Quixote Consulting

Quest Story
Five Qs and As with QC Music Team Building Facilitator Lou Manzi

Lou Manzi heads up Quixote Consulting’s music team building division. He’s everybody’s favorite good guy and he never fails to make me smile. Read on to learn about his link to Jimi Hendrix, what ridiculous fashion trend he followed, who he’s most grateful for and his stint as a detective tracking down a guitar!

If you could tour with one band which one would you choose?
Even though two members have passed on, I’d pick the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix was one of the reasons I went crazy for the guitar.  The first time I ever saw or heard him was right after the Monterey Rock Festival when I saw a film of his performance on the news. Of course I had never seen or heard anything like it, and, even though it was a short segment, it was awesome and made a tremendous impact.  And then, he puts the guitar down on the stage, brings out the lighter fluid, and ZROOM he lights it up! I was only a teenage boy and I was hooked.  And Mitch Mitchell, his drummer, is also one of my favorite players. Playing with them would be a challenge, but I’d love to give it a try.

What is the most ridiculous but very cool fashion trend that you followed?
I had a pleather light brown long Shaft style coat in the 70s. And the first pair of pants I ever bought for myself in the 60s was a pair of really tight, purple bell-bottoms.  But I’m proud to say I never wore “love beads” or a Nehru suit!

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?  
Being a good Catholic boy, when I was a kid sometimes people would ask me if I’d like to be a priest when I grew up. I would answer, “I’d like to be the Pope!”  I never even made it to alter boy but I am very, very glad and proud to have become a musician, music teacher and musical consultant.  

For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?
I had a great set of parents. My dad was a WWII vet who taught me strength and perseverance and mom taught me how to really enjoy life and not take things too seriously.  She was the life of the party even when there was no party going on.  And I’m also grateful to have a wonderful wife who is always there to help me achieve my full potential and loves the crazy guitar player she married.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
My girlfriend who later became my wife gave me a beautiful and expensive Martin guitar.  I took it to a guitar repair shop for a simple fix. I could have even done it myself but I figured, let an expert do it on such a special instrument.  A month passes, no call, I go down to the shop, the shop is gone and a needlepoint shop is there now. I went to all the other stores in the neighborhood and nobody knew where the repairman went or what happened.  A few weeks of talking to local musicians and I find out he got caught making and selling really good vintage instrument forgeries (drug problems too) and had to close the shop in a hurry. I filed a police report but nothing happened from that.  Not one friend thought I’d ever get the guitar back. I knew I had to get it back. I knew his name and got his address and knocked on his door many times – never an answer. His phone number was unlisted but I wrote many letters saying that I just wanted the guitar back – never an answer. 

I would often stroll up and down his street or sit in my car parked near his apartment hoping to see him. I grabbed garbage bags many times to try to get info about him.  I became friendly with his neighbors saying, “Where is he?   He’s an old friend and I want to pay him back some money I owe him?” Three years later (yes three years!), I was parked on the block and I spotted him walking up his driveway.  I caught up with him before he reached his door and before I could say a word he said, “I’ve got your guitar. Let me go get it.” He got the guitar and that’s the end of the story. Mission Accomplished!