for John that were combinations of Hohner Golden Melody covers, Suzuki Manji reed plates and custom combs my machinist made to match up with the screw holes on the Manji reed plates. I made some other hybrid harps that are a combination of Golden Melody covers, Seydel 1847 reed plates and a special made comb that had to accommodate not only the 1847 screw holes, but also the wider spacing that Seydels have.

Of course, eBay is an option and it is a safe bet that some of these harps will wind up on eBay. There are about 250 or so harps in all. I would willing to bet that there were more at one time. I have not found a couple of sets that I built for John that was tuned to A=432 Hz and another one that was tuned to what he called "Mad Cat Tuning" - apparently developed by Peter "Mad Cat" Ruth. However, a while back, John did mention to me that some of his harps had been stolen.

Anyway, aside from eBay, I thought it might be nice to offer some of his harps for sale here on MBH. Perhaps some of you had a connection with John and would like to own some of his harps. Certainly there are a lot of guys on this forum who have the technical skills to repair any harps they might buy should they need repairing. It would also eliminate eBay lisiing fees and sales commissions.

I'm kinda thinking out loud here. Nothing is set in stone. I just thought I would run it by you guys to see what you think and to assess your level of interest. Let me know via this thread or feel free to email me directly.

Tom Halchak
Blue Moon Harmonicas
Blue Moon Harmonicas
767 posts
May 13, 2022
8:49 AM
Rest in peace
7069 posts
May 13, 2022
8:07 PM
Hi, Tom.
I’m interested in having one of John’s harps to remember him by. I know he was a big fan of the Suzuki Hammond and that is what I would be most interested in if they are still among his collection.
3040 posts
May 13, 2022
9:28 PM
I worked on some chromatics for him.
John was a nice guy.

Last Edited by Gnarly on May 15, 2022 9:14 PM

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