The Bill Lawrence Documentary -- Part One
In 1965, Bill Lawrence, Nathan Grossman and Jzchak Wajcman started
Lawrence Electrosounds in Munich Germany. The company made pickups for
different guitar manufacturers. Bill had all these designs completed
before '65. Lawrence Electrosounds NEVER made replacement pickups.
Click here to view the pictures from the '65 German catalog which
includes all the pickups Lawrence Electrosounds made. In 1966, Jzchak
Wajcman bought the shares from Grossman and became the majority stockholder.
By 1970, Jzchak closed the company, and sold the equipment to Hoyer
Guitars. Jzchak moved to Israel, and Bill made the US his permanent
residence. They did not meet again until 1982.
In 1982, Bill made a bad deal with a New York based distributor, "On-Site-Music"
-- at that time, one of the largest distributors of musical instruments
and their accessories. Two clever attorneys who used their legal knowledge
to swindle companies out of their property were the chief executives
of On-Site-Music. Many fell victim to their legal tricks, such as Harris
Fandel, Maxwell Myers, Southland Musical Merchandise, Holmes Amplifiers,
Aria Pro 2 and many others. Bill was to become Victim #19. In March
of 1982, they called him to a meeting in New York and made him the following
offer: to have a second class Korean company make $40.00 guitars with
his name and sell them for $400.00 to the dealers and pay Bill 10% of
the total sales. His answer was, "No thank you, my name will not go
on garbage!" They told Bill to read page 2 of his contract, and then
he remembered that when they had met to sign the contract, there was
a misspelled word on page two so that page was reprinted. Now, On-Site
added only two words, and the contract became worthless. Bill says that
this was the last time he ever signed a contract without precisely reading
every page ten times before signing. Bill knew at the meeting that in
a few months his company would be in big trouble.
Over the years, Jzchak and Bill spoke occasionally on the phone, and Bill knew that Jzchak had just moved to the US. After the meeting with the attorneys, Bill went back to his hotel and called Jzchak's brother in Montreal to ask him for his telephone number. When Bill called Jzchak, they discussed the situation for several hours, and a week later, they met in Nashville for the first time after twelve years. Originally, when Jzchak moved to the US, he wanted to dabble in real estate and bought three houses. He could not make his mortgage payments so Bill helped him out. Not only this, Bill gave him, for his legal help against On-Site - and without any payment from Jzchak! - fifty percent of Lawrence Sound Research. Now, they were partners again.
Together, they won the first battle with On-Site. They won the second
battle, but On-Site continued with nuisance suit after nuisance suit.
By the end of 1982, Jzchak and Bill started a second corporation, The
Lawrence Connection (TLC), in Cardiff, California, with an outlet in
Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. Bill was president of both LSR and TLC.
Bill ran the production, and Jzchak ran the sales.
On-site sued again in December of 1983. The Third National Bank, who
had financed the company during the lawsuits, became nervous and threatened
them with foreclosure. In March of 1984, Bill had a family emergency.
His father had passed away, so he went to Germany to assist his mother.
Now, his best friend had a plan. Jzchak went to the Third National Bank and told them that Bill had left the country for good, and he wanted to make a deal to buy the company's collateral for himself. The bank couldn't legally make an agreement with Jzchak because he was Bill's partner so Jzchak represented himself as president of "Degalim, Inc", a company based out of Israel. The bank agreed to these terms, and Degalim bought the collateral from the bank. Jzchak paid the bank with Bill's money!
The situation with On-Site was not yet over because they still wanted Bill's name. To sue Degalim and Wajcman didn't make any sense to them, so they continued to sue Bill. With no money in Germany, he couldn't come to the trial so he lost in default. Do you think his best friend helped?
Bill stood in Germany broke with a $1,156,250.00 judgment against him
in the US. He couldn't even go home to his family. Now, Jzchak had a
free hand and made as" Jzchak Wajcman Degalim",
an agreement with the Moridiara Company to make Fender
and Gibson rip-offs under the Bill Lawrence name.
When Bill met Becky in 1991, together they formed an unbeatable team and have worked long hours, persistently, over the last ten years to reestablish the name for quality and service. Today, they enjoy the support of many loyal friends!