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Nostalgia...

    • 31 posts
    March 16, 2012 12:00 PM PDT

    Recently I posted a toast to all the cats I've jammed with over the years:  http://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/nostalgia/

     

    I have some of the best memeories of crazy gigs... Ones that went spectacularly, ones that went terrible, ones that were just bizzare.

     

    What are some of your favorite rock-related memories?

    • 68 posts
    March 19, 2012 8:36 PM PDT

    As everyone is sick of hearing, back in 2006 a
    friend who was running a benefit asked if I could
    provide a bassist and drummer to play with Bo Diddley.

    Pardon the margins:

    We were supposed to close. So I show up early and
    walk into the bar and Bo is seated onstage, playing.
    His daughter Terri, his keyboardist, sees my case and
    says "The bass player is here!" I say "Yes, I'll
    play bass if this gentleman will let me."

    Bo keeps playing.

    Now I look up onstage and there's a drum kit. Not my
    drummer's kit. The promoter dude asked for a bassist
    and a drummer so I got my side-band drummer, burned
    him a copy of Bo's best and the poor guy practices up,
    makes cheats, loads everything up and they've got
    someone else. Crap. I love benefits.

    I load in, while Bo is playing to a few dozen people,
    futzing around with his guitar synthesizer thingy. I
    say to Terri "If you can give me keys it'd be great."
    Bo hears and turns around (he is seated facing the
    audience) and says "We don't do that 'key' shit."
    Haha, welcome to the big leagues, Brian Krashpad!

    I'm up there playing with Bo, before the show has
    started (his granddaughter or some such relative is
    playing drums, while we wait for the keyboards to
    arrive) and my drummer walks in. "So I guess I don't
    need to unload?" I try to apologize (not that it's
    anything I did) while playing. I don't see him for
    the rest of the night. Crap.

    So the keyboards arrive and Terri finally finds a
    workable sound, and she is sweet as pie, telling me
    how it is tough to play behind Bo and all, and she's
    still not used to it! She also says "You're a brave
    man!" and I said something to the effect of that I was
    equal parts brave and stupid, but no way would I turn
    down this gig.

    Bo quits the stage and retires to the VIP room
    backstage. Not wanting to be presumptious I stay out
    front, I want to be out there when my wife arrives
    anyhow. My wife arrives, as does my lead singer from
    my side band, less than pleased about the $15 cover
    (which my wife also paid).

    After a LONG wait (Bo does some sort of interview
    backstage in the VIP room), we finally are almost
    ready to go on. "Where's the guitar player?"
    everyone asks. I was only told they needed bass and
    drums. A guitarist from one of the other bands on the
    bill shows up, with an acoustic electric. Hmm. That
    bit actually turned out OK though.

    Bo immediately breaks a string before we start the
    first song. He has no backup guitar and not even any
    spare strings onstage. A relative is dispatched to go
    get his spare strings. A VERY long string change
    ensues. Finally, iirc we open with "Hey, Bo Diddley."
    It goes over great, and is a song that my studies
    have actually prepared me for.

    For almost all of the rest of the night, I am making
    stuff up on the fly. In some cases between songs Bo
    will teach a riff to me and the guitarist on the spot,
    but almost never actually saying the key or notes. He
    will either play it and expect you to play it right
    back, or he will sing the melody ("Go: dum dum dum
    bah dum bah dum dum") and expect you to instantly
    translate it into music.

    A little into the set we blow a fuse or something. I
    still have power and so does Bo for our stage amps,
    and the keys have power but the PA is down so no vox
    and no keys or guitar. Another longish delay. The
    volunteer tech crew (actually a DJ rather than a live
    sound man, who volunteered his PA) eventually gets it
    sussed and we plow ahead.

    Apparently we were onstage for a couple hours. In
    general I think it was very well received. I had a
    really GREAT time. Towards the end of the set this
    guy from the audience comes over and stood on my side
    of the stage yelling encouragement and praise (please,
    do not compare me to Jack Bruce, that's looney!).
    Which is not very common for a bassist playing highly
    repetitive simplistic basslines. Even so, I didn't
    care.

    I played bass for Bo Diddley.

     

    • 48 posts
    March 19, 2012 9:36 PM PDT

    A favorite memory of mine was back in the spring of 2008 when I attended the LPF Jam held twice a year up in Greenboro, NC by long-time LPF member Jimmy Murray. What made it so cool (beside just being a weekend of great music with players from all over the country) was that Tom Murphy was there. Who is Tom Murphy... Mr. Gibson Les Paul aging and historical relicing himself.

    If you've never hear of Tom then do a Google/YouTube search and you'll find out that he is the guy behind the Jimmy Page Historic Les Paul, the Gary Rossington Historic Les Paul, etc. He is the guy who made these guitars look old and made them a match of the originals they are copied after. Plus, it turns out that he is a funny guy, great player, and somebody with lots of stories about his time at Gibson.

    Besides jamming with him on a few songs, my favorite memory was sitting around Jimmy's breakfast table with Tom telling us stories about aging the Rossington, Betts, Page reissues, etc. Here's a few pics of Tom and all of us jammers from that year. I have video clips of the jam on my YouTube page if you want to hear some great jamming (http://www.youtube.com/mmcquain)

     

    Jammers

     

    Breakfast with the guys

     

    Tom Jams


    This post was edited by Mike McQuain at March 19, 2012 9:46 PM PDT
    • Moderator
    • 16 posts
    March 21, 2012 9:33 AM PDT
    Great stuff Mike!
    • 31 posts
    April 6, 2012 6:07 AM PDT
    Awesome stories. Thansk for sharing, dudes!