Pete Traynor The Man, The Music, The Struggle


By Bill Delingat

If you were a young musician struggling to make it in the heyday of the hippie movement in Toronto’s Yorkville, you probably carried around your old Strat and a Traynor amp, the then affordable Canadian competitor to the Fender twin reverb, while your drummer packed his Ludwigs into the back of the families station wagon .

The place to go was Long and McQuade, located at Yonge and Yorkville, to stare at the many unreachable instruments and dream of the day that you may own one.

Pete Traynor worked at the Long and McQuade Music Store as a repairman, mainly fixing the broken rentals that came back from the now infamous “B” circuit of Northern Ontario. Traynor started off by customizing amplifiers as a way to save costs, but also like a good home auto mechanic supercharging up his car, Traynor did the same for amps. His talent and curiosity led to his making of his own brand, the first brand formed by Yorkville Sound. It all started in 1963 through experimentation and experience, Traynor developed a Bass amplifier that he called the Traynor Dynabass. By the end of 1963, Traynor started off by offering the product out as a rental and soon was selling the Dynabass amps along with matching 15-inch speaker cabinets; then the logical transition to portable columnar P.A. systems when Traynor  found a reference book of 1930s RCA commercial loudspeaker designs. Soon a business partnership to sell these amps had formed between Pete Traynor and Jack Long, the man who owned the legendary music store.

Pete TraynorPete TraynorTheir friendship has grown as well as both of their businesses, with currently over 25 Long and McQuade stores across Canada. Traynor products have found their way from stage productions, television shows and major venues across the country and the warehouse now located in Pickering Ontario churns out its line of products worldwide.

Pete Traynor gave his all to make it easy for the everyday guitar player to reproduce that intangible entity we call music.

Pete Traynor today is the same man but one with a new struggle; fighting now for over 30 years the onset of a debilitating spinal vertebrae disease that is unforgiving to its host. Traynor’s friends are putting together an event to help his family through and help offset the surmounting bills it takes to fight an enemy that attacks from within. If you love music, and the pioneering amps and speakers behind the original Toronto Sound, come out to The Opera House on Oct.11 and help honour Pete Traynor, the man behind the sound. Join Pete’s favorite bands and singers in a celebration of his many contributions.  There will also be a guitar auction and, hopefully, a visit from Peter himself.

As one great artist Joe Cocker sang “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”. Let’s all help a friend and come out and enjoy the music and support a friend.