Haze History: View-Meister How-To

Back in the 1960s aisle in the Haze Archive room and I find this:

I continue to age extraordinarily well

Sometime around ’63 or ’64, I was approached by a representative of the Games Federation of America (GFA). He said that he was commissioning educational subject matter for their View-Meister device and wanted to discuss a series aimed at luthiers.

The idea was that the stereoscopic images viewed on the device would give luthiers a unique perspective and make learning new techniques easier.

Now, I was aware that ‘View-Meister’ was essentially a copy of a more well-known device but, I was at a loose end. Do Wah Diddy Diddy was riding high in the charts and Manfred Mann had extended their tour. Great for them, but it pushed out a week’s worth of work on Mike Vickers’ guitars for me.

Anyway, the View-Meister guy and I decided on an initial series of nut-making techniques (we referred to them as top nuts in those days). The pack would consist of three reels, each with seven stereoscope images — twenty one in all. The reels were to be accompanied by a booklet with step-by-step instructions.

Their people set up their complicated rig and photographed me as I worked on a couple of different nuts. Then, I fired up my old Olivetti and wrote some instructions for the accompanying booklet.

It all went swimmingly. Interesting side note: Everyone at View-Meister used to mime air-quotes when saying “top nuts” and that seemed to follow over to the sleeve text.

An initial run of two-hundred thousand packs was produced which even I thought was a little optimistic but their rep was bullish.

As it turned out, he was an idiot.

Might have been fun to release alongside a long-playing record for full multi-media experience

Just as the first Haze Repair Series packs completed, that same rep’s previous project (also guitar-related) completely tanked. Seems players didn’t want sheet music in stereoscopic format. It was too awkward to hold the device to their eyes, click the little lever thing, AND actually play guitar.

This declining consumer confidence in View-Meister, coupled with a lawsuit from the manufacturer of a device with a similar-sounding name, led to problems. As part of the legal settlement, all stock devices and reels were destroyed. That rep, in a moment of remorse, stole a single pack and gave it to me.

It’s the only one in existence. Might be worth a few bucks. Maybe enough to cover what Mike Vickers owes me.

I’m afraid I can’t offer you stereoscopic guitar educational materials any more. I can, however, offer fantastic guitar and bass setup guides ready for immediate download. Check out Sketchy Setups.

Get Sketchy Setups guitar setup guides

Get Sketchy Setups guitar setup guides