inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #51 of 284: Yeah, but I'm a cute geek. (tinymonster) Sun 19 Oct 03 13:40
    









(If you don't know, a blank post is used to indicate being moved; sort
of the text equivalent of a moment of silence.)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #52 of 284: Yeah, but I'm a cute geek. (tinymonster) Sun 19 Oct 03 13:42
    
<48>:
<Mel Bay, the publisher of hundreds of music instructional books, was
quoted as having said to Pete Seeger: "It's not how well you play, it's
how much you enjoy it." If the gig is enjoyable enough, as it appears
to be for the two guys you met, then that can be more than enough
compensation.>

Oh, yes.  AND the audience can tell.  The enthusiasm of the musicians
is definitely contagious.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #53 of 284: alla bout image and not music (kurtr) Sun 19 Oct 03 18:29
    
I find the story of Bill Millin and the D-Day observations very moving.  I 
teared up when I read it.  

It was remarkable to hear about a musician performing in the heat of 
battle - talk about a tough gig!

Did you have a chance to talk to anybody who recalled hearing Millin 
play while they were under fire?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #54 of 284: John Ross (johnross) Sun 19 Oct 03 21:27
    
It's been too many years since I've heard that T for Texas parody. I don't
remember the lyrics. Suffice it to say that Mary T was more of a free spirit
than was common in the late 1950's.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #55 of 284: David Gans (tnf) Sun 19 Oct 03 21:51
    

Bill's story is a good deal less salacious than one might be led to believe
by what you're hinting at, John.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #56 of 284: Howard Levine (hll) Sun 19 Oct 03 21:52
    
 Frank Wakefield sounds like a real pisser.  Is that him in real life?  His
music certainly can blow you away.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #57 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Sun 19 Oct 03 23:55
    
<53>
>Did you have a chance to talk to anybody who recalled hearing Millin
play while they were under fire?
 
No, but there is a well-known and, I believe, true story about Millin
and Lovat:

There were a few German vets traveling around France the week of June
6th 1994, generally keeping a low profile. They too had seen action
there, and they too wanted to see the ceremonies, relive their
memories, visit their comrades at the German war cemeteries around
France.

Two German vets who fought at Ranville and Pegasus bridge on June 6th
1944, were also at the War Museum at Pegasus bridge on June 6th 1994
observing the ceremonies and goings-on.

They were asked, Did you see Bill Millin and Lord Lovat that day?

"Ya, of course, ve saw dem. Dey ver marching straight across dat
bridge vit mortar fire explodink all around dem, like a bunch of crazy
men. And dere vas Bill Millin blowink his damned bagpipes like a
madman."

Well, did you shoot at them?

"Shoot at them? Nien. Of course not!"

You didn't shoot at them! Why not?

"Because obviously dey vere crazy."

So?

"So? So, you don't shoot crazy people. You just don't!"

[I have heard this before. You don't shoot a sleeping person, you
don't shoot an unarmed person, a person who has surrendered, or ... a
crazy person. You just don't.]
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #58 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Sun 19 Oct 03 23:58
    
<54>
I see. I've been told many a PP&M story in response to my "Mary, Peter
& Paul" story, but nothing about her behavior in the '50s ... yet.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #59 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 00:13
    
<56>
Frank is a real character. Stories about Frank abound in bluegrass
circles. He once took his priceless Lloyd Loar mandolin, and, in an
effort to, ... what ... even out the finish, ... put it in an oven at
400 degrees and baked it for awhile. This he told me himself.

His speaking Frank-talk is practically ceaseless. Having a serious
conversation with him is a hit and miss affair.

I won't repeat some of the stories that circulate about him because
the folk process may have changed them to beyond truth.

But yes, Howard, anything I said about him in "Jesus Loves His
Mandolin Player" is fairly factual. In fact, I left out many a first
hand anecdote I could have included. 

He is a very colorful guy, and a highly influential mandolinist by the
way. I believe Rick Skaggs says he owes Frank a big debt. And I know
he taught Grisman a lot.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #60 of 284: David Julian Gray (djg) Mon 20 Oct 03 08:08
    
When Frank started playing Berkeley a lot - beyond his mandoline playing
which was, of course, awesome - I found his *individuality* most inspiring -
here was a guy old enough to be my dad, who wasn't a hippie, and wasn't a
redneck and wasn't a "city-dweller" co-existed with everything and has his
own psychedelic bluegrass music unlike anything anyone else was playing!

HELLO - Bill - David Julian Gray, once of The Klezmorim, here - got the
book about a month ago - opened the package and read the thing cover
to cover in one gulp - to my very great delight! -
in particular - "Linger on the Halftones" moved me and has stayed with me
and will be passed around through my hands much... great art is truth
and redemption always...

DGQ... I first heard of 'em and heard 'em through Bob Shumaker who was
seeing Eva Soltes, who my then girlfriend was buddies with, oh so long
ago... soon Bob was engineering my first LP ... of course a sound like
"dawgrass" could take root in a world where there were no real divisions
twixt musics in that heady Bay Area world of the 60's & 70's - where makers
of classical, avant-garde, North Indian, bluegrass, arabic, jazz, balkan
blues, etc.etc. hung out with or even were each other...

I'm sure there are more stories & I'm looking forward to them...
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #61 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 08:59
    
<60>
Hello David -

Very nice to hear from you. It has been a long time. Just read your
WELL bio. You have traveled many a mile since we last met.

>I found [Wakefield's] *individuality* most inspiring - here was a guy
old enough to be my dad, who wasn't a hippie, and wasn't a redneck and
wasn't a "city-dweller" co-existed with everything and has his own
psychedelic bluegrass music unlike anything anyone else was playing!

I think that's a good characterization of Frank. And yup, his mandolin
playing is his own creation. At one point early in his career, Frank
played for Bill Monroe. And Big Mon said something to the effect, "OK,
you've learned how to play like me. Now go create your own style."

I've heard that Bill has said that to a few mandolinists.

>of course a sound like 'dawgrass' could take root in a world where
there were no real divisions twixt musics in that heady Bay Area world
of the 60's & 70's - where makers of classical, avant-garde, North
Indian, bluegrass, arabic, jazz, balkan blues, etc.etc. hung out with
or even were each other...

Interesting point, David, that this music could only have happened in
the Bay Area. Maybe so. I know David was back east when he picked with
Tony Rice and Tony so fell for the music that he moved out to
California to pick with David in the David Grisman Quintet, which Tony
also named.

And thanks very much for your kind words about "Linger on the
Halftones." Hope we catch up with each other in person in the not too
distant future.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #62 of 284: surly guy in a tux (kurtr) Mon 20 Oct 03 09:47
    
re 57 - "Don't shoot him, he's only the bagpiper."
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #63 of 284: I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Mon 20 Oct 03 10:04
    
Isn't that a lot like, "Don't execute him, he's only a serial killer"?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #64 of 284: David Gans (tnf) Mon 20 Oct 03 10:20
    

> the David Grisman Quintet, which Tony also named.

That is an interesting datum.  What other names were considered?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #65 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 10:27
    
So one question you didn't deal with that is interesting perhaps only
to the pros out there ... Bill, after all these years of playing bass,
how you doing financially?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #66 of 284: Tim Fox (timfox) Mon 20 Oct 03 10:39
    
I find that question obnoxious.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #67 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 10:51
    
Excuse me. I'm curious how actual working musicians are doing after
30-40 years in the business.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #68 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:07
    
<62>
Don't shoot him, he's only the crazy bagpiper.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #69 of 284: Tim Fox (timfox) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:07
    
Sorry to be so abrupt, but you've hit a pet peeve of mine. If you
asked that question of any other profession, lawyer, accountant, doctor
-  you name it - it would be considered rude. Dunno why it should be
different with musicians (or writers.)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #70 of 284: Tim Fox (timfox) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:07
    
Bill slipped.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #71 of 284: Jack J. Woehr (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:08
    <scribbled by jax Mon 20 Oct 03 11:09>
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #72 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:09
    
>Dunno why it should be different with musicians (or writers.)

Well, when I say I'm a musician, people reply, "Really? And what
do you do for a living?" :-)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #73 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:32
    
<65> <66> <67>
I don't mind Jacques asking this question, about how I'm doing
financially playing bass, but I will answer this way.

Without mentioning any numbers, I'm doing fine financially. Most
important to me is the deep pleasure I get from playing bass. And the
pleasure seems to increase as I age. 

As I mention in the book, I play with a big band on Thursday evenings,
a so-called rehearsal band. Rehearsal bands are a phenomenon that most
folks, even some musicians, are unaware of. Across America there are
hundreds, maybe thousands of big bands that get together once a week to
play, to rehearse. They don't gig at all, or if they do gig it's once
to four times a year: people can't afford to hire a big band anymore.
They get together for the terrific experience of playing big band.

Anyway, the band I play with is not the greatest big band in the
world, I don't imagine. But by the second set, when we're all warmed
up, I am having a blissful, head-in-the-clouds, spiritual encounter. As
I sometimes say to myself on the way home: "Another big band
rehearsal, another transcendent experience." I feel blessed to be
taking such pleasure at my age in playing music.

I don't measure my success in music with dollars, though I know some
pickers who do measure theirs that way. I measure it in pleasure, and
on that score I am doing outstandingly, may I humbly say.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #74 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:34
    
Thanx for the answer. I wasn't so much looking for a number as knowing
that you are still able to make it work as you mature.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #75 of 284: Tim Fox (timfox) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:36
    
re 74

Very elegant response, sir, and considerably less cranky than my own.

>Dunno why it should be different with musicians (or writers.)

>Well, when I say I'm a musician, people reply, "Really? And what
do you do for a living?" :-)

I know. Don't you just want to slap them?
  

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