Bud was a long time friend and customer of mine. I had done some work for him before, including aligning his Holton Bb trumpet #516449, when in 1978 he visited my shop.
When I asked Bud what I could do for him he said, “I want you to make a new and improved Bob Reeves’ version of my Herrick mouthpiece.”
“You got it!” I replied.
He was playing a custom Burt Herrick piece (pictured left) that I had altered the shank on before. It was a completely custom mouthpiece – hand carved rim and cup, short length and a complex backbore.
It took me most of the morning and afternoon to get the piece done. I was able to modify the piece from the original to give him a little more sound for less work.
I had barely taken it out of the silver-plating tank when he grabbed it out of my hand and started running for the door.
“I have a session I have to get to. Thanks for the piece!” Bud said running out of the shop.
“Hey, don’t you want to take the old one with you just in case?” I yelled out, chasing after him with his old Burt Herrick piece in my hand. I couldn’t believe he would show up to a studio session with a new, untested piece.
“What the hell do I need that old thing for…yours is better isn’t it?”
I stood there speechless.
The session ended up being one of his best recordings with Henry Mancini. He never came back for his old piece, where it has been sitting in the same drawer for 30 years.