May 7th, 2014
You know when you get everything all worked out so that you all know what tunes run into what and you’ve figured out musical links between the songs so that there are as few uncomfortable silences as possible. And all of the electronic equipment has been programmed to change the keyboard sounds automatically for the next song so no-one has to worry about it.
Then someone says “I’ve got a good idea…..”
And so it was that, after a couple of days of intense rehearsal, we decided to completely switch it all around during the very last run through. A complete turn around at 4.30pm on the last afternoon of rehearsals. That’s how we like it, mate. On the edge. There are now so many variations of set list floating around I think we’re going to have to have a bonfire to make sure that we don’t all start playing different tunes during the set.
I must say, I do think the new order is an improvement but if I’m completely honest I don’t think any of us are absolutely 100% sure of what comes next at any given point. Plus ça change.
If nothing else, Zurich should be interesting.
To be fair, we do have a 16 hour bus trip to go through it and make sure we’re all on the same page. Literally.
I was feeling much more comfortable with the new trumpet today and I think all in all it’s going to be an improvement.
To elucidate. Most brass players spend a lifetime (and lots of money) searching for the ultimate instrument. The one which will make playing an absolute breeze. The perfect trumpet which is completely in tune, easy to play and never makes a mistake! The Holy Grail. The Golden Chalice. Gabriel’s Horn!!
I have used the same trumpet and mouthpiece for my entire professional career. I bought it from a bloke in the Isle of Man for £120 in about 1876 and I figured I should learn to play it properly before I bought an expensive one. I’m still operating under that principle.
Over the years it has been bashed and banged. Painted white (Halfords Vauxhall Viva White, no less). Stripped with Nitromors. Dropped. Left on several trains. Been on two honeymoons and soldered to the point where there’s probably more solder than trumpet. But still she soldiers on! (solder/soldier – geddit?)
Oh, I’ve been given dozens of trumpets from various manufacturers over the years but none of them have come close to matching my old Getzen.
For that is what she is: A 1968 Doc Severinsen Model Getzen Eterna. They certainly knew how to make them in those days. Unfortunately, they didn’t know how to make them in large numbers …. because I’m the only person I know who plays one and I don’t believe I’ve ever come across another trumpeter in my entire life who plays or even owns one.
Hang on. Maybe there’s a reason for that…..?
Anyway, as you can imagine it was a very sad day for me when the brass repair shop refused to take on the job of renovating it, claiming that once it had been dismantled, they would probably never manage to remantle it. “Put her out to graze” they said. “It’s time to retire the old girl” they said.
Time to sell me a new one they meant!
She’s an old friend who has been through a lot with me. Several times around the world with everyone from Jamiroquai to Bon Jovi via Tina Turner and Buddy Rich and the things she’s seen would make your toes curl!
So, it was with a heavy heart that I decided to take their advice and get a new one.
But not from them….. 😉
Now this is where the internet is just such an amazing, transformational thing. I started the search only a couple of months ago and would you believe it, last week I located a…..
1968 Doc Severinsen Model Getzen Eterna !! All spruced up, re-lacquered and looking for all the world like a beauty queen.
So, in a supreme leap of faith, I coughed up and had it shipped express from Fort Myers, Florida and it arrived the day before rehearsals started.
I was a bit nervous to be honest as, even in the same make, model and year of instrument, there can be huge variations in sound and feel but I needn’t have worried. In fact, now that I’ve been playing this new one for a couple of days, I’m pretty sure the old one had so many leaks it’s been like playing a colander for the past 10 years!
Having said that, I’m still taking the old girl along for old time’s sake and I’ll play at least one tune on her. I can’t abandon her totally after all these years of faithful service now can I?