I’ve often thought it…

Roddy Ring has sent this link to the following insightful article in the Santa Barbara Independent, written by the delightful young lady pictured here… (I’m free on Thursdays).

Posted in Music, Uncategorized, Writing | 85 Comments

85 Responses to I’ve often thought it…

  1. BorisBrain says:

    Hey Bruce, hope all is well.

    Did you ever play, or do you have any time for Mustang basses? I’ve been searching for a lefty for literally donkey’s years – with them being rarer than hen’s teeth and all that.

    And then today I find one:


    Not the prettiest example, certainly the wrong side of the planet, and far too expensive. I could probably get two more very nice lefty P basses for that kind of money. But – beggars, choosers, and all that.

    A musical acquaintance of mine has one which sounds as sweet as can be, but then he’s right handed and it cost him about £700. Bastard…

    Any observations?



    • Bruce says:

      I did play a Mustang Bass while in a band called Quiver. It was Candy Apple Red with a white stripe. I later took the paint off and fitted a pickguard of inlaid wood with rosees — like a Grateful Dead vibe. I then put a Gibson EB3 treble pick-up on it — and later a pair of Guilds. I had no problem with it at all. In fact now you come to mention it, I probably did the two Quiver albums with theat bass — and only switched to a Precision later. Have a listen to “Gone in the Morning” — it’s a much “sweeter” sound than a P-Bass. If you like them, then I certainly wouldn’t advise against one. Here’s a link to a pic of an early incarnation of it — and the track I just mentioned.


  2. Johjn Foyle says:

    Couldn’t help thinking of the Attractions audition story when I saw this –


    • Bruce says:

      LOL What goes around…

    • Roddy Ring says:

      Two of my all time favorites in one show, and three of the biggest pompous A-holes I’ve ever seen sit for interview. I learned some years ago that admiration for the work should not be conflated with admiration for the individual. They’ll be in my neighborhood on August 5th. I’ll buy everyone a ticket because August is a great time to attend an outdoor concert in the DC area. I’ll start collecting rocks and vegetables for the occasion.

  3. One of my favorite EC&A songs is “Radio Sweetheart.” The discography sites I have read indicate that it is Nick Lowe playing the bass on that song, but I just thought I would check here. If it is Lowe, he is doing a damn good B.T. impression.

    • Bruce says:

      That was before my time, it’s true. It sounds more like (Nick’s previous band) Brinsley Schwarz than Elvis Costello, imo. EC was their biggest fan. And the vocal sounds like Graham Parker.

    • Roddy Ring says:

      Country music?!? Dear God, there might be a banjo in there somewhere!
      Up until “Taking Liberties” was released in the States, I was only vaguely familiar with the band. Between this song and Chelsea, at that point I was hooked. There a great story related to the day I went to buy that record, but my attorney advises me that all related statutes of limitations may not have expired.

      • Bruce says:

        Brinsley Schwarz (the group) absolutely idolised the Band — but why do we need a Band-alike when we’ve got the original? I’m glad the song in question has happy association for you — I enjoy a similar memory with the first Cheap Trick album.

      • Roddy Ring says:

        Memory is the operative word (or inoperative, as the case may be). Any story about a 16 year that begins with “my parents had just left town” usually has happiness and memory peaking at great heights, only to come crashing down. Chelsea was certainly “the song” that struck me as the most unique thing my young ears had ever heard. Not kissing the moderator’s arse here to make up for past transgressions, but all music lover’s have that moment where they hear something entirely new that sends their interest in music soaring. That song was it.
        I saw Graham Parker last year for the first time in a long time, and Mr. Schwarz for the first time as my earliest GP shows were post Rumour. Great show and he has a great sense of humo(u)r as evidenced in his most recent cinematic appearance. He is as adept as anyone I’ve ever seen at being the MC of his show, not just the singer.

      • Bruce says:

        I’ll take care of your ears and leave others to take care of alternative extremities. I shall say no more, lest I become subject to the moderator’s wrath.

      • Roddy Ring says:

        He’s a real bastard, ain’t he? Don’t answer, I’m sure he’s close by, looking right of over your shoulders.

      • Bruce says:

        He’s the biggest bastard I know, to be honest.

  4. Jerry Cohen says:

    Well, here you go…I love the interwebs. http://www.willardswormholes.com/archives/6326

  5. Jerry Cohen says:

    Has the fabulous Mad About The Wrong Boy ever been issued on CD? My vinyl copy is long gone. (I remember after the 1995 Useless Beauty “rehearsal” shows in New York someone presented Pete Thomas with a copy to sign. He was delighted). But seriously, I’d love to have this record again. The public demands a deluxe treatment reissue, with outtakes and alternate versions.

    • Bruce says:

      I think I have a CD copy gathering dust somewhere in a cupboard — with all the other skeletons 🙂

      • David Witherington says:

        Hey , guys…it did indeed make it to CD way back in 1991 (on Demon), That was my third copy (two on vinyl before that, the original British F-Beat pressing (with Steve’s “Outline of a Hairdo” EP) and a Canadian pressing on Attic Records (with no EP). Oddly, it has NEVER been issued in America to my memory. Am I wrong about that? Because, as an American, I had to hunt that sucker down from the beginning! All three editions are rare as hens’ teeth now. I’m for reissuing that skeleton too..hehe. 🙂

      • Bruce says:

        I almost managed to bury it, then 🙂

    • Jerry Cohen says:

      Perhaps a moot point, but who actually owns the recording, should someone want to reissue it?

    • Mike Miller says:

      So, I’m assuming that the finished record varied wildly from the original concept?

      • Bruce says:

        No — they were both half-baked and faulty 🙂

      • Mike Miller says:

        Sounds like it was the label’s or management’s idea.

      • Bruce says:

        More than likely.

      • Mike Miller says:

        Should’ve brought Billy in…he could’ve added some strings. “Violins from Hell” as the book says.

      • Bruce says:

        I wonder if EC will get to like Steely Dan :))

      • Paul Inglis says:

        EC included a Steely Dan album in the “Top 500 Albums” list he did for Vanity Fair a few years ago. So you must have converted him, or at least reduced his antipathy!

        Countdown To Ecstasy, in case you were wondering. He did “Showbiz Kids” on his TV show too.

      • Bruce says:

        (Top 500 — what at 499?) Right I feel a new post coming on — we can all do our Top 10 albums. No more than one explanation for each one. Compilations allowed. All totally subjective of course. Right — I’m off to have a think.

      • Paul Inglis says:

        Sounds like a great idea. I lean towards The Royal Scam for Steely Dan and Station to Station for Bowie (must be something about 1976) but there’d be some wildcards in my Top 10 too, I think.

      • Bruce says:

        It’s a shame Bowie split one great album into two with ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes’ — otherwise that would be a Top Tenner for sure. Steely Dan may be the only band that never made a bad album.

      • Paul Inglis says:

        The instrumentals on Low and Heroes, at least the ones that are mainly just Bowie playing most of the instruments, are interesting but definitely sound like they should be on a different album from all the songs with that killer rhythm section Bowie had at the time! At the time I certainly thought the A side of Low coupled with the A side of Heroes could have been almost anyone’s best album.

        Even the last two Steely Dan albums definitely reward repeated listening. Fagen’s solo stuff is usually worthwhile too.

      • Bruce says:

        Agreed all round.

  6. Roddy Ring says:

    I’ll have to trouble Mr. Good(e) the next time we meet to recount a story he tells of John Entwhistle. I won’t try to re-tell it in full here as it’s been a while since I heard it and I’ll surely butcher the details. The general premise is the Good was hired to work sound for a charity event for which Entwhistle’s band had been recruited. The band arrived with full stadium-worthy equipment for the event that was being held in a medium sized, low-ceiling room. The band management refused to down-size and the story involves the sonic and technical nightmares that followed.

    • Bruce says:

      Sounds like a good(e) story. No doubt some loosening of plaster was involved. The first time I saw the Who they had double Marshall stacks — each — in a room that held 200 people. I couldn’t hear properly for 3 days. They did one song — Green Onions — before they trashed the equipment. And they were over an hour late going on. Still a fantastic gig.

      • Roddy Ring says:

        One detail I remember is that the stacks, once on stage, were higher than the dropped ceiling. So the crew lined them up between the grids and popped the tiles so that the stacks were several inches above the ceiling.

      • Bruce says:

        That sound about right.

  7. Mike Miller says:

    Mac (Apple), PC, or both?

  8. Mike Miller says:

    I’ve got one of these in the cupboard next to the turd polisher.


  9. Rachel Jones says:

    I think I’d have to agree with her – and that’s all I’m saying…

  10. Roddy Ring says:

    I’ve made the big time. I believe I’ll have to treat Mrs. Ring to a little extra low and steady tonight. (insert short-scale jokes here).

    • Bruce says:

      You’re way ahead of me, Bro. I can see I’m going to have to up my game.

      • Roddy Ring says:

        With years of experience in running my mouth, I have found that it is good strategy to foresee and foretell and then combine that with a bit of self-deprecation.
        For proper attribution, I must thank John Good. A contemporary of my older brother: Trombonist in high school turned bassist with quite a name for a musician. He provided this and the previous compilation of bass lines link. Apparently he has more time than I to scan the webs for interesting bass guitar related tidbits.

      • Bruce says:

        That’s most gracious of you — but being called Johnny B Goode is more than enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *