I posted this to the Strings By Mail Stover article. Thought I would share it with all on our forum.
Just as Richard, I met Howard in the mid 1960’s at Jose Oribe’s Inglewood Guitar Studio. At that time, I was a flamenco player. Now, my dear friend Ted Owens (LA Guitarits)calls it “Barnyard Flamenco.” I had one advantage over 99.99% of the other flamenco players of that time. Being a trumpet player, I could read music. Naturally, I had a B-flat ear and still do. My first real gig was 1968, a lounge on Sepulveda, Blvd. in El Segundo, Calif. I was about 28 years old at that time. I soon found out, a little barnyard flamenco goes a long was with an El Segundo audience. I could play a few of my own pop arrangements. Shall I say, basic cowboy chords with a melody line on top. I soon found myself at Howard’s studio seeking out his pop and Latin arrangements. He gave me some of his standards, Shadow Of Your Smile, Theme From A Man And A Woman, A Taste Of Honey. My next trip over, I brought him a piano arrangement of a jazz standard, Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. He flat sight read it off the piano score. I was floored, to say the least. Since those mid 60’s years, Howard and I have been great friends. I have collected his arrangements for many years. I am now 74, retired from the SP/UP Railroad. I have had the same weekend fine dining restaurant gig now for over 14 years. I play over 35 of Howard’s arrangements. Last I counted, I have performed in over 30 restaurants. Shall I say, I could NEVER have done this without Howard’s help and all his music. He has been a true blessing to me in all my years of playing. About five years ago, the late Bob Torres and I combined all our HH arrangements a gave them (copies) to Larry Kuhns. Larry started a HH restoration program where he puts all the handwritten copies to a computer music writing program. Many more people have also shared their HH arrangements with Larry. Besides Howard’s sight reading ability, it is amazing how he has the ability to write out an arrangement, right on the spot, skewed to a players ability. I’m sure there are hundreds of what we all call “one of a kind” Heitmeyer arrangements floating around out there that no one has ever seen except for the recipient.
Paul McGuffin, Green Valley, Arizona