inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #76 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:38
    
<74>
Sure, Jacques, I appreciate your question. I still work and still dig
it. As to whether I am now mature, well, that's another question.  8-)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #77 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:42
    
Not really. In Germany it's Herr Professor this and Herr Doktor that,
here it's "what d'ya do?" Cultural trait less pernicious than, oh,
say, female circumcision :-)

I play music because I have to. Twenty years ago, I said to myself, "I
have to do this computer thing for a while to put the kids thru
college, since music doesn't quite make it. But I'll be back!" And I
kept practicing, at least 10-20 hours a week.

Well, now music is again becoming my career, less as a financial
position than as a compulsion that's eating away at my ability to earn
a living any other way. My practice is up to about 38 hours a week,
which doesn't leave time for work!

So I *have* to make it work financially, no choice. Makes me curious
how other people are doing! Excuse me for talking shop :-)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #78 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:42
    
Bill slipped, my comment to Tim, though I'm sure Bill will empathize :-)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #79 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:44
    
PS, Bill, I'm in the Denver-Boulder area, where the only scene making
any real money locally is Jazz. Which ain't the worst news in the
world, right?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #80 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 11:53
    
<79>
I didn't realize Denver-Boulder was such a jazz hot-bed. Good for you
Jacques. 
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #81 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 12:00
    
It's not exactly a Jazz hotbed. More like an everything-else-coldbed :-(

There are a lot of talented musicians out here, and lots of places to
play ... for $25 an evening plus tips!
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #82 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 14:10
    
<81>
Ouch! 
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #83 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 14:44
    
I like that you wrote about Kate Wolf ... she was really an amazing
phenomenon. If I analyze her stuff theoretically, it's all so
derivative ... but if I listen, or better, perform her songs myself,
they have amazing power. E.g., there are few songs that make me
more aware of my own mortality and short span of life as "Across
the Borderline".
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #84 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 14:47
    
Oh, I'm a little confused about your dates with NRPS so excuse my
ignorance ... did you play with NRPS the University of Rochester gig
in, what was it, January 1970, when the Airplane was at War Memorial
the same night and Kaukonen came over afterwards and jammed with the
Dead?

That show is mentioned in _Got a Revolution!_ ...
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #85 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Mon 20 Oct 03 15:26
    
Nemmind, I read the italics a little closer in the book :-) and
realized you couldn't have been in that show. But NRPS was one of the
finest bands of the 70's and you're fortunate to have been able
to tour some with them.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #86 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 16:09
    
Kate was a sweet soul, who touched many folks with her song. "Across
the Borderline" is one of her great tunes.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #87 of 284: Howard Levine (hll) Mon 20 Oct 03 19:25
    
 I have thought many times about the big bands of the 40's and the concerts
they would put on.  From stories that my dad would tell me, and my visiting
the old Brooklyn Paramount in NYC (now a college gym) I got the feeling that
those shows were in their day very similar to the Grateful Dead shows of the
60's-70's in the excitement they generated.
 Bill in your experiencen with big band players have you heard any of their
stories of the "golden days" and what that time was like?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #88 of 284: David Gans (tnf) Mon 20 Oct 03 19:32
    

If anyone is interested in ordering a copy of "Acoustic Stories," drop by
http://www.well.com/bookstore/
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #89 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 22:13
    
<87>
Yes. I spoke with one old-timer about twenty years ago. He was
probably 75 or more at the time. I asked him: Back then did you work
for union scale?

He said, "No, I always worked for above scale, four or five gigs a
day. If you walked down Market Street [in San Francisco] with a
trombone under your arm, someone would come out of an alley and say,
'Hey kid, you play that thing? I got a job for you.' "

"People don't realize," he continued, "that all of the neighborhood
theaters [movie houses] had bands [for the silent films]. The downtown
theaters had full orchestras [to accompany the silent films] but the
district theaters [in the 'burbs] had pit bands too. Everyone was
playing four, five gigs a day."

I said, And what was the end of that?

"Oh, that's easy: the talkies. When the talkies came along, live music
in the theaters died."

In the 30s and 40s big band jazz was the dance music of the day. That
was lost, some folks will tell you, one evening in the middle of an
extended drum solo. The drummer lost the beat, or played too long, and
the kids stopped dancing.

At that moment, jazz went from being dance music to being something
more cerebral, to being art music. (There may have been more to it than
that, but I believe that was a big part of it.) Rock 'n' Roll picked
up the slack in the 50s and became the dance music of the day, and then
rock 'n' roll morphed into rock with the Beatles. 

There was this two week period in October of 1945 (as I say in the
book) where twenty name big bands went under, never to be heard from
again. It was the end of the big band era. Personally, it is a
disappointment to go play a big band gig and see that the audience is
all in their 70s and 80s. The music is timeless, but young audiences
aren't interested. It's not their music.

Go back to the Ken Burns "Jazz" series, and you'll see the "kids"
going nuts to big band. That could happen again, but the arrangements
would have to be of contemporary music (or, conversely, of rap/hip-hop.
I love the Ray Charles quote: "I got nothing agains rap, personally.
It's just that I happen to love music.")

Yeah Ray!
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #90 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Mon 20 Oct 03 22:16
    
<88>
Thanks, David, very much. 

Or, they can drop by the publisher's web site,
http://www.VineyardsPress.com to see more about the book, and read some
of the chapters.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #91 of 284: Tim Fox (timfox) Mon 20 Oct 03 23:47
    
Gosh, somebody remind me. Big bands went defunk in 1945 for some legal
or tax reason, some new regulation that made it impossible for them
continue to stay solvent. Or something like that. It's vague in my
mind; does anyone know what I'm talking about?
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #92 of 284: Berliner (captward) Tue 21 Oct 03 03:17
    
A lot of it had to do with WW II, because gas and rubber was rationed.
You needed a lot of gas to transport a band in a bus, and you wore out
a lot of tires. Also, a lot of guys were drafted or enlisted, and at
least in the black community, the trend was towards very small
ensembles, epitomized by bands like Roy Milton's, which were five or
six pieces. More economical to tour, you could make more money in
smaller places (per person), and the vocalist didn't have to be so
strong. 
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #93 of 284: Steve Bjerklie (stevebj) Tue 21 Oct 03 08:22
    
The blast of a big swing band in full-tilt boogie -- the descending
horns in the last chorus of Harry James' "Two O'Clock Jump," say, or
the wondrous riff in "Moten Swing" -- has always struck me as much more
powerful than even the loudest rock band. The audience ecstacy brought
by the Ellington band's performance of "Diminuendo and Crescendo in
Blue" at Newport in '56 has always seemed to me to be pure natural
reaction. Often at rock shows I feel manipulated, but I never do at
big-band dances.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #94 of 284: I yam what I yam (nboy) Tue 21 Oct 03 08:54
    

Y'know I've been playing rehearsal bands for years, THere is so much to talk
about.  But one tension note (a flat 5 or flat 13) has so much power - I
think that acoustically it's really heavy.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #95 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Tue 21 Oct 03 09:14
    
<93>
That's a powerful statement, Steve.

Yes, big band is extremely powerful music, power that is transmitted
without seething volume. I can play a big band gig for four hours and
come out with my hearing totally intact. Not so at a rock gig, where
you emerge feeling your hearing has been attenuated.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #96 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Tue 21 Oct 03 09:17
    
<92>
Good points all, Ed. Thank you.

And, tastes had changed. People wanted to hear different music.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #97 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Tue 21 Oct 03 09:20
    
<64>
I'm not aware if there were other names under consideration, David. I
just recall that Tony suggested the name DGQ, and Dawg accepted it.
[Sorry it took so long to respond to your question.]
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #98 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Tue 21 Oct 03 09:22
    
Bil in #89 ... that post is a very nice piece of writing. I hope you
saved it :-)
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #99 of 284: Bill Amatneek (billamatneek) Tue 21 Oct 03 09:45
    
<98>
Thanks Jacques, very much.
  
inkwell.vue.198 : Bill Amatneek, "Acoustic Stories"
permalink #100 of 284: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Tue 21 Oct 03 11:18
    
Well, according to a Sunday Denver Post article, those days may be due
for a replay.

They follow the careers of several striving local musicians and conclude
the following:

        1) The record industry is in disarray.

        2) The record companies can't touch you if you can't
        move 40,000 units instantly upon release.

        3) Your recording in your basement is best used by
        getting it out free on the Internet, travelling and
        gigging as much as possible, and building a following
        that make you a credible risk for a 40,000 unit
        opening.

So what do musicians have to do to succeed? Play, play, play!
  

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