Untitled Document
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!

band musical instruments

For me, it depends.

If I'm playing at a casual club, pool gig, condominium, retirement village, or private party, nobody seems to care.

If I'm playing at what around here amounts to high-society, how you look is probably more important than how you sound. It's not every gig, and perhaps 10 in a normal year, but they pay well.

The guests dress to impress, and have gone through the trouble of wearing tuxes and gowns and looking as spotless as they can. The person doing the booking expects the guests to do the same.

This advice was first given to me in the late 1970s by the biggest booking agent in South Florida, Walter B. Walters. He was so concerned about looks, that he would drive around in a stretch limo and do business in the back. He also booked the best and best paying rooms.

He wanted to book us for a special party held in the Eden Roc hotel on Miami Beach. Before offering the gig to us, he came to one of our gigs, checked up on our appearance, asked us if we had tuxedos, and pointed out a few spots on our equipment that we should tidy up before doing the gig. The guitar player was playing a worn guitar, and he asked him if he had a blemish free guitar. The guitarist said that he had, and the agent said to bring that one. I had recently had my sax overhauled and relacquered, so it looked fine.

He said that when playing society gigs, we have to look as good or better than the average person in the audience. If the audience is blemish free, we need to be blemish free.

I've kept that in mind ever since.

I get these gigs where other duos of equal talent do not, simply because when we show up, we look the part.

Other musicians that say the audience is being too superficial, and they don't need those jobs. I say the gigs pay well, are pleasant to play, and they lead to a lot of other spin-off gigs.

These gigs are most common around here in Miami Beach, Palm Beach, and Vero Beach (actually just north of Vero Beach). I don't mind dressing the part, and personally, I like a nice looking sax, so it works for me.

Insights and incites by Notes
Definitely, it's been OT for a while now.

BTW, Banff is definitely on our list.

I've been to 49 US States, and Yukon was an extension of over a month in a rented Class C motor home in Alaska. We took the Top Of The World highway, and it was quite pleasant. Dawson was a bit too tourist oriented for me, but still pleasant. The country around there is quite scenic.

McGill in Montreal has a great student symphony orchestra. Notre Dame cathedral has a great choir. We found some great music in some smaller venues too.

Niagara Falls are better viewed from the Canadian side.

And how do we get this back on topic?

One of my saxophones was made in Taiwan. I've been to the People's Republic of China (even played there) but never to Taiwan.

In the PRC I played a Chinese alto that was owned by a gal I met. The only English word on it was "Lark", everything else was in Chinese characters. It was a decent horn, somewhere between a student model and a pro horn. Easy to play, decent intonation, and it had a decent but slightly thin tone. But then on Alto, I'm spoiled, I have a Silver plate King.

You’ve been to 49 states . That’s a lot of traveling. I’ve probably been to about 15 or 16 of them.

It’s good that Banff is on your bucket list. McGill is a fabulous university and Niagara Falls is far better on our side. For sure.

I’ve also been spoiled. I’ve never played a Chinese saxophone but was told by many professionals not to get one.

I’ve got a 1952 SML alto which is a nice instrument. Now I want to talk about mouth pieces. I’ll have to find the right threads though.
Mrs. Notes and I love to travel.

We've been to every US State but Hawaii (that's on the list), Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix & St John (USVI), more than half the Canadian provinces, 7 Mexican states, Bahama Islands, Bermuda Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, England, Scotland, Wales, Gibraltar, The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Austria, Czech Republic, Australia, Russia, Japan and China (From the Great Wall down to Hong Kong).

We had plans to go to Madagascar in 2020, but COVID put a damper on that.

Our mantra is: no kids, no pool, no pets, and no regrets ;)

Instead of putting a kid through college, once a year we go somewhere exciting. Besides, we work nights, it isn't the right way to bring up children in today's world. It wouldn't be fair to a child.

Mrs. Notes and I are not only musicians who gig together, we are best friends, lovers, and each other's biggest fan.

In 2018, before the fires, we spent 5 weeks in a tiny camper van in Australia. The van was so small it didn't have a toilet. The dinner nook turned into a bed (and stayed that way for 5 weeks), had a small fridge, sink, and microwave. We covered half the continent, including the outback. It was one of our best vacations ever.

I don't know of too many couples who could spend 5 weeks in a van together and not fight. Not only did we not fight (we never do), we enjoyed every minute of it and wished we could do it for at least another 5 weeks. I'm a lucky guy, and I try to make her feel the same way.

We're starting to do outdoor gigs here in Florida. I'll be alternating my Taiwanese MacSax with my Japanese Yamaha.

I also play guitar, flute, and wind synth on the gig, my wife plays guitar and synth. We both sing (she sings much better). Since I also play bass, drums and keyboard synth, I make my own backing tracks for our duo.

We also write aftermarket style and fake e-disks for Band-in-a-Box.

We're making a living doing music and nothing but music. It's not for everyone, but for us it's a great way to go through this all to short life.

Notes ♫
Top Bottom