East West Musical Instrument Company

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would appreciate any information on this company which may also have dealt in leather products. Originated in San Francisco. Two men owned it and then closed the business moving to Haiwaii

-- ed walleston (dadgus@aol.com), April 03, 2002


In case anyone was interested, I did find out that the company was owned by Norman Stubbs and run in concert with a David Warren. They operated as East West Musical Instruments and produced hand made objects including leather goods. The name changed to East West Leather in the late 70's. Norman currently has a travel agency in Maui and David Warren's son runs the DavidWarren Gallery in Maui. They made very beautiful leather jackets

-- ed walleston (dadgus@aol.com), May 06, 2002.

My brother worked for a time at East West Musical Instrument Company around 1970. While he was there he made a leather jacket for me which is still around and in great shape. My 17 year old niece is taking care of it for now and is in love with it. I've just about given up any hope of getting it back from her, although now that I own a motorcycle I could really use it.

-- Gerry Brown (gbrown@buncombe.main.nc.us), September 04, 2002.

I worked as a leather cutter at East West from 1967 until the late 1970s, first at the small factory & shop on Castro Street, then on Rodgers Alley just off Folsom Street, and finally, on Third Street across the street from South Park.

There was a mini-reunion of a dozen or so former East/Westers in September of this year. Many folks still have one or more of the jackets they made themselves during their tenure at the factory and all had lots of great stories to tell and memories to share. Amoung them were all the famous people for whom we had custom orders to fill. I particularly remember cutting a jacket for Steve Wonder and one for then-mayor of NYC, John Lindsey.

East West was a very special place staffed by a group of very creative and artistic people. No one who ever worked there will forget the experience.

-- Carrie Carlton Helser (chelser@earthlink.net), December 09, 2002.

I own two of them, one in the early seventies. I got it at a little botique in philly (black & silver with suede trimmings of a shoreline sailboat and palm tree, sunset, pier).The second, a hand-me-down in the early 80's from my brother (the fool) is a blue suede/leather vintage fringe with rhino bone buttons. Both are mint, and the finest leather I have ever owned.

-- josh morgenstern (josh@wwis.com), January 25, 2003.

i talked with norman to see if he still had any jackets left he does but they are for his collection only he did have some belt buckles he gave me guess they did not do as well as the jackests point of interest his brother bob owned the phoenix on haight st same era

-- (requests@verizon.net), January 25, 2003.

I bought a East Weast Musical Instruments leather jacket recently at a thrift shop. I payed around $30.00 and the jacket looks to have never been worn. It is gorgeou

-- KATE KARMIOL (Firecrackerpro@aol.com), February 12, 2003.

hey everyone. i am a big fan of east west and also a writer working on a story about the label. i would love to talk to anyone who has any info about the label and its history. especially those who used to work at east west. any help you can give would be most appreciated. even the small anectdote could help. you can just e-mail me at the aol account and leave your phone # if you'd like to talk. thanks.

-- steve kurutz (stevenkurutz@aol.com), July 11, 2003.

I have been collecting east west jackets for over 5 years and have quite a few.If anyone is interested in selling jackets,I am always looking to add to my collection.Thanks.

-- Steve Haron (julkast@aol.com), July 22, 2003.

I own a few East West and North Beach jackets and pants, hand stitched and some are hand painted. I bought them at a local second hand boutique, here in Ft Worth, Texas, because i play in a band and i thought i would look great in them (and i do LOL). The owner of the shop said he bought them from Lee Pickens of the early 70's band "Bloodrock" ,who were also from Ft Worth. so mine have a little history. I have pics if anyone is interested (because im a proud owner). I too am interested in buying more East West and North Beach jackets and pants if anyone is willing to sell. (sorry mine are not for sale) Richard

-- Richard Hurley (rlhurley2@sbcglobal.net), July 25, 2003.

Hi I'm totally into 70's stuff and just started to collect East West jkt. If anyone who might be intreseted in selling the jkt or whatever has something to do with East West, let me know. Your help would be appreciated!!

-- Moose (myway66@qd6.so-net.ne.jp), September 26, 2003.

Add me to the list of those wanting very much articles from East West. I've already communicated with myway66--who beat me in a recent auction for an EW jacket. Serves me right for having to be away from my computer at a crucial moment!

I never worked at East West, but when I moved to San Francisco in 1968 with other members of my (then) band (Glenn Cronkhite Band) Glenn and I visited East West. As a leather worker in his own right (Glenn now operates Cronkhite Custom Cases, building musical instrument cases of leather & cordura) and a drummer/percussionist, Glenn wanted to see the musical instruments and the leather stuff. I still remember the fabulous purple leather pants someone was being fitted for that day... If anyone ever runs across a VERY SMALL EWMI jacket or vest, let me know... PLEASE!!! Would be of enormous sentimental value to me... athan, at ayc@uiuc.edu

-- athan y chilton (ayc@uiuc.edu), September 30, 2003.

Hey there!

I collect East West jackets! They have a fab fit! If anyone is interested in selling (small sizes only please) e-mail me asap!

-- Tiffany Perreras (tperreras@aol.com), October 05, 2003.

I just need to set the record straight once and for all. I am the worlds largest collector of East West Musical Instruments Company Leather Garments. I am presently opening a museum in Los Angeles. At present I own 63 Jackets including 26 one of a kind, prototype and custom pieces. 12 of the Vice president of the companies personal one of a kind jackets. Prototype paintings, silver motorcycle hats, gloves, over 20 different belt buckles, over 1,000 photos, all the ads, catalogues, production books on producing the jackets, belts, bags, unsewn original jackets, store posters, the scrap books kept on the company, all newspaper articles, and just when you thought you were ready to dry your tears.....da da da daaaaaa.....the original buffalo covered account book with over 500 names addresses and phone numbers of everyone who ever sold East West Leather. So please if your ready to sell any jackets I pay between $350.00 -$3,000.00 . I would be more then happy to answer any questions about any jackets you have. You don't have to sell them to me, but I would feel better if everyone was well educated before parting with there pieces. There are a lot of scam artists calling themselves collectors. Feel free to contact me and ask about anything you may have.


Joel Von Stezelberger


Hi Folks, I am "Tangerine". I was a rock musician and persuer of an alternate future in those days. I still am, but don't let it get around, ok? I could not afford Those clothes when I was living on Waller Street, but later when working with Zephyr and Tommy Bolin in Denver, I got my first Jacket (Still have it)..Pawn Shop $25... Then I met a chick who had a sister going into the Joint! I got her jacket for my wife (still have her and the jacket!) for $25 too!..Well a few years went by and I found some Brown Bells in a thrift store near mint! $16.99! These are my finds in 30 years of yard sales, estate sales , pawn shops, vintage clothing stores, and flea markets! Gives you a feel for just how tough it is to find this stuff. Want your size only? FORGET IT! Please gvery easy on wearing these treasures. Sure they wear like steel, but you should pass them down in great shape.

Note that there is a company named just "East West" doing business...They are not the real deal! I am happy to talk EWMI with you, 303 973 9369... but please call at a reasonable hour, say 10 PM or before Denver Time. Good Luck to those who are lookin!

I looked for info on the web for 3 years now, and this page is the most I have seen!

-- Chuck Warriner (redrocks68@yahoo.com), October 23, 2003.

Hey all. I am trying to reach Joel Von Stetzelberger in regard to some history on an East West Musical Instruments and Leather Garments Jacket that I own and the above e-mail address is not working. Anyone know the correct e-mail? Thanks. Danny White

-- danny white (dannywhite90@hotmail.com), October 26, 2003.

my email address is topo_g_joe@hotmail.com with the underline you could not see the underscores.

sorry Joel

-- Joel Von Stezelberger (topo_g_joe@hotmail.com), November 07, 2003.

My wife Susan has a "mint condition" East West Musical Instruments (San Francisco) original Leather Jacket. It is the leather "Parrot Design" Size M #6146. I don't know if anyone's familiar with the Parrot Jacket, but it is an absolutely stunning handmade leather jacket with swatches of different shades of leather and suede creating the designs of parrots on the collar. Detail is extensive and exquisite through out the front, back and sleeves. Due to the fact that the sizes ran quite small, my wife was never really able to fit in to it (it was given to her as a gift), and consequently it hung in our closet for the past 25+/- years. I'd be happy to email anyone a couple of digital pictures of the jacket, if interested in possibly purchasing. Asking price is $2,500.00.

-- Steve Gaspar (hollywood01@earthlink.net), December 15, 2003.

5 hours ago I donated to local LA and Vallet thrift stores 68 East West Jackets, 26 were one of a kind. Memoribilia and misc. pieces. Everyone greedy can start searching for it. I did it for a love of Fashion, and Art and knowbody gets it .To anybody it is all about money. Please do not contact me on this subject. All questions will be erased.

Live for Love Greed Sucks

Joel Von Stezelberger

-- Joel Von Stezelberger (topo_g_joe@hotmail.com), December 23, 2003.

My Uncle is Norman Stubbs.....I can tell you alot about my Uncle's life on Maui where he is living and such. I almost inherited one of his leather Jackets. They are selling for at least 10,000 dollars right now. Feel free to email me

-- Martin Stubbs (eireshamrock2000@yahoo.com), April 11, 2004.

I currently have a "EAST WEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT" leather jacket in excellent condition for sale on ebay. I wish that it fit me. It is absolutely beautiful.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ViewItem&category=52397&item=8113620928

-- C. MacMillan (jas@kingston.net), June 22, 2004.

I as well have a perfect east west early 70s "deninger" jacket on ebay RIGHT now - starting 10-18-04 and ending in 10 days http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ViewItem&rd=1&item=8140112339&ssPageName=STRK:MESC:IT

-- Bill Pigati (cowtown@kdsi.net), October 18, 2004.

I think the "deninger" writing actually says "deringer" as in "rick deringer" - same auction as stated above - anyone who can help, please send me a line


-- bill pigati (fleshdig@kdsi.net), October 22, 2004.

While shopping in a vintage clothes store here in Austin,TX I spotted a leather jacket with unusual patterns of a setting sun on the shoulders. It also had a "stash" pocket under the lapel. Upon trying it on I noticed it fit "like a glove". I had never felt a garment fit such as this. Consequently, my wife purchased it as a X- mas gift to me for $50.00. After describing the jacket to an American Indian leatherworker friend of mine who lived in S.F. during the 60's he immediately identified it as an East-West without even seeing it! Sure enough the label shows "EAST WEST LEATHER INSTRUMENTS" style is "Smoke". I love this jacket and its' fit.

-- Larry Hubbard (hubbard-lyons@mindspring.com), October 30, 2004.

I have an East West jacket that I have worn while flying my open-cockpit Stearman biplane to every U.S. State and Canadian Province in North America. See www.BiplaneOdyssey.com

-- Alan Lopez (BiplaneOdyssey@aol.com), November 04, 2004.

M Bolt 3907

The above is written on the edge of my East West Musical Instruments Jacket. It's a yellow leather, no lining, simple cut with what looks like buttons made from petrified wood or plastic that looks like it, a very irregular shape. There is a stash pocket behind the collar. It doesn't give a style name or a date, just the standard tag and phone number. Does anyone have any information about it?

-- Christopher Like (Jadeddissonance@gmail.com), November 24, 2004.

I worked at East West from the summer of 1970 until the beginning of 1973. From the Winter of 1970 until I left, I was the manager. During that time, the owner and company founder, Norman Stubbs, withdrew from active involvement in the company and moved from San Francisco to Maui. After Norman left, I was the person in charge, although I must acknowledge that the top women directing the sewing and prep of the garments had as much to do with managing the company as I did. It was a fascinating place to work: the purest and funkiest embodiment of that movement sometimes called "hippie capitalism." We got the work done-- creating all those interesting jackets and pants and purses and belts--but we had immense amounts of fun while we were doing it. (Picture San Francisco in the late 60's, early 70's: sex, drugs, and rock n roll.) Everyone on the staff was young and at least in some ways bent out of the mainstream...some a little and some a lot. It was a microcosm of that whole crazy time. Several of the employees died of drug overdoses (none at work, although that was not because there were no drugs at work...we didn't take coffee breaks; we took joint breaks). There really were Musical Instruments in East West's history too. Initially, Stubbs had designed some weird drums with strings in them that could be plucked and drummed at the same time (I think). I once took a phone call from Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, asking if he could buy one of them. We did make a lot of clothes for rockers. I had forgotten about the Stevie Wonder order that Carrie mentioned, but I recall doing things for Elvis, and you can see an EW jacket on one of the members of Santana in the Woodstock film, and Mick Taylor of the Stones wears an EW jacket in Gimme Shelter. I also remember taking custom measurements for a lovely midget stripper and for a giant named Treebeard (no kidding). Some of the old gang still get together for reunions or swap e-mails from time to time. I was one of those at the larger reunion that was mentioned by someone else here. That's the first time I realized the garments had become collectables. Geez...I either wore out or threw out all of my old EW stuff, except for a few belts and buckles. To correct a couple of erroneous items I read in other postings... There was not--at least not in my time--a Vice President at EW. Norman owned the company, and a series of people acted as on-site manager. I did for two plus years and others did for shorter or longer periods. David Warren was not a partner, as far as I know. He was in charge of what we called the Hard Leather Dept, which meant belts and heavier leather items (as opposed to jackets and pants). He left some time during my tenure. David and Norman and I used to get together after work to jam...Norman and I on congas and David on flute. We were pretty awful. That's enough for now. I'll send this URL to some of the other alumni, and perhaps they'll contribute something too. Bill Oetinger

-- Bill Oetinger (srcc@ap.net), November 24, 2004.

I worked at East West; first for about 6 months(?) in 1969 as a "salesgirl" at the retail store on Castro St. (the factory was in the adjoining storefront). I remember Mick Fleetwood coming in to browse, and various other "rockers" who have faded from my memory. I left EW to follow an acid guru to Connecticut (no details) and came back to EW in 71or 72 to work, first as a "glue girl," then a seamtress at the factory on Folsom St. Went along when the factory moved to 3rd St., and eventually became head seamstress, and left in August of 1975. The 3rd St. days I remember as the dark days. The hippie movement was pretty much dead, and the disco and cocaine era took it place. I look back on the Folsom Street days as the best part of the EW experience. Party days, still a sense of innocence--we weren't yet jaded. As Bill said...sex and drugs and rock n' roll... And I played the Rolling Stones incessantly...enough to drive everyone either into heaven or sheer hell! The emailer Joel Von Stezelberger... (search above for his email address) is a great source for info. He is into this for the story and the art of it, not the $$$!

Peace and Love, Baby!

-- janis reed (jreedme@earthlink.net), November 26, 2004.

I knew Laura and Larry Leather who ran the East-West store in North Beach on the NE corner of Grant Ave at Green St, circa 1970-1976. They also had a store in Sausalito, and lived in Sausalito--had thanksgiving with them once. Does anyone know what happened to them? I think they got divorced and Laura had a child by someone she met working at Club Med. Laura was a great seamstress and personally made me a beautiful buffalo jacket with 14 pockets, including a hidden zipper pocket behind the back collar. My s.o. at the time and I had about a dozen E-W "creations." At the time didn't realize they were all works of art.... they're all vanished now. C'est la vie.

-- V. Vale (info@researchpubs.com), February 02, 2005.

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