Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- 66 Years in the Scorpio Lane;Making a living with a horn in my hand!

66.years in the Scorpio lane.
Making a living with a horn in my hand!

Today I turn 66, and you know what? I'm glad I'm the era, and foundation as a person that comes from the dues that comes with that age.
As a young man I was taught to respect experience, listen and learn. God knows I did! Otherwise I would not be here writing these blogs !
I came up in the time period when I'd go to hear Count Basie and couldn't wait to hear Marshall Royal and Lockjaw Davis. Sure they were older men, but that was where the music was. The real essence of time spent at a craft, and hard work. You listened and you learned. The results were there but you had to take the time to find, listen and apply. Same as with my Berklee education, I was with the masters. Guys who were in the field, and earned stripes. I carried that vibe all through my life and guess what? IT WORKED.

So many times, and I note with extreme interest that people feel the need to juggle the numbers in their age. Why? Let your experience and dues paid
lead the way.The years post-Berklee as I say many times here, riding through the South in Motown band buses with acts like Billy Paul, Lloyd Price, Chuck Berry on
through major road big bands, where you were living on the bus for months and months traveling,and major rock bands.Gigs in Boston as a student,when you were EXPECTED to be inside the gig,playing with musicians two times your age,dealing and learning. Experience that could never be bought, on AND OFF the bandstand.Think about it.

As a teen- my years were way different. I was playing high school dances, and later bars by the time I was 16, the thrill and the chase of getting into bars like my friends was kind of old hat after a few dozen working gigs. Going drinking was something different, and meeting women was immediate.You learned fast on both counts- or the dues would haunt you big time.I came to play,to learn and as I found out years later survive.

Rehearsing big bands in local bars where stale beer and tobacco smell was the call of the day. I also did some theater things, but I was working three nights a week and playing shore points in Jersey in the summer or Philly suburbs. The bands paid higher and I needed back up cash for Berklee- as I was dead set on going there. The summer gigs were a ball, most times from 8 to 2. There was more after hours places, that ran from 11 at night to 6 in the morning.You held your schedule, and stayed on track. The bands always car pooled, or in the summers had comp rooms at shore points. The money was excellent! It sure beat the alternative, I was working with older players, in places where I had to conduct myself, and be responsible to be on the sets on time.
Plus- knowing all the music without a Ipad in front of you, or a real book touch screen for a tune you should of known before you took any gig.It still baffles me how a University level tenor saxophonist can not know the bridge melody to " Body & Soul"! Those kind of things when I was 18 you had to know, There was no excuse. There was NO coddling, I just could see John LaPorta's face with some things these days.But as I grew ,through my saxophone, I could gain entrance into another world that most never dreamed of. ~ AKA-Making a living with a horn in my hand!

I embrace getting older.I walk proud. I'm getting stronger, more experienced, learning to live our life to the fullest, it's actually a process of continual mental development. Each day is better.

I will always have the sense of freedom I had in my 20's. The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.It works that way with the music also.Teaching as well.

I'll leave you with a quote that sums up what I 'm after ;

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Henry Ford

Learning to live stress free and without negative thoughts, is the key to staying positive.The key to staying positive, is living through a lifetime of stressful and negative situations with a positive outlook.
I choose early on to be positive, it works.

BY THE WAY- The picture at the top of the Blog is me when I was 19 at Berklee
At that time, we'd session every Tuesday-Thursday on the 2ed floor. In this great room that Hal Grossman ( Saxophonist Steve's brother )who was Berklee faculty and a great friend made sure I had access to. In other words a key for myself! That room was the best, great piano, sound etc. Many times other Berklee faculty would come by and join us. Many times Steve Grossman and Junior Cook would come by when in town and we'd know we had much more work to do! LOL. Understanding that in my late teens was an asset for realizing the sun didn't rise and set when I wanted. I had to work for it- I was never feeling entitled. The music is bigger than all of us anyhow!

ALSO- I WAS PLAYING RICO BROWN BOX #5 REEDS. Great times- great reeds and this was about 1970. I used 5's on Bari too! LaVoz medium hard on alto. Those LaVoz boxes from that era-the black and green box. THE HOLY GRAIL OF ALTO REEDS!

I never had to work a day in my life,because I love what I do! And I say that all the
time- good times or bad.

Till next week- Tim Price

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