In November, 2005, I attended The Texas Pinball Festival, as the media guy and a spectator as well.  One of the coolest experiences at this show was hanging out in the ballroom area where the games were being set up, and in walks the man himself, John Osborne, a veteran Gottlieb designer.  John has designed some interesting Gottlieb pinball machines, including some of the last Gottlieb electromechanical ones:  Hit The Deck, Neptune, Blue Note, and Rock Star.  John is most famous for designing Haunted House, one of the most collectible Gottlieb solid state pinball machines.  In the 90's, before Microsoft released "Microsoft Pinball", I could find a Haunted House pinball machine for around $600 almost anywhere, not working but cosmetically nice.  Now, a working one goes for well over $1k, closer to $2k.  I played Haunted House on location at an arcade called Golden Dome Amusements when I was a teenager.  I remember they had an F-14 Tomcat, a Steve Ritchie classic, next to Haunted House. I remember at the time not liking all those ramps and I almost always played Haunted House.  Nowadays I love both games, both way ahead of their time.  

But I digress.  At The Texas Pinball Festival 2005, I taped John Osborne and John Buras' seminars. John is another Gottlieb veteran designer. Some of the pins he designed were Pink Panther, Buck Rogers, and most notably, Black Hole, another Gottlieb solid state classic.  After the seminar, John gathered up some photos of his days at Gottlieb, and a few of us hung out in the hotel lobby and listened as John recalled his days at Gottlieb.  I remembered I had about 20 minutes left on the dv tape, and quickly hit the record button.  John told some interesting stories, one of which included how he saved the Gottlieb factory sign from being thrown in the trash. That's right.  The legendary Gottlieb sign was going to be pitched.  In an email from John dated July 19, 2006, he told me how he had the sign for years in his garage, but he eventually sold it.  He mentioned he had a copy of the article he wrote for Gameroom Magazine in December, 1993 and would be happy to mail me a copy.  My response was, YES, please!:)  I still have this photocopy by the way, and well, here it is for everyone to enjoy.  

If you would like to see the entire Texas Pinball Festival 2005 on dvd, including the seminars and interviews I mentioned, ORDER IT HERE.






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