Greg Germino expanded his love affair with early British amps
IN A BLUE, twelve foot by twenty foot shed in the backyard of a two-story house near the Haw River in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, Greg Germino tinkers with a standard repair job on a vintage Marshall head. It’s nothing new for him. He has been a part of the amplifier scene in the region for a decade and a half. His own brand, Germino Amps, started in 2002, morphed from his work at Mojo Musical Supply (now Mojotone), where he started in 2001.
“I worked for them for a year and I had previous experience, bench tech work on and off for about 15 years working in various music stores, working for my good friend Russ Rose at Bull City Sound where the motto is “In by noon, out by June”,” says Germino. “You meet the most colorful people when you’re involved in musical instruments and musical instrument repair.”
Germino was among those in the earliest waves of boutique amplifier building. Friend and neighbor Steve Carr jumped in during the late 1990s, then there was THD, Kendrick, Trainwreck and others.
“I saw the Allman Brothers in 1972 and that’s one of those life changing moments where you… I’d been playing guitar, I had just turned fourteen years old,” recalls Germino. “The grandparents were letting me out of the house, we’re gonna go see the Allman Brothers and it was life changing. I recorded that show, actually taught myself how to play guitar from that. So my love for amplifiers and guitars and wanting to go in that direction stems from that show and from my uncle, who’s about ten years my senior turning me on to a lot of great, great music. We all got into The Beatles if you grew up in that time period, but he was turning me on to people like Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan, Big Brother and the Holding Company. We listened to a lot of stuff, early Led Zeppelin, Cream… you know all that stuff. I had a foundation of that and then I went to see the Allman Brothers and then it was all over!”