The Rochester Series Pedals from Whirlwind
Here’s the Story...
Back in 1961, Michael Laiacona was an ambitious 12 year old bass player/
guitar player with boundless energy, playing in an Albany band covering
the likes of Herman’s Hermits, Dave Clark Five and of course, the Beatles.
Being a kid entailed having no money, but with youth came an imagination that had no limitations. Michael would spend countless hours tinkering with an old soldering gun and whatever electronic parts he could dig
up, trying to create cool new sounds while teaching himself what would
later become a calling. By 15, out of necessity he hand built his first PA system complete with a mixing console, monitors, power amps and handmade
speaker enclosures. It didn’t take long to go from soldering homemade gear
in his garage to beginning what would later become an undeniable staple in
every up and coming guitar player’s rig. A few years later he graduated from
the garage to a small factory on Goodman Street, in Rochester NY, where
Michael cofounded MXR®. This would be the birth place of the world’s first road
worthy line of guitar effects pedals.
By 1972 it was clear to him that he had stumbled on to something monumental,
but the big question was how to spread the word. Traditional advertising was
available but at a staggering cost and even then its reach was unable to accurately target the people that needed to know... guitar players. The answer was
priceless, Michael literally spent his evenings going from nightclub to nightclub, plugging his hand wired effects boxes into the rigs of any guitar player
that would let him. Needless to say, every single player ended up buying one at
the end of the night. Michael knew he wasn’t going to get rich this way but how
else could he spread the word? Then the “Magic” moment happened on a rainy
night in 1973 at “The Red Creek”, a little club in Rochester NY. Jessie Ed Davis,
the guitar player from the famed band Taj Mahal and session player for the
Beatles and Eric Clapton was the featured act and he and Michael hit it off to
the tune of staying up until 4:oo am playing guitar in a dark and dingy green
room. Jessie fell in love with the pedals and insisted that he get two more for his
“buddies”. After a few months, Jessie invited Michael to his home in Marina Del
Ray to meet some of his “buddies” . To Michael’s surprise and absolute astonishment, he found himself standing in Jessie’s living room, face-to-face with
one of his first customers, none other than John Lennon. Within a few short
years these pedals became the most sought after effects of the 1970s.
In May of 1975 Michael left MXR® and went on
to establish Whirlwind®, the indisputable world
leader in audio interface... the rest is history.
Well, almost 40 years into it, Michael has decided to recreate the pedals that
got him started in the business in the first place by launching his “Rochester
Series Pedals” which are hand wired, American made replicas of the original
pedals that still work night after night in the rigs of the greats like Keith, Eric,
and Eddie. When asked if he would do anything differently? Michael simply
replied,“Yes, I’d add an LED, direct bypass, and a 9 -Volt power input”, so we did.
Whirlwind is proud to re-introduce the three coolest pedals on the planet. Now
plug ‘em in, and make a little history of your own.
distortion The Red Box compressor
You say you want a revolution?
( The first 1000 Rochester Series pedals have been signed by Michael Laiacona)
Michael with his
‘ 53 Les Paul ,
A cherished gift
given to him by
the late great
Les Paul himself.
“ I first brought these effects pedals to guitarists almost 40 years ago. They
were the ones that started a revolution and no one has made them quite the
same since . . . hand wired, American made, built to last forever and with the
exact same circuits and quality components.
It’s the way we did it back then and it’s the way we’ve approached everything
we’ve done since. The ONLY things we changed are the addition of true-by-pass, a 9 Volt power inlet and an LED to indicate when they’re active.
To celebrate 40 years in rock-n-roll, we’re proud to release the Rochester Series
pedals. You’re gonna love ‘em.”
President / Owner
99 Ling Rd, Rochester NY 14612 • www.whirlwindusa.com • 1-800-733-9473
MXR is a registered trademark of Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc. All rights reserved.
HANDMADE IN ROCHESTER, N Y