Millions of Americans are stuck in their houses while the COVID-19 virus runs its course, and many of those isolated people are undoubtedly using the opportunity for spring cleaning.
That’s what they’re doing at Buck Owens’ house — also known as the Crystal Palace. Over on Buck Owens Boulevard, they’re taking advantage of the situation to go into the rafters and pull out equipment they haven’t laid eyes on for 23 years.
Gradually over time every spare nook and cranny in the popular museum and dinner theater became crammed with old recording, concert and video equipment, much of it obsolete by today’s technological standards. A forced closure while the world fights this pandemic became the perfect time to see what they had — and get rid of what might now be electronic waste.
Jim Shaw, longtime keyboardist for the Buckaroos who for decades was Buck Owens’ right hand man, has taken it upon himself to dig in.
“Well, for the first time in 23 years we’re closed and have a chance to tear things apart, dig into things that we have never been able to do,” Shaw said. “We’ve always had something going the next night and so we just keep putting Band Aids on things and re-patching and adding to things.
“Then we finally had these weeks stretching before us. There are basically three, and today four people in this building. Of course the building’s 30,000-some square feet and we can stay 60 feet apart as opposed to six feet.”
So, they rolled up their sleeves and got down to business.
“We basically pulled every cable out of the sound system, started from scratch, wiring it all up again, and finding all sort of weird things we’ve done over the years, trying to get back to basics,” Shaw said.
They’ve filled two dumpsters with trash, stacked up piles of electronics they’ll deliver to the county e-waste facility, and set aside the best stuff, which might end up on eBay. Buck himself no doubt fiddled with most of it at one time or another, but when it’s time it’s time.
They have also refinished the bannister around the stage and done some of the more traditional types of deep cleaning.
Collectors would probably go crazy for some of this stuff, but if so they’ll have to check eBay. Just don’t expect to find any old Fender Telecasters in those piles of obsolete equipment. We checked, and no dice.