1. I was at a friends house yesterday looking at some old drum parts. (Some of the parts had me stumped. Well, almost.)
2. The nurse burst in and said “We need to see you in here, right away,” so I jumped up, and ran in, and I left my book right there in the waiting room.
3. Why am I not as affective a leader as I’d like to be?
4. A Dairy Queen Blizzard was in my thoughts today.
5. One of my father’s favorite sayings was “I’ll be down to get you in a taxi, honey, you better be ready by 1/2 past eight.”
6. My friend Lynn Archer has been posting on FB lately that she’s in love–I know that feeling!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a nice meal and some time in the hot tub, tomorrow my plans include going to Paddy’s wedding, and Sunday, I want to do what I always do!
1. I was at a friends house yesterday looking at some old drum parts. (Some of the parts had me stumped. Well, almost.)
I got this somewhat mysterious call on Monday. Ron said to me from across the office “There’s some lady on the phone for you. She wants to talk to you about a drum set.”
I picked up the line. “Hello?”
“Mac from Northern Kingdom gave me your name. He said you might be interested in an old Ludwig drum set. I have one. I need to move, and I don’t have a storage location anymore. I need to get rid of it.”
“OK,” I answered, “could you tell me more about it?”
“It’s black.” (For you non-drummers out there, this offers no clue. Every company made black drums.) “A friend of mine told me it was from the ’60s.”
“Does it have a badge on it?”
“Yes. It’s a silver triangle.”
“No. It says “Ludwig.”
“Is it clear wood on the inside, or does it have some granite flake paint?”
OK, none of this is making sense to me. To my knowledge, the Educator and Standard badges were the only triangular silver badges Ludwig used. In the ’60s, they would have had a Keystone badge. In the ’70s, they would have had the B/O (or blue and olive) parallelogram badge. She was adamant they weren’t blue and olive. Maybe they had the Rocker badge. It was silver, sorta, but not triangular. And, if they were Rockers, I would have expected the Granitone paint on the inside.
“How much are you asking?”
“Make me an offer.”
“Well,” I said, “I can’t make you an offer until I see them. But if you say ‘I want $800,’ then I don’t need to come out at all.”
She said “I’ll take $50.”
I figured I should get out there, regardless.
Alas, it was not to be. When I got there, she did in fact have Ludwig drums. Well, she had two Ludwig drums. Two Ludwig drums with keystone badges that said “Chicago” on them. A badge that was from the mid ’80s, before Ludwig moved to North Carolina. And these two drums were 6″ and 8″ power sized concert toms! They were right out of a hair band drum kit. The rims were rusty. The shells were de-laminating. They were not so nice. There was no mounting hardware. Just the two drums.
She also had three other drum; drums that we know in the business as “asian firewood.” In the ’60s and ’70s, you could by drum sets at Sears, or in the JC Penny catalog. These drum sets were crudely made with inferior wood, bad chrome plating, and hardware that wouldn’t stand up. The drums I saw dreamed of being this nice. The drums she had were red sparkle, and they had been painted a kind of dark teal/green/black color. There was no floor tom.
I had to tell her “Thank you for calling me, but there’s nothing here I’m interested in.” Not even for $50.
I was surfing around youtube yesterday at lunch, looking for something to listen to on my lunchbreak. (I frequently use youtube to listen to music–caring not a fiddle for the video portion.) I found this clip of Steve Gadd, Vinnie Coliuta, and Dave Weckl.
Dave Weckl takes the first solo, and opens with those tasty cymbal flourishes. Dave is mostly known as a smooth Jazz/fusion player for the likes of people like Chick Corea. I don’t particularly care for that style of player, but I can tell you Mr. Weckl is a monster player with monster chops. No doubt you can see that here.
Vinny Coliuta. The man does it all. Zappa. Sting. Jeff Beck. ’nuff said? The guy is a freak. He’s got more chops than a meat market. Heck, watch that one handed snare roll with his left hand while is right hand goes all bombastic on the toms.
Gadd is, technically–in my opinion–out of his league here. Steve Gadd is a killer player, no doubt. He outplays me with one hand. He’s got a gazillion records in which his tasty studio studies come to the fore. That great groove from Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening“? Gadd playing the mozambique with four sticks. How about “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” with that interesting diddling between hihat and snare? Gadd. What about that laid back off beat fill from “Chuck E’s in Love“? (See 1:56 in that last video.) How about Steely Dan’s “Aja,” and all those drum fills? Gadd on the first take! C’mon! But the thing is, technically, they’re not all that hard. It’s the groove that makes them so good!
Back to our clip. 2:45, Gadd comes in. And what does he do? He reaches back to his drum corps days, and pulls our a frickin’ marching cadence so yummy you wanna get up and dance. Man, I LOVE that. I’ll take groove over chops any day of the week. And for me, this clip nails that. Yes, Weckl and Vinny are all over it. They outplay Steve–from a technical standpoint–seven ways to Sunday. And yet it’s Gadd’s portion of the solo I’ve been listening to over and over for the past two days.
Gimme groove! I like it more better.
Not much happened Friday.
Saturday I was home with kids for the day. I played a gig on Saturday to a very responsive crowd. A very nice lady from Alabama told me twice I had beautiful eyes. I played a drum solo that was pretty decent and garnered applause. The end.
Now, let’s get to the magic!
Immediately after church, Susan and I and the kids packed up the van and headed to Somerville. You see, Susan’s parents live there, and they were going to be watching the kids for us. Why? So we could be alone for a romantic weekend! Oh yeah!
We left the kids, and headed for Freeport. I had booked us a room at a place called The James Place Inn. Freeport is a quick drive outside of Portland, and The James Place is one of the few places near Portland that offered an in-room two person hot tub! Oooh la-la!
Having settled into the room for a little while, we started on our way to Portland. The entire thrust of the outing was to see Casting Crowns and Kutless in concert at the Portland Civic Center. We were going to meet Jim and Jeanine for supper at some Mexicn place Jim likes. We weren’t too far away from Haddlock Field when I heard this really awful grinding/thumping noise eminate from the front passenger side tire. It was a rhythmic sound that sped up and slowed down with the speed of the tire. It almost sounded like a flat, but the car was handling fine. I pulled over. No flat. I looked under the car. Nothing. I got back in, and started looking for a garage. Susan got Jim and Jeanine on the horn. Having stopped for directions, I was told of a Sullivan Tire not far from Haddlock Field. Jim and Jeanine would meet us there.
Not wanting to be detered on our romantic weekend, I threw the keys in a service envelope, and stuck them in the key drop. Jim and Jeanine offered to chauffer us for the remainder of the evening. The Mexican restaurant was closed/sold/out of business or otherwise not open. We opted for a Chinese restaurant with a buffet, as time was of the essence. It was ok. Then the concert…
We were told the concert started at 6:30pm. When we got there at about 6:20, Caleb was already on stage. Just him and his brother (I think), who was playing the cajon. They were pretty good. Kutless was next. I didn’t really know anything about them. I enjoyed them very much, and they know how to rock! The drummer was pounding! Big arm movements, way above his head. They played 1/2 dozen songs or so, maybe eight. I was really surprised their set was so short. Casting Crowns played two sets. They were good, as you would expect from the headliner. I would have preferred they played a little less, and let Kutless have some more stage time. The concert was done around 10:30pm. Jim and Jeanine dropped us off at the B&B. They took a quick tour of the place, and took their leave.
I was up Monday morning at 7am. Breakfast was from 8-9am, so I went, procured some coffee, said good morning to innkeeper Robin, and met his daughter Elise. Breakfast was innkeeper Tori’s delicious homemade granola and yogurt, raspberry oatmeal muffins, cinnamon French toast (homemade cinnamon bread!), bacon, and juice. While having breakfast, the garage called, and quoted repairs on the van. It wasn’t all outdoors expensive, though they did try to talk me into four new tires and an alignment. No thanks. The car was done around noon. Innkeeper Robin was gracious enough to give me a lift into Portland to pick up the van. Both Robin and Tori were wonderful hosts; I’d stay with them again in a hearbeat. I drove back to the inn and picked up Susan. (So not only did they give us a lift to Portland, the innkeepers also gave us a late checkout. Thanks!)
For the rest of the day, Susan and I drove north. We took Rt 1 to Brunswick, looking for antiques and shops. Not much going on on that stretch of road. We then took I-95 north to Gardiner. We walked up and down Mn St of Hallowell. Note: downtown Hallowell is mostly closed on Mondays. We drove into Augusta, and did some quick shopping at a couple of stores, nothing eventful. We had a nice “lunch” around 3pm at Longhorn. After that, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond in Augusta, as Susan was looking for some new curtains. While there, I also found an “extra firm” pillow that seemed to suit me. There was a Christmas Tree Shop located right next door. Having never been into one myself, Susan talked me into going in and looking around.
We got back to Spruce Head around 7pm. It was nice to be home. I think we may have watched a little TV, but we didn’t stay up long. We went to bed, tired from what could have been a trying weekend, but instead we never let the little things get to us. We instead decided to have an awesome time.
Drummer, brush master, and member of the famous Oscar Peterson trio (with Oscar and bassist Ray Brown) is dead. Ed was a true brush master, and the one all the current brush masters (Will Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Steve Smith, etc.) try to emulate. The Oscar Peterson album “Night Train” is an album I like to call “two sides of taste.” Not a bad cut on the album. It’s one I listen to over and over–not because it’s filled with flash and fireworks, but because it’s filled with great music. You can hear a copy of the title cut here.
I was on break last night, having finished set #1 at The Black Bull. Old high school chums Jim Mooney, Maura Manning, and Leslie Tax were there. Maura lives in Australia now, and Leslie lives in New Mexico. (Or was it Arizona?) Jim is in Hallowell–not too far away. Anyway, I was going to sit down with them, when this guy who had been enjoying the music came over to me.
“Is that a Pearl kick drum?” he asked?
“It is,” I said.
“I’ve been looking for a small kick drum. I thought the mounting hardware looked like Pearl, but I didn’t recognize the line.”
“Well, it was a floor tom that I put on its side. I then put the bass hardware on there, and recovered it it pink sparkle.”
“Oh! So it’s been heavily modified?”
“Yeah, it has” I said.
“And what kind of snare is that?” he asked.
“It’s a Pearl too,” I said.
“What line is it?” he asked.
“It’s a Pearl Sensitone Classic. It’s bronze.”
“I like metal snares,” he said. “I have this cheap $80 Tama snare now, but it sounds so good!”
“I like metal snares too,” I said. “That particular snare is my “desert island” snare. It’s sounds good in so many rooms, and it’s so versatile.”
“Well, it sounds really good.”
“Thanks,” I said. And he was right. I had it dialed in, and it was sounding particularly good.
“I had this friend let me try one of his snares,” he told me. “It was a Dunnett. It was cast iron. It sounded really good, but it was soooo heavy.”
“I’m Bill, by the way.”
“I’m Jon. Nice to meet you.”
“Are you from the area?” I asked.
“I live in Lincolnville, but I’ve only been here about five years. I haven’t been playing out too much. I’m still trying to meet musicians.”
At the end of the night, bass player Glen asked me about what the guy said, and whether he said anything about the sound of my drums. I said he did. He said “He hasn’t been playing much.” I said “Jon? You know him?” Glen said:
“That guy is the drummer for Phish.”
I knew Jon Fishman was living in the area. One of my former students, Ian, is a HUGE Phish fan, and went to Jon’s place one day to jam. But I didn’t put two and two together. I just figured Jon, the drummer from Lincolnville, and didn’t even consider “Wait, Phish’s drummer is named Jon and lives in Lincolnville too!” And the cool thing was, he didn’t mention it either. He could’ve said “Oh, I’m the drummer for Phish. I’ve sold a gazillion albums. Maybe you’ve heard of me?” Nope. All low key.
1. I was watching the Red Sox a few weeks ago, and lo and behold, some guy stole home.
2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been cheddarwurst.
3. We’ve got this neighbor on Birch St. Place, and sometimes early in the morning his dog likes to tell the neighborhood: bark! bark! bark!
4. A nice long walk will occasionaly lead to blisters on the back of your heel. (You may want to consider a scooter instead! 🙂 )
5. I’m almost always ready for some good news.
6. When all is said and done, there are still a couple more snare drums I need to own. (Really! I need to add them to the collection. I should mention the “own” list is a little out of date. One or two on there I no longer own, and one or two–or three–I do own haven’t made it to the list.)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting home way too late from a gig in Brunswick, tomorrow my plans include men’s breakfast, the Kiwanis Bike Rodeo, and Jim’s bachelor party, and Sunday, I want to ride my scooter to church for Biker Sunday!
It actually started Friday afternoon. I had put some hours in at the office the previous Sunday (for billing day), so I decided to take those hours off on Friday. I told Susan I’d pick some lunch up for the kids at McD’s, and I’d leave the office around 12:30. Well, as you might guess, it all broke loose as I was trying to leave. About 45 minutes later, I busted out, hurrying to get to my 2pm tire appointment. After the tire, I came home, took a little nap, and then headed to my gig at My Fork in Winterport. The gig was fine, though sparsely attended.
Saturday was the big day. I got up a little before 8, and made breakfast. I had been inspired by something I saw on TV at the gig, and decided to parlay that over to breakfast: caramel apple waffles. Yeah, they were good. I guess it was sometime around 10:30 that we headed out for the day’s trip: going to watch the alewives run up the Damariscotta Mills fish ladder. Susan and I thought we’d have fun, but we never realized how much fun we’d have! It was a blast. The high point of the day was a horse ride in a wagon. Hard seats, no brakes or suspension. A firm ride. Towards the end, the driver really had the horses turn it on. They were galloping through town, Susan and I and the kids laughing, me 1/2 afraid one of the kids would fall out of the back. We had lunch in Damariscotta at Reunion Station–that restaurant made out of the old train cars. The place wasn’t the cleanest, but the food was decent and the prices cheap, so it wasn’t so bad.
Sunday was the regular kinda stuff. Church in the morning. Lunch was at Mom’s; Lisa made spaghetti. The boys had their hair cut. I took a quick nap in the afternoon. The boys and I washed the scooter. Evening church.
I was up at a little before 7am today. I took a long scooter ride down to Spruce Head. I took the kids to Lowes to get some stuff for projects around the house. I spent most of the day washing windows, and putting up new blinds downstairs. I managed to get three loads of laundry done too. I made a trip to the grocery store–on the scoot!–and picked up some stuff for supper. I made some hamburgers on the grill. Now, I’m kicking back, relaxing. It was a very nice weekend.
1. Moving really stinks; I’m not looking forward to it.
2. The best thing about the iPod touch is how many of the cool aps are free.
3. My best quality is up for debate; I think it’s my melancholy.
4. Much of managing people is in the details.
5. In nearly 10 years, the current president will be out of office. Who do we think will be in the White House then?
6. My bed and some ibuprofen is what I need right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to playing a gig in Winterport, tomorrow my plans include doing something fun with the kids (if their fever is gone) and Sunday, I want to ride the scooter!
1. The first rule of working in an office and getting along is make sure the boss has coffee before you say anthing.
2. The strips come from what part of the clams. (?)
3. When I think of carnivals I think of that time the clown asked my father-in-law to come out into the ring, and then did this crazy dance routine to Whitney Houston’s “Run to You” with him and a treadmill.
4. Daffodils my favorite spring flower.
5. Things on my desk include a iPod touch, a picture of my wife, a clock, and a 1958 Western Electric phone.
6. Chinese food makes me wanna sleep.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a gig in Rockland, tomorrow my plans include a gig in Brooklin, and Sunday, I want to play a gig in New Hampshire!