How the Scumback name came to be.

I had a psycho neighbor around 2001. She lived 126 feet across the street from me in Culver City, Ca.

This woman hated guitar players. She would call the cops on me for just putting a guitar around my neck, if she saw me doing it, much less firing up my 10 watt project amp, later known as the Capt Crunch.

I'm not sure if she was completely nuts, but she had a few bats in the belfry, or brain anchoring screws loose for sure. She called the cops on me at the goofiest times, I mostly heard about it from my neighbor, here's an example he related to me.

I had just driven back from Mexico and dropped off my girlfriend at her place in Hollywood. When I got there around 9 am, my neighbor informed me the cops had just left, after pounding on my door and then knocking on his door to wake him up to find out where "the guy next door that plays guitar was...".

He told them the truth.

Neighbor (N) "He's away for the week, back later today. I'm watching his dog."

CC PD "No you don't understand. We want the guy next door who plays guitar."

(N) "I know exactly who you're asking about. Is Ellen calling you for the loud guitar playing bit again?"

CC PD "You know who's calling?"

(N) "Sure, she does it when he's here and when he's not."

CC PD "She does?"

(N) "You don't log your own calls on this? Interesting. She's called the cops on him three times that I was involved in by you good folks pounding on my door. Once he was out visiting his Mom 100 miles east of here. Another time he was working at a studio fixing their computers that was out in Burbank. And now this time."

CC PD "He seems to play this guitar very loudly, according to Ellen."

(N) "Yeah, that's what I understand. You know what's funny? I live next door with a six inch thick wall between our apartments and I don't hear it that often."

CC PD "You sure he's not playing it with a remote?"

(N) "Ha would have to be one hell of a good remote to do that. He went to Bajamar Golf Course just above Ensenada, Mexico and is due back later today. If he can remotely play that guitar from 250 miles away that would be something."

The cops left embarrassed as hell to field the prank call.

Eventually Ellen turned me in for "loud unreasonable noise" by filing a citizen complaint, and had me arrested. She claimed I had just finished playing 15 minutes before. I had been asleep since 10 pm,, the cops showed up at 11:30 pm.

As I was being led away in handcuffs, she came out and screamed (from 126 feet across the street)..."Good! And make sure you keep that fucking scumbag in jail overnight!"

Her complaint was dismissed for lack of evidence, I spent about 90 minutes in jail discussing HD pixel sizes and screen specs with the Culver City police before they took me home. They also told me she'd done this before to an acoustic guitar player that used to live across the street from me, but within 50 feet of Ellen's condo.

It turned out he won a large settlement from her and her condo property management company for "false imprisonment".

I finished my amp design, and came out with "Scumbag Amps" in honor of my former psycho neighbor.

A couple of years later, I was talking to my buddy Jeff Jourard on the phone one day after getting the speaker specs dialed in I asked him what I should call them.

Jeff said "Well, you have a Scumbag amp company and you're replicating the tone from the old 60's Greenbacks. How about Scumback?"

That's the whole story. I guess we can thank Ellen (wherever that psycho hose beast is) for inspiring the name.


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