If he weren’t in the MI industry, Ofer Webman, CEO, founder/creator, ToneWoodAmp, believes that he would be involved in one of the issues that currently affect our lives: the environment, homelessness and, of course, fair royalties to musicians. Read on to learn more about Webman’s interests and love for music.
The Music & Sound Retailer: Who was your greatest influence or mentor and why?
Ofer Webman: Musically, I was most influenced by Pink Floyd, Pat Matheny, Vicente Amigo and Philip Glass.
The Retailer: What was the best advice you ever received?
Webman: “You don’t know what you don’t know, so listen up!”
The Retailer: What was your first experience with a musical instrument?
Webman: When I was 7 years old, my parents decided that I needed piano lessons. I wasn’t so agreeable, so the gig lasted for only a few months. When I was 14, I met a guy who played guitar, and who was a “chick magnet.” I wanted the same, so I started taking guitar lessons from him. This worked perfectly well for me; even my wife fell for it …
The Retailer: What instrument do you most enjoy playing?
Webman: While most of my life I played standard six-string (nylon and steel) guitars, for the last two years, I made a strong move to tenor guitars (four strings) tuned in fifth. I found the tuning inspiring, and I haven’t looked back since.
The Retailer: What’s your favorite activity to do when you’re not at work?
Webman: Playing my custommade tenor guitar with a ToneWoodAmp. Next to that is going for a long weekend vacation boondocking in our little but sweet Airstream RV.
The Retailer: If you could see any musician, alive or deceased, play a concert for one night, who would it be and why?
Webman: Vicente Amigo is a master Flamenco guitar player who I would travel far to see. I admire the skill and energy Flamenco guitar players project, and Amigo may be the best in the world.
The Retailer: What musician are you hoping to see play in the near future (post-pandemic)?
Webman: Any artist. Musicians were hit so hard this year, so we can’t wait to see them going back on stage. This is also why we came up with our weekly “Live With Our Artists” event, where every Monday a ToneWoodAmp artist performs from his/her home, and we share with him/her the sales revenue of that day.
The Retailer: What song was most memorable for you throughout your childhood and what do you remember about it the most?
Webman: David Porter’s “Hang on Sloopy” full version. There are many more, but this one for some reason stayed with me forever. (I even own vinyl of this song).
The Retailer: What’s the most fun thing you saw/did at a NAMM Show?
Webman: I haven’t seen much
of the NAMM Show. We are
always busy in our booth … We
do love being involved with many
shows during NAMM, from our
own shows that we host at the famous BlueBird Cafe in Nashville,
to the All-Star Guitar Night we
sponsor in Anaheim. It is amazing
to see all of these artists come
together for the music.
The Retailer: What is the best thing about the MI industry?
Webman: That most people do it for the love of music first, and that is refreshing.
The Retailer: What technology could change MI down the road?
Webman: A technology, system or legislation that will allow musicians to earn a decent living from streaming will be a huge game-changer.
The Retailer: If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you be doing and why?
Webman: For most of my adult life, I was part of the MI industry, mostly as a customer/ consumer. But if I [wasn’t], I would like to believe that I would be involved in one of the issues that currently affect our lives: the environment, homelessness and, of course, fair royalties to musicians.
The Retailer: Tell us about your hometown and why you enjoy living there.
Webman: We have been calling Phoenix home for 20 years. To get the full experience, turn on your oven to 150 degrees and put your head inside … But that’s only in the summer. The winter is lovely, and getting out north
or south with our recreational vehicle is quite magical.
The Retailer: What are your most prized possession(s) and why?
Webman: My one-of-a-kind, custom-made tenor guitar. It’s a unique, full-size-body, four-string guitar with an almost two-inch-tall bridge, hand-built by master luthier Luke Willson from Nevada County, Calif. Luke is still using the tools his grandfather gave him many years ago.
The Retailer: What’s your favorite book and why?
Webman: Just recently, I listened to James Taylor’s (short) biography on Audible.com. That was a very bittersweet read. Another great book I read was “Cutting for Stone’’ by Abraham Verghese. Both books, while very different, were very inspiring as a testament to the human spirit’s capability to overcome unbelievable obstacles.
To read more interviews with MI professionals, click here.