Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1986 Camp Fire

Transcript Summary

Three, two, one.
Three, and.
Three, two, one.
Three, two, one.
You like that!
That way!
One, two, three, and.
Yeah, what a band.
The trumpet to be too hard.
Those that switch the tuba have found the trumpet to be much too hard.
Some switch to slide trombone.
For some unknown reason, some of them switch to baritone.
While the occasional low achiever will opt for a mellophone,
which takes the minimum amount of talent and allows the player to see football games.
After the initial switch, those that still do well do not do well in their second instrument
usually join the stamp club or become arrangers.
Okay, here we go.
A little history action here.
The trumpet.
The trumpet plays the melody.
It's the smallest and loudest of the brasses.
There is nothing humorous about the trumpet.
It is functional.
Among trumpet players, there are those who play solo trumpet, lead trumpet, first trumpet,
associate first trumpet, alternate first trumpet, and feature trumpet soloists.
Nobody ever plays second or third trumpet.
Unless they have been sick or recovering from an accident.
Trumpet players simply do not play inner parts.
And words like balance and blend are as meaningful to them as San Chris to an Eskimo.
Trumpet players are keenly aware of each other and go to great lengths to keep in touch.
One player can recognize another sound across great time and distance barriers
like the great white shark or the snow leopard.
When trumpet players are together, they engage in trumpet talk regarding mouthpieces,
lead pipes, valve springs, et cetera.
Otherwise, they hang out with trombone players in kind of a Lenny and Bruce relationship.
Trumpet players all have a love-hate relationship with high notes.
The highest trumpet note is yet to be played.
Because trumpets are an integral part of the orchestra, composers have no choice but to write for them.
They do reciprocate, however, by outriding the instrument's capabilities.
A new orchestral piece generally requires a special custom-built trumpet to meet its challenges
or at least a severe modification of an existing trumpet or at least a new kind of mute.
There's always a new trumpet to try or a new mouthpiece to play,
and the average trumpet player, healthy male, carries three trumpets and several mouthpieces everywhere he goes.
Trumpet players demand and enjoy a great deal of tension.
The following authenticated dialogue between J.S. Bach and Gottfried Reiche,
his first trumpet player, illustrates this.
A church basement. Reiche is just seen oiling his natural trumpet.
The door opens and in walks J.S. Bach along with J.C.F., C.P.E., A.B.C., and P.D.Q.
Bach, quote.
Oh, there you are. I have a new piece for you, Reiche.
Oh, God, the last one nearly killed me.
He died.
Bach, it's my second Brandenburg. You split Lee with the flute and violin.
Here, take a look.
Reiche, is this the flute part?
Bach, no, it's the trumpet part.
Reiche, okay, J.S., triple scale, feature billion, 15% of the collection, and no Magnificat in the same program.
Bach, deal.
Deal, okay.
The flugelhorn.
Okay, the flugelhorn.
In the old days, flugelhorns like unicorns were rarely seen.
Many believed them to be mythical.
This all changed with the great swarm of the 60s when flugelhorns not only appeared with regularity,
they multiplied like northwestern jackrabbits.
The trumpet players became the keepers of the flugelhorns, and like ants with aphids, took them everywhere.
Any trumpet music below high C or less than triple forte became fair game for the flugelhorn.
The flugelhorn with its oversized tubing and bell is as close to mellow as any trumpet player ever gets.
Of course, there are players who would try to overplay a flugelhorn, just as there are cowboys who would try to spur a cow.
Moving along here, boys and girls.
Okay, brass lore.
Famous brass lore.
The Arben book is the trumpet player's karma sutra.
All trumpet players study the Arben book.
Trombone players study the Arben book, but in bass clef.
Tube players study the Arben book in bass clef, and octave or two lower.
French horn players study repertoire.
They bypass scales and arpeggios and learn to pronounce such musical names as Chopin, Mazorsky, and Mozart.
Trumpet players learn to pronounce such musical names as Dizzy, Fats, Doc, and Sweets.
Trombone players learn names like Slide, Tricky Sam, and Kai and Big Chief.
Tuba players learn to pronounce such words as Henry Weinhardt, Thor, Coors, and Budweiser.
Okay, brass players' interpretation of musical terms.
Barrel house.
Definition of barrel house.
Definition of barrel house.
Normal, comfortable volume.
Femexo forte.
Triple forte.
Triple forte played into a music stand.
Triple piano.
Poco crescendo.
As loud as possible.
Poco diminuendo.
Poco diminuendo.
Fast on easy parts, slow on the hard parts.
Maestoso, pesante, and grandioso.
Leggero, caramone, dolce, strugendo.
Famp until ready.
Blend with the saxophone section.
Bury the saxophone.
Play an easy background behind the vocals.
Bury the vocals.
Throw a log on the fire.
Play the bassoon cue.
Point your bell to rookie the bassoon player and play.
Tight harmon mute.
Word and expressions not to use with brass players.
Expression number one.
Expression number two.
Expression number three.
What's the matter?
Let's run that phrase a few times.
What kind of a mouthpiece do you use?
Do you have a mute?
Isn't that a lovely violin solo?
You must be thrilled to work with such a fine conductor.
I'd like to have you meet my wife.
I'd like to have you meet my daughter.
I'd like to have you meet my sister.
I'd like to have you meet my grandmother.
And now for the final here.
Question and answers.
Questions regarding brasses when it seems to crop up over and over.
Again, here's a good place to put them the rest once and for all.
How old do you have to be to play the tuba?
Old enough to carry it and young enough to still think it's fun.
Is the French horn difficult?
No, but the players are.
I want to play the mellophone.
Can I play in the band?
I want to be a concert soloist.
Can you give me some tips on how I can be a concert soloist and play the bass trombone?
Learn to do your own laundry.
Add three syllables to your last name.
Try to lose emotional control at least once a day.
Hire a press agent to explain to the public what a bass trombone is.
Why do conductors always try to shush the brass?
Conductors never give up trying.
I love this one.
Who gives a tune-up note in a brass ensemble?
Why are there so many trumpet players in a marching band?
They go up to territory like fleas with horses.
The next series of questions are from a tape from a trumpet teacher in New York.
Must I beat my foot when I practice?
Must you beat your foot with what?
When I practice my instrument, should I tap my foot on the floor to keep time?
That depends on your instrument.
If you play the organ, harp, or drums, your foot might be too busy, in which case you may nod your head rhythmically, click your teeth together, or yell one, two, three, four above the sound of your instrument.
If, however, you play the trumpet, harmonica, recorder, or bassoon and find it awkward to nod, click, and yell, you may have to resort to stunning contractions, seat bouncing, or foot tapping.
The choice is up to you.
Most accomplished musicians are able to do two or three of those about the same time.
What about using a metronome?
No, you should tap your foot.
And that's only about half the book, man.
They nail everybody in it.
What book is that?
It's called Lay Brass, L-E-S-B-R-A-S-S.
Where did you get it?
Minix had a whole bunch of them, so I borrowed one in Xerox, too.
Publisher will be happy to hear that.
He's never paid for a thing in his life.
Hell no!
I still owe Claude for my first trumpet lesson.
Can we get the light?
Can we plug the light in over there?
I want to read one thing to you.
Okay, I got one article.
This was in the LA Times.
It's an interview with Tommy Stevens, who's first trumpet in the LA Philharmonic.
There is it.
That's a lot better.
That's a lot better.
Tommy is quite a character.
Okay, ready?
On stage with the LA Philharmonic, Tom Stevens is just the base of the crowd.
Is it reflecting off my head?
So the rare opportunity to move into the spotlight as a soloist should cause the orchestra's principal trumpet player to jump for joy.
But it doesn't.
Stage fright?
Stevens is depressed because the trumpet concerto repertoire is woefully inadequate.
Quote, I realize that principals have to go out front now and then, and that's fine with me if you have some tunes to play.
Whereupon Stevens quickly ticks off, unceremoniously dismisses the pitiful few choices.
There's the hiding.
Now it's a good piece, so there's a musical reason for playing it, but really it was a total joke for him.
The concerto was his last instrumental composition.
He spent much of the time just experimenting around the trumpet's low register.
Hummel's E-flat concerto?
Stevens wonders a brief, unkind, and unprintable description of that chestnut.
Why the trumpet player gets down to tell him on D major concerto, the piece he's agreed to play, at conscious by the Philharmonic.
It's not bad, he says.
It has its moments.
The first moment's a nightmare for the soloist.
But for heaven's sakes, I'll be playing on a program that includes the Mahler fourth.
Stevens insists he's not being camaraderie about his instrument repertoire.
I just love to play things that have meaning, that's all.
At the Philharmonic sponsored concert, he admits that general public will probably always link the bright sound of the trumpet with the glories of the baroque.
It's a goldmine for trumpeters, though most of it's just good.
He says of music from that period, funny to an endless number of recordings by such household names as Maurice Andre.
Trumpet repertoire, Stevens theorizes, simply dried up at the end of the 18th century with the increasing popularity of the clarinet.
The 19th century, zip.
But the worst part we've lost is the 20th century.
Despite Stevens's campaigns on behalf of the trumpet, few recent composers have shown interest in writing the instrument.
Typically, he says, with his usual tact, in this century there have been very few triple-digit IQ trumpet players.
Yo, Tommy.
So great is the hunger for new trumpet material among solo trumpet players, Stevens says.
The energy scrubbery or hint of a one is met with bruisades.
Someone once mis-translated a Mozart letter and concluded that Mozart had written a trumpet concerto, and the search for the missing manuscript was on.
How far will a trumpeter go for new material?
Stevens admits knowledge of a fraud in the works involving a newly written concerto in the style of the broke.
Within nine months, he announced, this discovery will be made.
He predicts while refusing to name either the culprits or the composers.
Isn't there a concern that such a charade would be uncovered?
Stevens says, look how long it took those political science experts to dismiss the Hitler diaries.
In here, we're only dealing with a bunch of trumpet players.
Ooh, Tommy.
Anyway, that was an article in what they had.
That one gets on fire.
The fire.
I can't read it.
I can't read it.
You're talking about loud and soft, and the trumpet player's version.
Have you got that three player version of the trumpet player?
We had to do a symphony concert every Sunday live.
We had an old fuss budget conductor.
He would drive you crazy.
He'd sit there and rehearse the strings.
And we'd sit there in two rubber bands with each other just to keep awake.
And it was just on and on.
So finally, we got into the place where we're doing some playing.
And we just go two or three bars and stick on there.
And he never called you by name.
And he never called you by name.
And you'd see him every day around the studios, talk to him.
But the minute he's out in front of the orchestra, he says, Trumpet.
So he tapped that tap and he says, Trumpet.
I called him by name.
I said, yeah, Earl.
He says, that's too loud.
That's always just like in the article.
It's always too loud.
And I said, okay, I'll play it softer.
So we played it again.
And I played it soft.
Trumpet, that's still too loud.
I said, okay, Earl, I'll play it softer.
So we did it again.
We got to it again and his favorite word was subito.
So we got to it again.
Trumpet, that's subito piano.
Subito piano.
So now you're so soft that you can't even hear it yourself.
So the Trumpet president said, what are you going to do?
He said he wanted it softer.
So we played it again.
This time I just fingered the vowels.
That's all.
He didn't play it all.
Oh boy, I got him this time.
And he says, Trumpet, now that's what I want.
So now we go on the air.
And the Trumpet president said, what are you going to do?
And he said, I said, he said that's what he wanted.
So we're on the air.
I just fingered the vowels.
Never heard any more about him.
This same guy was doing a show one day.
We're playing.
It was an old print of Na'ilah.
I don't know if you remember that.
Tita, tita, tita, tita, tita.
It goes on and on and on.
Right in the middle there's a fruit solo that must have gone for five minutes.
All by himself.
Just the few.
Now we had an old fruit player, Lynn Nichols.
He's gone now, but he was a marvelous fruit player.
He's been playing all his life.
Nothing bothered him.
Now there was no audience on this show.
It was just in the room where you had the booth.
So all day long, the same one that he drove you crazy.
Now, when the fruit solo, don't anyone make a sound.
Every mic in the studios cracked wide open.
Don't make a sound.
Don't clap.
Don't turn any pages.
Everything's wide open.
Now this was at the time in the early 1950s when we had all that English craze.
Well, until we were born.
But there was a big English craze going around where everybody would come in with English jackets.
Beautiful jackets.
They spent a lot of money for them.
And the English pipes, the Sherlock Holmes pipes.
And every intermission, they'd all run into the back of the store and come back, hey, try this, you know.
He doesn't go by fast.
Now we had one guy, the clarinet, the first clarinet.
And he came in with a hunting jacket on.
Beautiful thing.
And he had four pipes in his pocket.
Now, this studio was kind of crazy.
In the summertime, when it got really hot, for some strange reason the heat would come on.
Sounds like our school.
And in the wintertime, when it was cold, the air conditioning would come on.
And you never knew what.
So this was a cool fall day.
Now he was lecturing us again.
Don't make a sound.
Now the trumpets are on the third riser.
Way up.
Way up.
The trombones are on the next one.
The first risers is the saxes and clarinets and reeds and flutes.
On the floor is all the strings.
And the bass player, the string bass player is standing right by the reeds.
So we start the show just before the show again.
No sound, don't turn a page of music during the flute solo.
Everything is going fine.
Now I'm playing an A trumpet part.
We're transposing.
So I'm reading a half a step under everything.
And that got to be no problem because you do so much A transposition on the old prints.
It becomes just as normal as anything.
So we're playing and now comes the flute solo.
For some strange reason, now it was cold.
The air conditioning had been on and it was cold in the studio.
So Buddy, the first time we had this big heavy hunting jacket with its four pipes in the pocket.
All of a sudden it became warm.
Now by the time the flute started, it's getting hot.
Boy, that studio is hot.
So when he's sitting there playing the flute with his arm hooked over the chair just playing just like a bird.
That silence in the room.
Just the flute.
And of course he's conducting out there.
And all of a sudden you can see with this hunting jacket, Bud's getting it hot.
So he looks around real carefully.
We've got three big iron stands, you know, so you can't knock them over with the big iron thing on the bottom.
So I see Bud looking around.
All of a sudden he starts taking his jacket off.
Very carefully so he won't make a sound.
He gets it down right over his elbows where he can't move.
And these pipes start falling out.
So here's the flute playing.
He doesn't even look around.
No, it just kicks right on.
And you hear this boop, boop, boop, boop, boop.
This conductor's head comes up and looks around the room.
Now then, the last fight was a big one.
It starts falling out of his pocket and the bass player reaches to grab it so that he won't make any more noise.
And he hit that big stand on the corner and it fell clear off the riser.
And so you've got beautiful flute.
But bam!
All of a sudden his conductor's turning red and purple and he's really getting mad.
Now the guy sitting next to him, he reached for the music rack and he knocked a whole array of clarinets and saxes off the riser.
The guy on the other side of the flute, he grabbed for the saxes and knocked his iron chair off the riser.
And the flute player, he's just mad.
And you've never heard, this is a live broadcast, you've never heard such a bad man in your life.
It was, click, click, click, crash, bang, boom, bang, bam!
And the conductor's going to drop dead of a heart attack.
Now then comes the drumming.
And we're sitting there laughing for a while.
I just came in with this big, bam, and I forgot to transpose.
When that show was over, the conductor threw in the stick and threw it out of the studio and we never saw him for another week.
When you play in an orchestra, there's always a little spun between the brass player and the string players.
And a couple of years ago, back at Yale University, they did a psychological study on the different sections of the orchestra.
And here was the conclusion that they came to.
String players as seen by brass players, flock of sheep.
Rather precious.
Oversensitive and touchy.
They seem to think they're God's gift to music.
Physically rather delicate.
Reluctant to do anything physically hard or tough in case it hurt their precious fingers.
Brass players as seen by string players.
Heavy drinkers.
And don't practice sufficiently hard or conscientiously and unable to take anything seriously.
Oh, what the heck, I got one right.
But you know, you think about playing in an orchestra, you know, and you always think, man, on that orchestra, everything is dead serious, right?
One of my favorite orchestra gigs we were going to do was the Beverly Hills Symphony Orchestra.
It lasted about one year.
And I was going to be playing Principal Trumpet in it, but the first concert opened up with like, Hoedown of Copeland, followed by the New World Symphony.
Copeland and Hoedown?
Yeah, then Intermission, followed by the Firebird Suite with Stravinsky, and then for the last two, Lincoln Orchestra.
Right, a miserably hard concert.
We had like one rehearsal, like about three and a half hour rehearsal.
So we rehearsed in a different place than where we were going to perform.
And I always have a rule that if I'm going to perform someplace different than where we rehearse, I always get there a half hour early.
So the concert was like at eight o'clock, that's what the contractor told me.
And so I thought, okay, I'll show up at seven thirty, right?
So I show up at Beverly Hills High School Auditorium, it's a beautiful hall.
And it's like in the trim of fall, winter, so it's dark already.
So I go up to the backstage door at seven thirty, right on the button, half hour early, right?
Hold up the door, nobody's there.
The place is absolutely black, empty, right?
And now it's panic time.
I've been told the concert's there, and I ain't got a clue where it is, right?
So I go back out into my car, and I'm looking through my books trying to find this thing.
And I've got it, it says Beverly Hills High School.
So I go back, hoping to find maybe somebody, because the door's open, there must be somebody running around here, you know?
So I'm walking around that stage, and it's like pitch black, and I'm bumping into things.
And all of a sudden I hear this voice from over the corner.
First trumpet, get on stage, now!
I walk around the back of the shelf, there's a whole orchestra sitting there.
This is the seventh first performance.
And I got the music for the first trumpet's book, and they're waiting for me, right?
And I go, oh, god.
So I just kind of waltz on stage, hi mom, you know?
And I walk out, and I sit down, right?
Now this slug sitting next to me, this guy had one of the gnarliest dudes ever in my life.
He came to the rehearsal, and you know, your basic cowboy boots that were polished in 1922,
they had a scraggly beard, and his hair was just like all over the place.
He's wearing one of these t-shirts with a peace symbol on it, right?
And Levi's with holes everywhere you can think of in a rehearsal.
God, what a pro, right?
So I walk in, and I sit down, he's actually got his hair combed a little bit, still has the same boots on, right?
And he's got kind of a tuxedo on, it looks a little suspicious to me, man.
So I get my horn out, right?
And we start playing the overture, right?
No warm-up, we play it, right?
So then we get into the next tune, and we play the first one of the New World Symphony,
and we finally get into the second movement, right?
We finally get a chance to sit back and rest.
So I'm sitting there, right?
Digging on.
And I'm going.
You know, there's this incredible stench, man.
And you know, you're trying to be cool, looking at your shoes, trying to figure it out, man.
You had to bring it in on your feet, right?
Right, right, right.
Right, right, right.
Any cheese stamps?
And I feel like the English horn player is playing along,
and I'm trying to figure out, man, who's got the doggie-doo on the shoes.
So I'm kind of like, you know, you lean over towards the guy next to you and go.
Okay, he's cool.
You kind of lean over towards the gnarly dude next to you, and you go.
Oh, coming from over here, my shoes are cool, right?
So I'm kind of checking this guy's shoes out, you know, look at the boots, right?
And the boots look pretty clean.
I'm trying to get away from this incredible stench.
I look at him, and I go, something's wrong, I just can't figure it out.
I look at his bow tie, and I go, what is wrong with this picture?
And then I said, how did you get your black bow tie?
He goes, well, I forgot my bow tie, man, so I just took off one of my socks and tied it up.
I forgot my bow tie, man, so I just took off one of my socks and tied it up.
The time we all tell about funny stories, they haven't told us a lot already.
In Vegas, there's a lot of animals in the act.
And animals, because you can't tell them when to go to the bathroom.
I have a tendency to mess up performances now and then.
The Dunes had a show where they had treadmills that actual horses came out and jogged in place.
All the dancers were dancing around.
There was a runway that went right out in the middle of the audience and then around back to the side of the stage.
And they had screens on the back of the treadmills because sometimes the horses would have to go,
and the screens caught the thing.
Maintenance isn't too great because these shows run three, four, and five years.
So after a while, some of these props and things like that get in disrepair.
One night, the screen was missing on one of the horse things.
So the horses are out there cameling away and trotting away and stuff like that.
One of the horses just let loose, and as soon as it hit the thing, they come out like balls.
It's like the people are sitting there and it's like...
Another one, this same show, we had this magic act.
Have you guys ever seen those cages that they show you real fast and nothing's in them,
and then they put a thing around them and pull it out and there's a lion?
Have you seen that?
Well, what you don't know is that it's a lion.
It's a lion.
It's a lion.
It's a lion.
It's a lion.
They just pull it out and there's a lion.
Have you seen that?
Well, what you don't know is the lion, there's a trap door.
It comes up like this, and they imprison the lion in the back.
I mean, he's like this.
I mean, these are big.
This is like the guy on the MGM.
This is a big one with King of Beasts type of thing.
And this particular lion, at the Dunes, we could see the whole show all the time.
It was just plexiglass, and we would actually face the stage.
So, his gig was like, they'd bring out the thing, they'd say nothing was there,
and they'd put the thing around, and then the trap door would come down.
Well, the curtain's around it, and then they'd pull it off, and this guy would say,
he'd be on this side of the cage, and he'd say, he'd open the door and he'd say,
the King of Beasts, you know, and the band's like, ta-da!
And he'd go like this, and he's got the guy's leash.
And the lion's gig was to come down, and he got on the floor,
and then they just walked off on stage right.
So, they'd go off this way, and this sucker was old.
I mean, like bones were sticking through and stuff.
I mean, he's really getting out there.
So, like, toward the end of the job,
because the job ended like eight months after I got there,
it's like he started getting real senile.
And one night, he came down, he says, and he uncovers him, you know,
the band goes, ta-da!
He says, the King of Beasts, and he goes down like this,
and then the lion gets off, and the guy starts walking this way,
and the lion goes this way.
And those things weigh like 400 or 500 pounds, you know?
And he just walked off stage like, and this guy's like a flea, you know,
back to your whole mouth.
So, this went on for several nights,
and it's like sometimes it would happen, sometimes it wouldn't happen,
and the guy's getting real bugged because off this side of the stage,
because that way everything's set up,
we've got a new number right after he goes off,
and all the showgirls were standing over here,
were all nude, you know, they're all nude, standing off stage,
and the lion comes through their thing, and you hear this, ah!
Anyway, after a few nights, it was like, well, gee, we've got to handle this thing.
So, the band, the band loves this thing.
You know, it's like we're always pointing light, ha, ha, ha.
And he comes out, and we notice there's a steel cord.
He comes out, and he goes, the king of beasts.
He goes down like this, and he takes the leash, and he goes, click!
And he raises up, and the lion gets down, and he goes, one of these numbers,
and you hear off stage, there's a winch, go, ah!
And the lion's like, like this.
The band, the band couldn't play.
I mean, it's like you see in the movies where he's like,
he's got all his paws out, and they're skidding along the floor.
And you hear this, and the thing is like, it's four or five hundred pounds,
and the winch is like back there smoking, going, ah!
Has anybody ever gotten dizzy while playing?
This is my famous dizzy store.
It was back in 1967 when I joined Kenton's band,
and we, I just flew to Los Angeles and got on the bus,
and we took off, and the first gig was in Tucson.
And generally what they did is nobody knows anybody on the band,
and they just have, they pick some place that nobody even knows what a big band is,
so they can get the band together and play a gig.
You know, it's like rehearsing or something.
But it's an actual gig. We played in a bar.
And the band sucked.
It was our first time.
It was lunch.
Holy mackerel.
Anyway, so like the next day they called section rehearsals,
so in varying places in the hotel we had rehearsals.
And the trumpets picked the pool room,
and we're sitting down there, or I mean we're standing around the pool table,
and we had these books. The books are like this thick.
Kenton's books were.
And so I got J. Diversa. Anybody heard of J. Diversa?
A number one incredible player.
And I don't know where he is though.
Anyway, he was sitting right there.
We had the books open. Dalton Smith, it was his last tour with Kenton.
We've known him for eight years.
And then there were Jim Karchner and a couple other cats, Johnny Madrid or something.
Anyway, we're standing around this table,
and the first thing he calls up is Malaguena.
You guys know what that is? Have you ever heard that?
Anybody played it? Raise your hand.
Okay, for the people that don't, it starts off on a high D and goes,
D, E flat, F, D flat, F, da, da, D, and you hold it.
Well, you know, I mean, I was just a young kid.
I was 19 at the time, and I wanted to let them know that I had arrived.
You know, I mean, there wasn't anybody that was going to blow me off the stand.
Let me check this here.
Where are you working next year, Larry?
Dietary section, right?
I'm sitting there and, well, I mean, I cranked up a big breath.
And we hit that thing, and I got about halfway through it, and I couldn't see.
And I kept playing, and I knew I was doing pretty good.
And we got down to the D, and he cut us off.
And I don't remember anything after that other than the fact that I was trying,
I was trying to keep my balance because I was, I was,
and it's like, I fought it all the way.
It's like half of my body wanted to say, lay down, lay down.
And the other half says, don't be embarrassed, get up, get up, get up.
And I was trying to save my horn and stuff, and I staggered back about 10 feet,
and I crashed into the wall and ended up like in a heap.
And, you know, it's like millions of thoughts go through your head, you know,
and it's like embarrassment was the biggest thing.
And I kind of came out of it, you know, and I didn't know how long I'd been out
or anything like that, and I got up, and oh man, did I feel bad.
And I walked back, and I was looking around for everybody looking at me, you know,
seeing what the hell was wrong with me.
Nobody saw me.
As soon as he cut us off, he says, okay, start marking your parts here.
And everybody was down here like this, and I was floundering over here in the corner.
And so I got up, and I noticed nobody's noticed that I did this thing over here,
and I picked up the pencil.
Okay, here we go.
Anyway, that's my pass out story.
Animal stories.
One more classic animal story.
I used to play the San Diego Opera, and the San Diego Opera,
they have really incredible productions, unreal productions.
And we were doing Aida one season, and so the San Diego Zoo is like right there, right?
So we do this one spot where like they're on the whole thing,
and it goes dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun.
There's this caravan going across stage.
So they got all these animals, I mean camels, elephants, horses, zebras,
and snakes to go kind of parading across the stage.
So we're in the pit playing this thing, and it's like we're sitting and we can see everything,
and they're like going across the stage.
The first night went great.
The second night we can hear this creak, creak, crumble, and the elephants come out,
and all of a sudden you don't hear anything.
One of the elephants has decided to stop about 35 or 40 feet
just before he gets off stage.
That sums it up pretty well.
And he's like right above the vile insect.
And of course we're like going, God, what's going on?
And all of a sudden you just hear like somebody has turned on the fire hydrant.
This elephant is taking the proverbial elephant go for it, right?
And we're going dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun.
The vile insect is over there digging in.
All of a sudden on the vile insect's side, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip.
Niagara Falls.
All this elephant poo, and the vile insect is like running all over the place, and it's just pouring down.
And the audience is just dying, man.
Oh, God.
We had to stop the opera and clean up the pit.
I mean, you didn't want to go back in there.
Funny thing is the last night we used animals on stage.
God, amazing thing.
Here, here, here, here.
Bugs, he's coming back.
Guys, as we're talking and stuff like that, be real quiet, come up here, get something to drink and some cookies.
Get a couple of cookies each.
And just wait.
If there's some left, then we'll go out and get some more, okay?
Is it?
Listen, I've got to tell you a story about Shirley MacLaine.
This is a great story.
Shirley MacLaine's at Caesar's Palace, and it's like she does just an incredible show.
Everything's just terrific, you know, and then she has this one part where she's saying send in the clown.
And what would happen is the whole stage would go dark.
The whole auditorium would go dark.
Hold on, hold on.
And it would come down, they would hit a pin spot on her, just her head.
And she would sing just with like a guitar player playing it back, just send in the clown.
And it was like just beautiful because she just sings all alone and it's a real neat effect.
Well, this one performance, like when they sing, the stage is like right here.
And she's on like a little chair, you know, a little high chair, singing with the mic.
And it's like you've got people that are like, their heads are right here.
You know, it's like they cram them right up as far as they can get them.
A woman about four feet away from her got sick.
And it's like she just started.
It was like send in the clown.
Or isn't it rich?
And you hear this.
And it was like, it was like, you know.
And she keeps singing, right?
And it's like she's got great, man.
She was right there and she kept doing it.
But it was like, it was like, whoa!
And you can hear the splat.
Anybody want cookies, they're up right now.
And she kept singing through that whole thing.
And like people are trying to get out of the way.
And it's like, and she finished the performance.
But this chick just, I mean, barfed through that whole thing.
Of course, the band's back there and they're diving under their stands.
Laughing and something like that.
This is no help.
Hey, I have a cookie.
Before you get going, no cookies.
Hold it.
My popular request.
They're getting the cookies ready.
And while they're getting it ready, we're talking about all these things that happen.
They don't happen very often.
But when they do, they really cause a big thing.
I was playing a show called The Florentine Gardens in Los Angeles.
This was in the 40s.
This was an extravaganza.
Like a big motion picture setting.
The orchestra was in the center of two golden stairs.
And the girls would promenade down the stairs.
And the band, of course, would be playing in between.
And they'd walk down.
Right beside the stairway, this club sat 5,000 people.
It was a huge extravaganza.
Nothing but the top headliners.
And it was packed all the time.
Now, right next to the stairway was a door that went to the kitchen.
Now, everybody knew in the club that that was the kitchen because the waiters would be going in and out all night long.
Now, also, under the stairway was another door that went up, upstairs to the dressing rooms.
Now, when the girls would first come on the job, the dancers, they were very careful.
They would make sure that they had clothes on underneath their costume.
Not very much, but it was there.
Now, this particular show, the girls had a dress fastened around their neck and it crisscrossed like this.
Down between their legs and a long train out the back.
Now, they were always told to be very careful that they don't step on the train of the girl ahead of them.
Now, the stage where they would dance around went out as far past where you guys are standing right now.
Huge stage, circular stage.
So, they're like musicians.
Some nights they'd send us up.
Well, now, a good dancer knows, they explain to her the routine, what's to be done.
And the head director was telling this girl, don't get too close to the girl.
He was telling this girl, don't get too close to the girl ahead of you.
Because if you step on that train, you're liable to trip and fall.
So, the show was going very well.
Now, they got 14 cleat lights on one side, 14 cleat lights on another side, 14 cleat lights on that side.
You can see that stage is bright.
And they got the band, of course.
We're always where we can see everything's going on.
Now, they come down the stairs.
The showgirls are already down.
They were always the six foot girls with six inch heels where they were tall.
And they would come around and parade around and then they'd stand and pose.
Now, the show had been running for maybe a month.
But now the girls are getting careless.
They come in and they're a little bit late and they just grab the dress and put it on and they go nothing under it.
You know, everything's very relaxed now.
Okay, so now they're dancing out there.
And the new girl, the girls then, the dancers, probably 19.
They're all young girls.
So they're dancing and they got clear to the far end of the stage.
And this one dancer stepped on the train, the girl ahead of her.
It didn't trip her, but the dress came off of the girl.
Now, this is back.
You guys out today, it's not sustained, but in those days there was no nudity in clubs.
And this just stripped her and she's got heels like this.
She's standing there stark naked.
5,000 people in the audience.
And you thought they'd never seen a woman in their life.
The entire audience, you heard this.
And everybody stood up.
Now the poor girl, which we found out, she's petrified.
And she starts running for the door to go upstairs.
That's the cutest thing you ever saw.
She got high heels like this when she was running across the stage.
It was really a doll.
And of course, Emil, the best conductor I ever worked for, a little Italian guy.
And he's, I'm not kidding you, he's rolling on the floor laughing.
And the band has stopped, they got all screwed up.
Now, she ran in and she's going to get that door to go upstairs.
She missed the door and ran into the kitchen.
And when she got in, everybody knew she went into the kitchen.
And the minute she went in those doors, dead silence.
You could have heard a pin drop.
And all of a sudden you heard cans and bottles and things clang, clang, clang in the kitchen.
Now she comes out the other door.
Now she's facing the audience.
And right behind her is a big fat chef with a cleaver in his hand.
And this poor gal, finally by the time we got the show started again, finished it, we got upstairs.
And this poor little gal is in hysterics.
She's just hysterical.
And Emil's sitting beside her arm right now and he's, no worries, it's not that bad.
But you know, we didn't get that show going again for a long time.
Okay, now let's have some chocolate.
Okay, chocolate and cookies before we go on.
Another story?
Tell the pass out story.
The pass out story?
You want another pass out story?
The Northridge pass out story.
You want to hear it?
Okay, I went to Cal State Northridge for my master's degree.
And I got to school there, I thought I was a pretty good player until I got there.
And I took lessons from the hot shot trumpet teacher there.
And the guy was a great player.
Bye guys, good to see you again.
Reese, get over here and sit down.
You did that last year, it doesn't work again.
Hey Reese, what's the thing we need to be natural, I forgot.
It wasn't my idea.
That's right dude.
That's right.
Cal State Northridge.
Carl was talking about passing out.
We had this one teacher at Northridge, he was a great player but didn't have a clue how to teach.
And he had us doing this one warm up, you start on high C, you had to hold it for 64 counts.
That was your warm up.
Then you had to go 64 counts, trilling, open, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD for 64 counts.
Then CDE for 64 counts and CDEF sharp for 64 counts, right?
Well I was a stupid kid, I didn't know any different.
So this particular day, the other trumpet player and I were going to audition to the Vivaldi Concerto for two trumpets for the orchestra competition.
So I had my three piece suit on, looking really tough.
This was back in 69 when all the Vietnam War protests were going on.
And you literally had to show your ID card at the school to get on campus.
You literally had to show your ID card at the school to get on campus.
I was about four then, that's right, going to graduate school.
And so I'm in the practice room, looking at the mirror like a good boy, right?
And my three piece suit and it was like armed guards all the way around Cal State Northridge checking you in.
It was like guys trying to blow the place up.
So I'm in there looking at the mirror going, see ya!
And I'm going like the room starts moving, I'm going like this, right?
I'm cool, I got it, right?
So now I go, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD.
And now the room's really spinning.
I'm just kind of hanging on for dear life, I don't know what's going on.
So now I get to the CDE, right?
Now here I am about from that wall, looking at the mirror,
my three piece suit and my really awesome large bore Mount Vernon B-flat, right?
Irreplaceable trumpet.
And I'm there and I'm going CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD, CD.
And I come to, and I am laying flat on my face.
My toes are in exactly the same place.
I just went...
Yeah, so I'm kind of laying there, you know?
I'm going, this has never happened before.
And I kind of roll over, right?
And the first thing I notice is my left hand is really hurting.
And I look over and my thumb is about here.
Now I've played enough football in my life to know that sucker is dislocated.
So I just kind of grab a hold of it and I just go...
And I go, now the next question is, how the hell did that get like that, right?
So now all of a sudden I just kind of feel like this incredible pain right about here, right?
And I kind of start looking for my trumpet.
And my trumpet is about this size.
Apparently as I went, I just kind of went...
And the horn ended up about here and I just fell right through it and crushed it.
My hand going right through the valve casing, right?
And now I'm thinking, how did this happen, right?
I look over and there's a pool of blood about yay big.
And I feel up here and it's all like mush.
And I'm just bleeding like crazy.
I fractured my skull, right?
And I go, oh my God, my trumpet.
Oh my God, somebody has shot me through the practice room window.
Oh shit, you know?
So I kind of get up.
By this time, this hand is about this big.
This eye is almost closed and just blood all over.
I'm in my three-piece suit looking really tough.
And I just open up the door.
And I kind of walk out the door and stagger down the hall into the head.
And there's blood all over my face.
I get a cold towel and I wipe it off.
And it's just split all over the place.
My eyes.
Turning this arm, take this puffed up hand.
I walk out to the parking lot.
Get in my Volkswagen bug.
And I'm driving because I can't hold on the steering wheel.
And I've got my horn over in the seat here.
And I drive all the way from Northridge to downtown LA.
And the road is going like this.
And I'm going, drive by Braille, dummy.
And I walk in.
And old George Stroussa worked for a bench company that time.
He was a great repairman.
And I've got this cold compress which is now red.
And I walk in with this crumpled up piece of tin that used to be a horn.
And I go, George, I need your help.
He says, oh my God, what happened to you?
I says, I broke my horn.
He says, broke your horn?
Hell, you broke yourself.
And I go, you've got to fix my horn.
I got an audition in 45 minutes.
He just shook his head and he kind of straightens this thing out, right?
It almost looks like a trumpet.
It kind of gets a leader pipe put back on.
And I say, thanks George, what do I owe you?
He says, go see a doctor.
I says, no, I got an audition.
He says, geez, Claude.
That's a chair.
That's my case.
So I get back in my car and I drive all the way back to Northridge.
By this time, this eye is closed.
The bleeding is pretty well stopped.
And this hand is destroyed.
So I walk in with the other trumpet player into this audition in my 3P suit, looking really good.
And the first thing everybody says to me is, what happened to you?
I says, don't worry about it.
Let's play the Vivaldi concerto, right?
So I'm standing here, right, and the room is just kind of like moving back and forth.
And we play it.
I do not remember the last page.
So I put my horn back in the case.
And the guy goes, go see the doctor.
So I get in my car and drive around to the student, you know, doctor area.
And I walk in and the doctor just goes, what happened to you?
I was just practicing my trumpet.
So like he stitches this up, right?
And he gets it all fixed.
I got a concussion, the whole bit.
And he says, now look.
He says, you got dizzy spells?
I says, yeah, man, everything's just kind of going like this.
He says, okay, look, do you have a car here at campus?
I says, yeah, he says, can I call somebody?
He says, okay, he says, look, whatever you do for the next five weeks, don't drive a car.
He says, yeah, that sounds cool to me.
So then I go to my next trumpet lesson, drive the car.
I walk in with my case and I take my horn out.
And it's still kind of.
And the guy goes, what happened to your horn?
I says, your stupid warm-ups.
That's what happened to your horn.
He goes, well, what happened?
I says, I passed out.
He says, well, hey, man, practice next to a bed.
I says, we don't got those.
He says, don't.
I said, we've been trying to get beds in the practice rooms for years.
I got to tell you a story about Dave since Dave brought this up.
This is just a short little excerpt, but it tells you a little bit about him.
You guys did a great job in bringing the kindling wood.
We really want to thank you and we know that was a great deal of work.
But I want you to know how that all came about.
Normally the camp would have brought this over without any difficulty.
But I happened to overhear a conversation in the cafeteria two days ago.
Dave Evans has a way of getting what he wants.
That's what they all say, big guy.
Anyway, Dave is going to be here for two more weeks after this camp.
And he's very anxious to have good accommodations.
And so I happened to overhear this conversation.
He was in line fooling with the peanut butter.
And Steve Praters, who is the head of the camp, says, Dave, come over here.
I want to talk to you.
He says, I think I've got it lined up that you can have a private room for the next two weeks.
And Dave said, oh, that's great.
And Steve says, but there's one thing.
You'll have to get all the kindling wood over there for your fire.
And Dave said, no problem.
He says, hey, Kent.
You never knew.
You never knew.
That's why you carried all the kindling wood so Dave would have a nice room.
Thanks, guys.
I thought you were going to tell the others.
The blonde in the room next door thanks you, too, by the way.
What's your name for Christmas?
By the way, you guys all know Reese Henson, right?
Reese is going to be playing saxophone next week.
We've got a real pleasant surprise.
We have one of the finest guitar players you probably will ever hear.
All around guitar.
Not rock guitar.
I mean, all around good guitar players.
He was at the camp several times before.
He also plays good jazz trumpet.
And he played such fine guitar that we recruited him to play in the rhythm section for the concert.
But he's going to play it for us now and you're going to really hear some fine, fine guitar.
So let's have a nice hand.
I want to introduce George Sousa.
Hey, hi.
What I'm going to do is play a couple of flamenco songs.
And then we've got a real treat because we're going to play a couple of jazz tunes.
One with Howard and then with Howard and John.
So I'm just going to try to get a sound here a minute.
Let's play one more of these and then we'll go to the other side.
Thank you.
This is Howard and we're going to play Stella by Starlight.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
We're going to play a little Latin song right now.
I've been up for a while.
I've been up for a while.
I've been up for a while.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Before we lock up or get locked up.
Or locked out.
You guys have just a couple more words they want to tell you about.
Oh, no, no, I don't want to talk about it.
Oh, come on, Carl.
Not me.
Dave wants you to tell you a story.
I think Claude ought to talk about his left-hand story.
Claude's got this great story.
Yeah, Claude.
You talked him into it.
I'll get a terrible reputation.
That's okay, you join me, Claude.
Until we walk out on it.
We didn't act like this all the time on every job, you know.
Yes, you did.
Well, this one.
Is that the one?
This one was at the Florentine Gardens again.
You better hide behind us.
The showgirls were gorgeous girls.
And they paraded down the stairs.
Now, I sat.
The trumpets.
The trumpets sat right in the back.
Against the wall.
And Joanne, the tallest showgirl of all.
Notice how he knows her name.
They would come.
They would come down.
They have these big picture hats.
And all they'd have on is three roses.
Yeah, three roses.
And they'd come back in about six inch high heels.
And here I was sitting right here.
And she's posing like this.
And they don't dare move.
They're hard on those girls, those directors.
And the pole was very stiff.
And, gee, when they'd stand there,
it would just smell beautiful, you know.
Beautiful perfume they'd wear, you know.
So I didn't even think of what I'd do.
So all of a sudden,
she's really close.
And I said, Jenny, you've heard this story, haven't you?
Hey, Joanne, have you heard this story?
So without even thinking,
her ankle was right there,
and I just reached down and tickled her ankle.
So I got a kick,
so then I started tickling up her leg a little bit.
Playing with one hand, I got right behind her knee,
and all of a sudden I feel her leg jump.
And then I heard this little feminine voice.
Gordy, stop it.
Everybody up for breathing exercise?
And all of a sudden I noticed this,
you stand out in front and he's going like that.
And all of a sudden he looks up, you know,
and he says, what's going on back there?
What's going on back there?
Get both hands on that trumpet.
All right, Gordy.
One more and then we're done.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
I might have to do this sitting down.
Here we go.
All right.
Yeah, Reese, you wear the roses.
Oh, is it yours?
There they go.
Actually, I got a couple.
I had a lesson with Claude,
and I actually got two passing out stories.
One was a lesson with Claude,
and I hadn't been doing what I should have been doing
and hung out the night before a little too late.
Didn't get enough sleep.
I figured the lesson would be a piece of cake anyway
because it wasn't going to be anything hard.
He just had me pick out different things and check them out.
And I don't know why, but for some reason that was the time.
He hadn't done it in years.
And I get up to like A-flat, and it's like I lost it.
I mean, it's like a religious experience or something.
And so I started jerking again,
and Claude's facing me. He's on this desk.
This is in San Mateo.
And he's a real big help.
It's like I'm going down.
And I'm trying to save my horn because I just bought this.
And I'm reaching for the table,
and I finally get to the table, and I get on one knee
because I figured that would be safe.
And Claude's talking to me the whole time.
He stands up and he says,
Oh, I know how you feel. You're getting all tingly, huh?
And I can't talk to him.
I'm going through this physical thing.
I got enough where I got some control.
He said, Shut up, Claude, until I get through this.
Anyway, my next one's my favorite.
Actually, half the story is knowing the guy that it happened to.
Actually, it happened to me, but I mean it was like...
There's this real neat Billy Catalano.
Real neat trumpet player.
He always says good things, and he's kind of...
I don't know.
It's like he wouldn't really harm a flea, okay?
So we're playing the ice show with Bob O'Donnell.
Bob's up there conducting, and we've got to play his part.
And there was something up around a G or A-flat,
and you had to hold it for like a couple of bars.
And I went out,
and I didn't want to fall.
And so it's like you're sitting there,
you put the horn down,
and you figure, if I can just grab on to something,
I'll be okay.
And it's like he's sitting right next to me.
And so my only free hand is this one,
and I grab.
And I grab the inside of his thigh.
And it's like I just squeeze as hard as I could,
because I didn't have any control.
All I did is squeeze, and I'm like,
I'm sitting there and going through this.
And it's only a few seconds this is happening.
And he puts his horn down immediately,
and it's louder than hell.
He's like...
Anyway, if you knew the guy,
it's even funnier, because he's so mild-mannered.
He's totally fine.
And he's like,
and I had a diff grip on his thigh.
Anyway, that's one thing.
The last one is about Claude.
Claude had always been looking
for a con-wonder cornet.
And I went to a lesson,
and he had a picture of one.
And for whatever weird reason,
he shows me this picture, and he goes,
David, if you ever find one of these,
buy it, and I'll pay you whatever you want.
How long were you looking for that horn?
20 years, something like that.
So I said, yeah, sure, Claude.
Give me my lesson, let's get going.
So about two weeks later, as luck would have it,
I walked into this thrash music store
to pick up a school instrument that was getting fixed.
And there's this little tiny gold bell about this big
hanging over the shelf.
And I go to this repairman and say, what's that up there?
He says, I don't know, some old thrash cornet
somebody left here years ago.
I said, can I see it?
So he kind of climbs up, yanks this thing down,
and it's just black, just black.
No valves, no slides, nothing.
And I kind of look at it, and I say, well,
look out on the top, it says,
Con Wonder Cornet.
And I turn it over, and it has like June the 16th, 1896
on the valve casing.
Huh? 1885.
And I go, give me a break.
And so I go, God, this is kind of neat.
I kind of make old lamps and stuff on this.
You got any of the rest of the parts?
He says, well, the case is around here somewhere.
And I said, well, let me look for it.
I look at all these thrash cases, and way back in the corners
a little black case about yay by yay.
And I pull it out, and I open it up,
and there's the valves and all the slides.
So I kind of shove the thing together,
put some oil in the valve, stick it together,
and I open up the bottom of this case,
and there's a Jules Levy autographed mouthpiece
and a Liberati autographed mouthpiece,
the mutes and the changes to A.
And they're all in there, brand new.
And I put this Cornet mouthpiece in,
and I go, oh, let's see if this thing will work.
I go, oh, that's kind of neat.
I could put a lamp on here and make this first valve,
and I said, what do you want for it?
He says, well, I don't know. What do you want to give me for it?
I said, well, I'll give you $75.
He says, OK.
I'll give you $75, throw it in the case,
and it still had the blue ribbon, and it said, Conwonder Cornet.
It was like Twilight Zone.
Take it home, take it all apart, shine it up,
and it was like new.
It was like Claude.
Claude had just gotten a brand new desk,
and you couldn't even breathe on it.
I mean, this was like his baby, right?
So I walk in.
This was the old studio over in Recita.
It was like smoke glass all the way around.
So you see Claude, and they're working.
So I pull up outside, and I get out my Claude case,
and they're going, yeah, how's it going, Dave?
I said, it's OK. And I take my quad case, and I go...
I mean, it's like he's ready to kill me.
His eyes get this big.
I open up the case, so now the cornet bell is facing me.
And there's a block and a block and a block.
And I go, oh, hey, Claude, excuse me.
I've got to go out and get some more books.
He's just sitting there steaming, like, what is with you?
I go out to my car and open the trunk, and I'm looking in,
and he's just sitting there like this, you know?
And all of a sudden, you can see him go like this.
Now, Claude always wears slippers during your lessons,
and his feet are about this big, right?
And all of a sudden, it's like you just see this guy
jump into my case, and you see these slippers coming out the top
of my case like this.
And I walk in, I said, oh, you found it, huh, Claude?
Here's the rest of the stuff, you know?
And he just cracked him up, so I said, you know, here, I have a cornet.
So when you see the cornet collection, that's how you got it.
Yo, Claude. I gave it to him.