From The Desk Of The Jigsaw Seen: In Praise Of The Mellotron

The co-founder of the Jigsaw Seen 25 years ago (alongside ace guitarist Jonathan Lea), former all-Maryland high-school soccer player Dennis Davison gets his exercise these days as a professional dog-walker. Strolling L.A.’s concrete canyons gives him ample time to do what he does best: write distinctively original lyrics and melodies that give off the mere whiff of former heroes such as the Bee Gees, Who and Love. Unlike previous albums, Old Man Reverb, Jigsaw’s fourth set of originals in the past four years, has a unified sound running throughout. Davison and Lea will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on the Jigsaw Seen.


Davison: Even since I knew of its existence, I wanted a mellotron. It’s a warbly, imperfect orchestra in a box. A few years ago, I purchased one. They’re now made in Sweden and also incorporate the sound of its American cousin, the Chamberlin.

The modern mellotrons look exactly like the old ones from the ’60s.

I have a new digital version, which means that it doesn’t break down every time you try to move it. The temptation is to use it on everything! Don’t let me. I need to be stopped.