Estate sale to feature well-known Whitehorse musician's custom-made gear

Well-known Whitehorse musician’s gear to be sold this weekend.

Bruce Bergman has inspired careers; his gear has been sold to the likes of rock-band Tool

An estate sale for long-time Whitehorse musician Bruce Bergman will feature much of his custom-made gear. (Adrian Bergman)

Bruce Bergman's life was music.

On stage he was a staple of Whitehorse's music scene for 25 years, teaching, tech-ing and playing.

"He was a major influence on this community and a pillar more than anything, he really was just part of what holds the roof up, " said long-time friend and fellow musician Bob Hamilton of Bergman, who died last fall. "He's pretty sorely missed, that's for sure."

As a technician with CBC and a regular fixture at Yukon music festivals, Bergman built a reputation for reliability when it came to making sound, sound good.

He had a passion to make everything sound as good as it could.- Adrian Bergman

And he was a gear head.

Mr.Fix-it

Hamilton recalls a MacGyver-like fix Bergman made to some gear during a gig in Faro, Yukon years ago.

"One of the fuse caps of our power amp came off so we realized we weren't going to have monitors that night," he said.

Bob Hamilton, owner of Hamilton and Son Music, and long-time friend of Bruce Bergman, will host the estate sale at his store. (George Maratos/CBC)

"Me and Bruce spent the whole afternoon fashioning a new fuse cap out of a beer can and solder and everyone is going, 'It's never going to work, it's never going to happen, you can't do it.'"

But they did do it and that night the band had their monitors.

This Saturday, Hamilton will be hosting an estate sale at his music store in Whitehorse. Gear boxes, microphones and custom-built pedals are just some of what is being sold.

Much of the gear was built from scratch by Bergman himself.

Custom stomp boxes, like the one above, will be available as part of the sale. (CBC/George Maratos)

"This was his hobby, the gear, he'd just get lost in the gear for hours," said his brother, Rob.

Rob, just a year younger than Bruce, says going through the old gear ahead of the sale has been hard.

"I broke down quite a bit," he said. "Music was a real bond, I really miss that about Bruce, he was my guy."

A big influence

Adrian Bergman, Bruce's youngest son, says growing up, music was everything for Bruce and his family.

"His brain had two levels, musical and scientific. Basically, if there was anything he could build or create, he was always 100 per cent in on that," he said.

Bergman's prowess when it came to making quality gear stretched beyond the Yukon music community. Adrian says his dad used to tell a story of how one of his gear pedals ended up in the hands of the American rock band Tool.

"Family members of the bassist saw my parents playing music in Mexico, and before you know it, they are buying a pedal," he said. "I'm not sure of all the details, but that was of of my dad's favourite 'big fish' stories for sure."

Yukoner Stephen Kozmeniuk, a sought after producer, songwriter and engineer who has worked with likes of Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj, is also a connoisseur of Bergman-made gear. He says Bergman is a big reason he pursued a career in music.

"He always references my dad and talks about the big influence he's had on his career," said Adrian.

Saturday's estate sale is taking place at Hamilton and Son Music in Whitehorse.

A celebration of life for Bruce Bergman is set to take place next month.

Just some of the music gear that will be available. (CBC/George Maratos)

About the Author

George Maratos

Associate Producer

George Maratos is a reporter and associate producer at CBC Yukon, with more than a decade of experience covering the north.