The concept of a two-piece (ring and cutaway sleeve) guitar
slide that would easily rotate out of the way to permit conventional
fretting was the brainchild of guitarist Brooks Story. After considerable
experimenting and prototyping he arrived at a favored design and
had 500 of them made by a small machine shop in southern California.
Armed with these 500 he went into business. Using the name "Sixth
Finger Music" he began knocking on doors of music retailers
and wholesalers, as well as setting up a web site to sell his product:
the Axys Reversible Guitar Slide.
But getting the message out is a tough proposition, especially
when you already have a profession which demands most of your time
and energy. Brooks eventually decided that the music product business
was not for him. Encouraged by a comment once made by a music store
owner, who said of the Axys: "This could become the Shubb Capo
of slides," he decided to give me a call.
The rest is not yet exactly history, but perhaps will be regarded
as such some day. Brooks sent me a sample of the Axys along with
some of the literature he had prepared. I was immediately impressed
with the design. It was apparent that its simplicity and ingenuity
would make it fit in very nicely with our product line, and I was
enthused about the prospect of manufacturing and marketing it.
But as usual, I had a few ideas of my own as to materials, design,
etc. My partner Dave Coontz and I began prototyping our own version
of the Axys slide, submitting our suggestions to Brooks as we went.
Our final design, which changed the original materials and some
of the specs, meets with his wholehearted approval. From there we
tooled up to go into fullscale production.
The new, improved version of the Axys Reversible Guitar Slide
was introduced to the market at the NAMM show in Anaheim, Jan.18,
2001. As it gradually makes its way into the marketplace (as is
the way in our trade) I'm finding that guitarists who discover it
agree with me, that this is the ultimately elegant solution to combining
slide playing with conventional fretting.