(Topic ID: 267056)

Butch Peel Appreciation Thread


By zaphX

77 days ago



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40
#1 77 days ago

By now you've heard the news that Butch is out at JJP.

He has helped many of us in profound ways - let's show some gratitude for his contributions to the hobby and our lives!

I'll start.

Thank you Butch for talking me through a disassembly and repair, on a weekend, at 11pm.
Your instruction gave me the confidence to repair my machine and even got me started with pinball tech in general.

Your videos were a huge help also.

Thank you Butch!

#2 77 days ago

Why is he out ? Butch was awesome helping me with my games. A true compliment to JJP!

First Frank and now Butch...who's next Steve and Loyd ?

#3 77 days ago

Wherever, and Whatever Butch is doing, I wish him the best of health, and in his future.

Butch has been there for me, along with the JJP Team, 110% since the beginning.
I feel he helped set a high standard of communication and help, that has kept me coming back for more.

#4 77 days ago

By far the nicest guy I've ever met in pinball. I first met Butch at TPF while standing in line to play Iron Man. He invited me to play Iron Man with him & his two friends and within minutes we exchanged phone numbers. Absolute best wishes to you in your future Butch!

#5 77 days ago

What happened to the rest of the New Jersey staff, did they all get let go or are some moving to Chicago?

#6 77 days ago

Butch is a great guy and was a super asset for JJP. Sorry to hear he's gone.
OP, you should include this fact in thread title and you will find a lot more appreciation for this pinball legend.

#7 77 days ago

Butch was amazing to work with. I was almost "starstruck" when I got a call back from him, on a weekend no less, about a ticket I had opened. I had actually just been watching a couple of his videos earlier that day. His patience, insight, and competence in communicating that insight gave me the inspiration I needed to do my first bit of soldering on my machine.

Also, the manuals. As pinball manuals go, they are real page turners. They're so good, I've actually gone through the manuals for games that I do not own.

I wish him nothing but the best in whatever is next for him.

#8 77 days ago
Quoted from mtp78:

Why is he out ? Butch was awesome helping me with my games. A true compliment to JJP!
First Frank and now Butch...who's next Steve and Loyd ?

Based on what Kaneda said it wasn't Butch's decision, he didn't want to leave, and was a total shock to him. Again this is just what Kaneda reported. However, according to Kaneda Butch's daughter reached out to him and said "It was definitely unexpected and abrupt, he never would of quit working for JJP. They made it clear they didn't have a role for him anymore and that it was permanent. We were all in disbelief, very sad".

I don't see how you let a person like Butch Peel go. It's hard to find people that not only do a great job but are also passionate about it as well as go above and beyond like Butch regullary did. We are now hearing numerous stories of how Butch went above and beyond with a tech support call. Then there's the incredible detailed work he did with the JJP manuals. You don't let people like that go when there is clearly still a need for that type of a role at the company. Also, having people like Butch at your company that care so much about the customers leads to those customers coming back.

I remember meeting Butch at a Michigan Pinball Expo years ago and he was very nice and knowledgeable. At the time I was waiting for my WOZ ECLE and after talking to Butch I recall thinking "I'm glad to be buying a product from a company that has people like that working for them". Kaneda did bring up whether or not the JJP company that was started is now gone? Personally I don't think so as for the most part they are still making high quality loaded games with some of the deepest / unique rulesets in pinball. I don't think the JJP mission statement has changed but that the company is clearly evolving.

#9 77 days ago

every single company has it's internal politics. Jersey Jack Pinball is no exception.

#10 77 days ago

Really sad news. I met him in person a few times. He seemed to really enjoy supporting pinball.

#11 77 days ago

Apparently Pat Lawler pushed him out. Not sure if that's true but damn Pat. I love your designs though. Guy makes incredible pinball machines.

#12 77 days ago

Butch is amazing... I’m starting to get a very uneasy feeling about jjp... butch literally walked me through converting my Australian pirates to a us one. Spent 20 minutes on the phone walking me through step by step and even sent pictures. All at 8pm at night! The man handed out a personal number that went straight to his phone.. THAT is what true customer service looks like. I’m new to jjp machines. Got my first about 5 months ago and BECAUSE of the amazing service I received I picked up a used hobbit also. After dealing with him, I wondered why everyone hated on JJP customer service in the past. I had read nothing but horror stories. Thanks Butch for all your work.

#13 77 days ago

sounds to me JJP is cutting costs and over head in the hopes of surviving

#14 77 days ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Based on what Kaneda said

Kaneda? Who's that? Does he work at JJP?

#15 77 days ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

sounds to me JJP is cutting costs and over head in the hopes of surviving

Yeah could be. At the same time Jack just said two weeks on a podcast how they are hiring and we also heard that a new communications position at JJP was recently filled.

#16 77 days ago

Met Butch twice at shows. He seemed like a super nice, chill guy. He just helped me fix an issue a week ago!

His manuals boosted my perception of JJP games as 'world class'. Even when the NIB games arrived broken or with ridiculously bad issues, his positive attitude and my trust in JJP support helped maintain my positive feelings about my purchases.

Not sure how or why this happened, but my perception of JJP is lesser for it.

#17 77 days ago

I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about pat. I’ve heard that Pat is the one who pulled the plug on the spinning disc on pirates, the chest Mod, and said they were unreliable... but they had fully operational and fully working and reliable mechs at the time of that decision. Everything was coded and ready to go. I wasn’t told this directly but from what I gathered is there was some serious jealously with Eric and his game. Especially after Pats flopped dialed in.... (sales wise) the monkey thing on WOZ was because Pat wanted to reuse old cabinets and that Mech didn’t fit into the game. Was never about making it more reliable or anything like that. Sell for more and give less is Pats model sadly. Also heard pat dislikes wide bodies.. doesn’t make sense why he now dislikes them unless it’s all tied to the bottom dollar. I’m don’t know if we will ever see a wide body again from jjp. Jjp was started on wide bodied epic pins with tons of shots and mechs that made your draw drop. Now we get a spinning Gob stopper in a standard body cab... Some people are excited Pat is working on toy story. (Dream theme of mine) I’m very saddened by it actually. I know it will not be a true jjp game as we knew them from the old days. I’ve also heard that working with him is a pain in the butt. When you couple what I’ve personally heard from peoples mouths with all the rumors flying around it’s not hard to believe it as fact.

#18 77 days ago
Quoted from Vpv1rgin:

I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about pat. I’ve heard that Pat is the one who pulled the plug on the spinning disc on pirates, the chest Mod, and said they were unreliable... but they had fully operational and fully working and reliable mechs at the time of that decision. Everything was coded and ready to go. I wasn’t told this directly but from what I gathered is there was some serious jealously with Eric and his game. Especially after Pats flopped dialed in.... (sales wise) the monkey thing on WOZ was because Pat wanted to reuse old cabinets and that Mech didn’t fit into the game. Was never about making it more reliable or anything like that. Sell for more and give less is Pats model sadly. Also heard pat dislikes wide bodies.. doesn’t make sense why he now dislikes them unless it’s all tied to the bottom dollar. I’m don’t know if we will ever see a wide body again from jjp. Jjp was started on wide bodied epic pins with tons of shots and mechs that made your draw drop. Now we get a spinning Gob stopper in a standard body cab... Some people are excited Pat is working on toy story. (Dream theme of mine) I’m very saddened by it actually. I know it will not be a true jjp game as we knew them from the old days. I’ve also heard that working with him is a pain in the butt. When you couple what I’ve personally heard from peoples mouths with all the rumors flying around it’s not hard to believe it as fact.

If half of this is true, they let the wrong guy go.

26
#19 77 days ago

In my view, Butch represented everything that was right about JJP, personable, approachable, focused on quality and always willing to help out. His manuals are works of art! My wife and I were really shocked and saddened to hear about his departure. He was/is a great asset to the business and i hope he finds another spot with another pinball company.

I've always thought of JJP as a tight-knit family run company, but I now wonder if that is the case (yeah, I know an investor pulls the strings, but still) as I don't like like the trends I've seen lately, including departures of Shannon from parts and Frank from tech, but I don't know the story behind them so I won't speculate.

Nice to know others feel the same about him as we do.

Butch, if you or your family are reading this, please reach out as I only have your JJP email and I'd like to keep in touch with you.

#20 77 days ago

Edit- I'm hopeful for future of JJP....but this was a bad move.

#21 77 days ago

Sounds like a loss for JJP. However, JJP did just get Barry from AP and Barry is great too.

#22 77 days ago

That manual for POTC is amazing and his video about what tools to have handy was absolutely HUGE for me to watch and learn from as someone new to pinball. Very disappointing to hear this news.

#23 77 days ago
Quoted from Lermods:

In my view, Butch represented everything that was right about JJP

This is so well stated. Butch represented everything good about all of pinball. A genuine nice guy. I'm bummed they let him go.

Quoted from delt31:

Apparently Pat Lawler pushed him out.

I hope that isn't true. But if it is, like Reznnate said...

Quoted from Reznnate:

If half of this is true, they let the wrong guy go.

Butch, I wish you well in your next adventure. I hope I run into you again in the future.

#24 77 days ago
Quoted from Vpv1rgin:

I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about pat. I’ve heard that Pat is the one who pulled the plug on the spinning disc on pirates, the chest Mod, and said they were unreliable... but they had fully operational and fully working and reliable mechs at the time of that decision. Everything was coded and ready to go. I wasn’t told this directly but from what I gathered is there was some serious jealously with Eric and his game. Especially after Pats flopped dialed in.... (sales wise) the monkey thing on WOZ was because Pat wanted to reuse old cabinets and that Mech didn’t fit into the game. Was never about making it more reliable or anything like that. Sell for more and give less is Pats model sadly. Also heard pat dislikes wide bodies.. doesn’t make sense why he now dislikes them unless it’s all tied to the bottom dollar. I’m don’t know if we will ever see a wide body again from jjp. Jjp was started on wide bodied epic pins with tons of shots and mechs that made your draw drop. Now we get a spinning Gob stopper in a standard body cab... Some people are excited Pat is working on toy story. (Dream theme of mine) I’m very saddened by it actually. I know it will not be a true jjp game as we knew them from the old days. I’ve also heard that working with him is a pain in the butt. When you couple what I’ve personally heard from peoples mouths with all the rumors flying around it’s not hard to believe it as fact.

I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't true...I heard he screwed over Cliff (Cliffy protectors) on DI....went his own direction because he thought he could do better and it turns out his protector sucked.

#25 77 days ago
Quoted from Lermods:

In my view, Butch represented everything that was right about JJP, personable, approachable, focused on quality and always willing to help out. His manuals are works of art! My wife and I were really shocked and saddened to hear about his departure. He was/is a great asset to the business and i hope he finds another spot with another pinball company.
I've always thought of JJP as a tight-knit family run company, but I now wonder if that is the case (yeah, I know an investor pulls the strings, but still) as I don't like like the trends I've seen lately, including departures of Shannon from parts and Frank from tech, but I don't know the story behind them so I won't speculate.
Nice to know others feel the same about him as we do.
Butch, if you or your family are reading this, please reach out as I only have your JJP email and I'd like to keep in touch with you.

wait wait - Frank from tech is gone too? get out of here - Frank was the BEST! What the hell is going on at JJP?

and people think they're going to rebuild pirates, a game that the margin had to be so tight they stopped it the first time. haha

#26 77 days ago

Wow, this news is a shock.
He is truly one of the nicest men in pinball. Spent 45 minutes with me over the phone fixing my Smaug. He would have spent more time but I felt bad I was on the phone that long.
His correspondence in emails were just as helpful especially on Woz 2.0 lighting. His manuals are a testament to his work. He set the model on how manuals should be. Going to miss him at JJP. Hope the future is everything he wants.

#27 77 days ago
Quoted from Vyzer2:

Wow, this news is a shock.
He is truly one of the nicest men in pinball. Spent 45 minutes with me over the phone fixing my Smaug. He would have spent more time but I felt bad I was on the phone that long.
His correspondence in emails were just as helpful especially on Woz 2.0 lighting. His manuals are a testament to his work. He set the model on how manuals should be. Going to miss him at JJP. Hope the future is everything he wants.

Stories like this make me wonder who at JJP will provide this type of above and beyond technical support?

13
#28 77 days ago

No idea of the inner workings of what happened.

I will miss working with Butch. He's in Texas so I often seen him when I was at TPF. And Expo in Chicago. And broke bread with him in Chicago too.

A great man and a great asset to pinball. I hope another company grabs him so pinball doesn't lose him.

LTG : )

11
#29 77 days ago

Big sweaty hog pile from me. Butch is one of the finest gents in all of pinball.

FYI. The Butch and Lawlor feud had been brewing for years. Years... I'm with Butch a 100% on this.

#30 77 days ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Big sweaty hog pile from me. Butch is one of the finest gents in all of pinball.
FYI. The Butch and Lawlor feud has been brewing for years. Years... I'm with Butch a 100% on this.

Lawlor sounds like an egotistical prick....it must be struggle for him to watch a young designer bypass his current abilities...

12
#31 77 days ago
Quoted from delt31:

Frank from tech is gone too?

Frank has been gone over a year.

Quoted from mtp78:

who's next Steve and Loyd ?

I for one hope not Lloyd. Steve too.

LTG : )

#32 77 days ago

one of the other companies will gobble Butch up, he is awesome.

#33 77 days ago

More Butch Peel videos:
POTC deep dive at Pintastic New England 2018:


Willy Wonka deep dive at Pintastic New England 2019:

Enjoy!
.................David Marston

#34 77 days ago

Butch is an amazing guy and tech . This guy was a key asset to jpp. He was so nice and really wanted to help out when an issue came up . I hope one of the other guys snatch him up .

#35 77 days ago

What are Barry and Pat's past ties? Are they old buddies or something? Is Barry coming to JJP the reason Butch was let go? I should really withhold judgement until the whole story is known, but it's hard to not be disappointed with this news. I can't imagine he will be on the job hunt for long...they guy is universally loved, and obviously an incredible technical asset. Both of which are pretty darn hard to pull off in this hobby.

#36 77 days ago

Butch is one of the coolest guys in pinball. Always a pleasure to hang with him at the shows. Hopefully he keeps coming to shows, even if another industry scoops him up.

#37 77 days ago

Just want to say that my interactions with Butch always made me glad I was a NIB JJP customer. A great dude and a big part of what made JJP a great company. Always a show highlight when I got a chance to chat him up. Any other MFG would be wise to make this man an offer.

Jack may be the heart of JJP but to me Butch and Frank and the others that constantly went above and beyond were the soul.

19
#38 77 days ago

So proud to call Butch a close friend! JJP ,your loss will be another company's huge gain. If you have ever had the chance to meet Butch you then already what a wonderful person he is. What you don't know about him is that his career before pinball was even more amazing. It is not mine to share with you but I will tell you that men and women in the armed services have personally thanked him for the things he has done that have resulted in saving their lives,True Story! Love you Butch.
IMG_5750 (resized).JPGIMG_5756 (resized).JPGLunch in Ohio with Butch,Gary,And two people you should all recognize IMG_5774 (resized).JPG

#39 77 days ago

I played a game of white water with him at TPF about 5 years ago. He played first ball and never drained. It was seriously like 30 + minutes and he talked to me the entire time. We ended up just walking away while he was still on the first ball and he had some ridiculous score going. Just a super down to earth guy. Someone is going to get them a wonderful employee out of this.

#40 77 days ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

What happened to the rest of the New Jersey staff, did they all get let go or are some moving to Chicago?

Pink slips, all of them!

Quoted from JodyG:

What are Barry and Pat's past ties?

Barry has no ties to Pat. Barry is a great guy and has my upmost respect as a pinball engineer,I consider him a good friend too and I'm sure he will do all he can for the" Pat Lawlor Pinball Company" but no one and I repeat NO ONE knows these existing games like Butch.Having Barry at JJP is an asset but losing Butch is just a travesty.

#41 77 days ago

Wish Butch and family the best in wherever he goes. Great person and a valuable asset.

16
#42 77 days ago

JJP should shit can Lawlor and let Eric run the pinball design show..the industry needs new fresh talent.

11
#43 77 days ago
Quoted from JodyG:

What are Barry and Pat's past ties? Are they old buddies or something? Is Barry coming to JJP the reason Butch was let go? I should really withhold judgement until the whole story is known, but it's hard to not be disappointed with this news. I can't imagine he will be on the job hunt for long...they guy is universally loved, and obviously an incredible technical asset. Both of which are pretty darn hard to pull off in this hobby.

It is easy to assume things, but nothing you wrote here is correct or factual.

This isn't my story to tell.

#44 77 days ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Pink slips, all of them!

Even Jen?

#45 77 days ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

JJP should shit can Lawlor and let Eric run the pinball design show..the industry needs new fresh talent.

Lawlor has created some AWESOME pins for JJP. Both Wonka and DI are fantastic! Eric is also fantastic. Either guy on design is a win in my book.

#46 77 days ago

I don't think the CEO would can Jacks daughter.

#47 77 days ago

Butch was a great guy, helped me load a pin I bought at last years TPF and it wasn't even a JJP machine. JJP's loss will be someone else's gain,good luck on your next adventure Butch!

#48 77 days ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Lunch in Ohio with Butch,Gary,And two people you should all recognize [quoted image]

Yeah, I remember that lunch in Ohio!

And I sure as hell remember Butch. What a great guy! Super passionate about pinball and tons of interesting stories. Be well, Butch!

#49 77 days ago

Jen will be working remotely from NJ from what I have been told. Jack also.

#50 77 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

No idea of the inner workings of what happened.
I will miss working with Butch. He's in Texas so I often seen him when I was at TPF. And Expo in Chicago. And broke bread with him in Chicago too.
A great man and a great asset to pinball. I hope another company grabs him so pinball doesn't lose him.
LTG : )

I am pretty sure Butch lives in NM, not TX. Regardless, I will miss hanging out with him at the shows too.

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