Having turned 50, the latest chapter for the “the Flex” is the release of the new Heritage B-15 [see review, page 42], which debuted at BASS PLAYER LIVE! To get the inside story of the ever-present Portaflex, we joined Tony Levin, Ampeg Artist Relations Manager Chrys Johnson, and Ampeg Senior Product Specialist Dino Monoxelos at the Massapequa Park, Long Island, home of Jess Oliver.
A seminal figure in Ampeg lore, Oliver was the first person to put reverb in a guitar amp, helped design the vacuum form machine for the Ampeg Baby Bass, and hired Bill Hughes, the man behind the SVT.
When Ampeg introduced the B-15 Portaflex (short for portable reflex baffle system) in 1960, it set the standard for all future bass amplification, quickly becoming the most popular bass amp in the world.
More important, it gave the then-nine-year-old electric bass guitar its first true voice: fat and fundamental, thanks to the warmth of six tubes and a tuned, closed-back cabinet.
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Like the massive SVT bass rig of the same year, the V Series guitar amps introduced in ’69 were all about rock and roll – big rock and roll, as blasted in stadiums and arenas on major tours – and they cranked it out in a style no amp had done before or has since. ” This is where it comes from; you just aren’t likely to appreciate quite how beautiful until your ears are bleeding!
His place in music history, however, is firmly cemented by his invention of the B-15.
As Oliver was being presented with the new Heritage model he consulted on, he was more than willing to field questions about his fabulous fliptop.
while in 2010, Premiere Radio Networks launched nationally syndicated Rock/alternative music radio programs "Sixx Sense" and "The Side Show Countdown" with both based in Dallas, Texas and hosted by Sixx and co-hosted by Jenn Marino.
While living in Jerome, Idaho, he became a teenage vandal, breaking into neighbors' homes, shoplifting, and being expelled from school for selling drugs.