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West Coast Blues Thread Version 19

JimR56

Member
Messages
722
I could get to Hester by walking down to Dana Avenue and turning left. Hester is around the block from my house. I could probably have seen your house from my back yard.
Although we actually didn't buy that house, we still remember it well as a first experience. The place was really tiny. It backed up to the seller's house/property, which was on Shasta (east of Park ave... sounds like you were further west, nearer to Lincoln HS). It was probably constructed originally as a guest or servant's quarters for the seller's Shasta house. At any rate, the deal fell through, and that was a blessing because we soon found a much better house down near the Hamilton/Meridian area where I grew up.

Spivey's restaurant was one of our hang outs. It was on the corner of W. San Carlos and Shasta.
I had a birthday party there when I turned 6 (1961). In our family in those days, going out to a restaurant was a pretty big treat. That probably helps me remember it. I got a basketball, and a Spivey's sheet cake... oh yeah.

I had come across these photos online a few years ago, and I thought you might enjoy seeing them. Also, there's a lot of interesting history about the Spivey's chain, which I was unaware of, here: http://brattononline.com/page/16/?m=btouardhcyb (scroll down about halfway, or better yet search the browser page for "Spivey's" ). One person on that blog confused Spivey's and Stickney's, which is something I've done more than once over the years (Stickney's, as you probably remember, was over at Valley Fair, next to The Emporium).




I saw the Stones and the Byrds at the S.J. Civic Auditorium in early '65.
One of my older brothers may have been at that show. My primary memory of that place in the mid-60's was seeing the Harlem Globetrotters.

Guitar Showcase was a really hip place.
Absolutely. My biggest regret is that I never had any money when I went in there in the early days.

Did you ever check out Union Grove Music in Los Gatos? They later moved out to Santa Clara (on Stevens Creek), and then over to Santa Cruz, but the Los Gatos shop was a hip little place.

Thanks for sharing the memories, George. It's fun to reminisce (apologies to everyone we're boring to tears here). Oh, and very cool photos of your visit from Mr. W.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
37,457
Recently posted on YT
William Clarke-Harmonica
Hollywood Fats-Guitar
Richard Innes-Drums
Fred Kaplan-Piano
Jerry Smith-Bass

I think that was a production of the PBS station in San Diego. I saw if not that one a very similar show years ago on the station. One reason I remember where I saw it was that a guy i knew was listed in the credits of the full version as the still photographer, so it stuck in my mind. It was definitely at the Belly Up, a place I was very familiar with.

The only one on stage there I was familiar with at the time was Smokey Wilson. Though I not too much later saw William Clarke several times around San Diego, with a rotating cast of the various guitarists we associate with him, usually in pairs.
 
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Scott Miller

Member
Messages
7,366
" I think I had become aware of him via Tom Mazzolini's "Blues By The Bay Show" on KPFA."
Har. To pile on the coincidences, the first time I heard Hollywood Fats, which opened a rather huge door for me, was on Tom's show. You know that situation when you're driving and you reach your destination but you're listening to something on the radio that blows your mind and you have to sit in the car and wait for the radio announcer to say what it was... so there I was, sitting in the Guitar Showcase parking lot...
 

fretshop

Member
Messages
2,010
" I think I had become aware of him via Tom Mazzolini's "Blues By The Bay Show" on KPFA."
Har. To pile on the coincidences, the first time I heard Hollywood Fats, which opened a rather huge door for me, was on Tom's show. You know that situation when you're driving and you reach your destination but you're listening to something on the radio that blows your mind and you have to sit in the car and wait for the radio announcer to say what it was... so there I was, sitting in the Guitar Showcase parking lot...

Yeah man !! I don't know how many times I'd hear something on the blues station or NPR, or Bluesville on Sirius Radio while I was driving...and go groping for a pen and a scrap of paper, then wait for the set to end and hopefully hear the announcer identify the tune. When I first heard Johnny A's version of Walk Don't Run on NPR radio, I couldn't find a pen, so I licked my right index finger and wrote the details on my wind shield while negotiating morning rush hour traffic. Then, when I got to work, I turned on the defroster...and presto !! There was my information, smudged all over the inside of the wind shield, with hints of black coffee and bits of a buttered roll that I was eating while driving. Hey...ya gotta be resourceful...ya know ?
Although we actually didn't buy that house, we still remember it well as a first experience. The place was really tiny. It backed up to the seller's house/property, which was on Shasta (east of Park ave... sounds like you were further west, nearer to Lincoln HS). It was probably constructed originally as a guest or servant's quarters for the seller's Shasta house. At any rate, the deal fell through, and that was a blessing because we soon found a much better house down near the Hamilton/Meridian area where I grew up.


I had a birthday party there when I turned 6 (1961). In our family in those days, going out to a restaurant was a pretty big treat. That probably helps me remember it. I got a basketball, and a Spivey's sheet cake... oh yeah.

I had come across these photos online a few years ago, and I thought you might enjoy seeing them. Also, there's a lot of interesting history about the Spivey's chain, which I was unaware of, here: http://brattononline.com/page/16/?m=btouardhcyb (scroll down about halfway, or better yet search the browser page for "Spivey's" ). One person on that blog confused Spivey's and Stickney's, which is something I've done more than once over the years (Stickney's, as you probably remember, was over at Valley Fair, next to The Emporium).

I still miss the old neighborhood, my pals, relatives and neighbors....but to paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, "You can never go home again". Everyone has left the area, and although the old neighborhood looks exactly the same....it ain't. Try as I might, I couldn't break away from the shop and a bunch of other pressing responsibilities and priorities to attend my 50th James Lick H.S. reunion, but I got some nice photos. Maybe next year...butthanks for the photos and the memories Jim...and Scott...thanks again, as always for the photos of the house. It really meant a lot.





One of my older brothers may have been at that show. My primary memory of that place in the mid-60's was seeing the Harlem Globetrotters.


Absolutely. My biggest regret is that I never had any money when I went in there in the early days.

Did you ever check out Union Grove Music in Los Gatos? They later moved out to Santa Clara (on Stevens Creek), and then over to Santa Cruz, but the Los Gatos shop was a hip little place.

Thanks for sharing the memories, George. It's fun to reminisce (apologies to everyone we're boring to tears here). Oh, and very cool photos of your visit from Mr. W.
 

Carmour

Member
Messages
1,273
I think this is an interesting topic. How many originals are you doing? If I had the opportunity to record a blues album, I would target 100% originals. I actually stopped buying gear this year and started working on my own songwriting. It's turned into one of the biggest and most rewarding challenges I've ever taken on musically.

Trying to come up with my own blues riffs, lyrics, and melodies isn't easy for me. It seems easy, but ideas that start at home always take on a life of their own on the bandstand. That's the fun part though. Seeing what works and making changes on the fly. A patient rhythms section helps :)

I have an even greater appreciation for songwriters now that I've taken it on, even if all my efforts flop in the end.
Funny! Sounds almost parallel to my experience this last year too. Bought a new guitar (regal parlour guitar) and started writing songs (about 50 or so to date). Although not really in the blues genre.

I gotta say I totally agree with you though, At this point I have about 10 instrumental blues originals to record and i want to do maybe 3-4 covers. Will pick the best cuts from that and wittle it down to maybe 11-12. Depends how they turn out though really. Might not even bother with the covers but I do like Hucklebuck as I do my own thing with it I think. But yeah, there isn't much point recording an album of instrumental covers imo, If im gonna do it its gonna be mostly originals
 

Carmour

Member
Messages
1,273
Here's hoping all of our Kiwi friends are doing okay today after that big quake.
Was pretty huge and tonnes of after shocks.. then a tsunami warning... then a months worth of rain in 2 days. Lots of road blockages and slips and damaged infrastructure but not much in the way of deaths/injuries which is good. Apparently it was TWO big quakes at the same time. Lasted 2 minutes and was ****ing violent. Worst one I've felt.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Was pretty huge and tonnes of after shocks.. then a tsunami warning... then a months worth of rain in 2 days. Lots of road blockages and slips and damaged infrastructure but not much in the way of deaths/injuries which is good. Apparently it was TWO big quakes at the same time. Lasted 2 minutes and was ****ing violent. Worst one I've felt.
When I was living in Christchurch one night I heard a lot of banging and crashing in the flat next door. I thought my neighbor had come home drunk. Next day I found out it had been an earthquake.
 

Kingsley Fats

Member
Messages
956
I was in Christchurch last year. Very disturbing to see the damaged buildings. I hope they didn't receive too much more damage this time round.
 

Carmour

Member
Messages
1,273
The quakes seemed to be felt across the entire country, theres been 1500+ after shocks recorded. Mostly felt around the top of the south island and bottom of the north though. Wellington CBD has a bit of damage.. the engineers are assessing a lot of buildings. Lots of flooding but that seems to have subsided for the most part. Kaukoura had to be evacuated by chopper as it was cut off by slips and earthquake damaged roads... Scary stuff. People really believe that there's gonna be a big one too. Wellington especially has been told that its almost inevitable at some point. There's a small chance that the initial quake will have set of a reaction which could trigger a bigger one.

One thing for sure, definitely not sleeping naked anymore ahahhaha
 
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valcotone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,836
Stay safe Carmour. Thanks for taking the time to check in here. Maybe this experience will inspire a new original instrumental?
 

StaxKing

Member
Messages
697
All, not been around here much recently. Currently going through a pretty heavy modern Clapton binge so not much for me here at the moment. lol.

Anyway, I did see a couple of questions regarding the Jr Barnyard Pedal. I remain a great fan of this. Very good when twinned with a Quilter; certainly.

For the JB tone you go both knobs at 11 OClock and both microswitches flicked to the right. Both lights need to be on.

For a great blues tone, I suggest left hand knob just below 9 OClock, right hand knob at 1 OClock, microswitch on centre of pedal to the right, microswitch on top of the pedal to the left, both lights on.

You can hear this second 'blues tone' on this vid. This is a jam with my friends for a 70th Birthday. Someone was filming it. I have my LP Goldtop here; obviously. The song is labelled wrongly on the vid, but otherwise the guys that put it together did a good job. The amp was a Quilter Tone Block 200.

Cheers,
Phil

 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Anyway, I did see a couple of questions regarding the Jr Barnyard Pedal. I remain a great fan of this. Very good when twinned with a Quilter; certainly.

For the JB tone you go both knobs at 11 OClock and both microswitches flicked to the right. Both lights need to be on.

For a great blues tone, I suggest left hand knob just below 9 OClock, right hand knob at 1 OClock, microswitch on centre of pedal to the right, microswitch on top of the pedal to the left, both lights on.

You can hear this second 'blues tone' on this vid.

That was me, Phil. The first JB tone is Tavo's recommended settings. I haven't tried to simulate that again since my early failures. I'll try again with different guitars and amps although you would think the T.K. Smith CC pups would get me there. One thing I remember about your Goldtop is that it sounded very grindy to me before you engaged the Barnyard. I love your tone before and after and it was making me think of getting a Goldtop with P90s. Certainly neither of the guitars I was using had that grind before engaging the JB. It doesn't have to work with every guitar and every amp to be useful so I'll muck around some more.

I love that second sound too and will experiment with it soon. I had more success with similar settings so maybe I was on my way to finding that sound. Whatever, it definitely does it for me. Thanks for the clip and the input. I can always discuss this with Tommy in detail but I've been too busy lately to put the time side.
 

valcotone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,836
hi all - not sure if this has been posted here or not... Joel Paterson and the Four Charms ripping it up for 1/2-hour!



Oh, If anyone is looking there is a killer 1950s H44 Stratotone posted for sale in the Emporium.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
There's a Headstrong Verbravibe sitting in my hallway waiting to be unpacked. Got it at an amazing price on the emporium recently. If you've heard these amps you'll know that they are excellent clones of the brown face Vibroverb. Judging by clips, they nail the sound very well, don't aim for dubious 'improvements,' but are just a touch less dark than an original, something that doesn't worry me as I have loads of dark amps already. I can't wait to dig in. We do a lot of vintage soul and New Orleans and Louisiana stuff in our sets so I'm thinking it will fit my more 'modern' needs perfectly.
 




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