Lisa Bella Donna tells the story of her ARP 2600: “I sold my car and a few other things and I hitched a ride up to get it”

“At the time these weren’t really sought after.”

Lisa Bella Donna and the Korg ARP 2600

Image: EarthQuakerDevices on YouTube

Electronic music composer and multi-instrumentalist Lisa Bella Donna tells it about one of the earliest synths in her collection — the Korg ARP 2600 — in the latest episode of Show Us Your Junk.

“This is the instrument that I started out on. This is the actual one that I bought in the late 80s. It’s a vintage ARP 2600 synthesizer,” said Bella Donna, pointing to the analogue beast tucked in a corner of her legendary home studio.

The artist said she’d met a man back in the late 80s named Dave Thompson who used to have a column in the back of Keyboard magazine called ‘synth locator’.

“I Immediately called it and said ‘hi do you have any ARP 2600s?’ and you know he’s like ‘oh no’. At the time these weren’t really sought after — everybody wanted the Yamaha DX7s and they wanted the Rolands and Korgs and things like that.”

“Long story short he was very kind and invited me up to his place so I drove four almost five hours but I got to experience a world of synthesizers. He had everything; he had a large Moog system; he had a pair of 2600s; he had Mellotrons; he had an amazing collection.”

And three months later, the musician received a call that’ll put the ARP 2600 right in her hands — though not before some sacrifices were made.

“He called me and said he had an ARP 2600 for me,” Bella Donna said. “I wasn’t able to afford it right off the bat but he let me make a down payment. And in about three or four months he called me and said well you better come get this thing or I’m going to have to sell it to Lenny Kravitz — he’s on the other line and wants to buy it. I told him ‘well, Lenny can call me and he can rent it from me I’ll be up tomorrow.’”

“So I sold my car and a few other things and I hitched a ride with a friend up to get it and that’s where it all began.”

Watch the full studio tour below.


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