Charley

CHARLEY POLACHECK

Chances are if you ever call Bogner Amplification you are going to speak with Charley Polacheck who has been helping Bogner and all our customers longer than any other employee. We're a small shop so Charlie wears a lot of hats here and switches effortlessly between overseeing production, Customer Support, Artist Relations and QC testing amplifiers. If that wasn't enough he's also an incredibly versatile and tasteful guitarist with great slide-guitar skills as well. Yep, he's a bit of a secret weapon and has played with some heavy cats as you'll soon see.

Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Charley began playing guitar at the age of 12. His passion for the electric guitar was fueled by the British invasion of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, Yardbirds and Kinks. Since Milwaukee was so close to Chicago, he was also influenced by the great blues artists Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Howling Wolf since they would play local clubs. Maybe that helps explain his rootsy delta slide skills.

Not only is Charlie wired for music but he's also wired to understand how things work and his interests early on included electronics, photography and racing go karts on the Midwest IKF circuit. His love of cars led to the acquisition of, at the age of 16, a 1961 VW bug, which eventually led him to start a successful VW repair business.


Charlie played professionally all over his local area for years and in the late 1970s packed up his old Les Paul Custom and 50 watt Marshall, and pointed his 1969 VW Westfalia camper westward towards California. Soon after arriving in Los Angeles he landed a gig touring with a country rock band all over the western states. Once he got a foothold in the LA music scene the gigs came pouring in and he started working with some amazing artists.

He looked up his Milwaukee friend and former band mate Howard Epstein (Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, John Prine, Carlene Carter, John Hiatt, Del Shannon) and added his electrifying and tasteful Midwest guitar flavor to Howie’s recordings at his Beverly Hills studio. In the 1980s, Charley joined Michael “On Fire” Colone’s band, Masters of Ceremony.  MOC included members such as sax legend Phil Kenzie (Beatles, Rod Stewart, Eagles), bassist extraordinaire Stuart Hamm (Alan Holdsworth, Steve Vai) and songwriter Michael Curtis (Southern Cross, Blue Letter). Later he joined “The Great Crowd” with singer songwriter Ryan Hedgecock (Lone Justice) and groove-master drummer Brian Glascock (Bee Gees, Iggy Pop, Motels). Brian Glascock would later join forces with Charley in “Soy Cowboy” which was billed as “Not just another Thai-Western band”.

Later on in the 1990's Charley started working at the iconic Studer Professional Audio as office manager and parts specialist. Studer was the premier manufacture of analog tape machines, including the massive 2" recorders on which many of the world’s classic hits were recorded on.

Charley is a true renaissance man and still loves recording in his home studio to tape through a large console with outboard gear surrounding him. So it makes perfect sense that he arrived at Bogner in 2004 and his experience in electronics, mechanical devices, and as a seasoned player proved to be a perfect fit for this analog man.