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Ghost of Sam Post

May 2009 - Posts

  • A Most Pleasant Surprise

    About a week ago I was in a local music store purchasing a component for my stage sound system. The equipment, of course, was expensive (what else is new?). The salesman gave me a ticket for a presentation they were sponsoring because I had spent over a hundred dollars on the component (hell, I spend that much on lunch). I figured that it was a promotional deal to get the customers brainwashed into buying more stuff (what else is new?).

    It was called a workshop. Now, a workshop is a particular type of venue that requires work on the part of the participants. In this case it was a guitar workshop. Thus, each person should bring their guitar and should be prepared to receive instruction and to put that information into practice. Since I am always on the lookout for a deal (who isn't?) I maneuvered the salesman into giving me two tickets instead of one. I figured Mrs. Ghost would also attend and that we would make an evening of the workshop (shrewd, don't you think?). I went away thinking that I had wangled a second ticket without buying another hundred dollars worth of merchandise (very shrewd, don't you think?). I put the tickets on my calendar only half intending to attend (who wants to go to listen to a two hour sales pitch?) The day of the event was yesterday. We did, in point of fact, attend. I had called beforehand to ascertain what I would be required to bring with me. The kind lady on the phone said that guitars were not required; they had plenty to sell to me if I wished. I was relieved, less to carry if I wanted to make a hasty retreat before the end of the two-hour time allotment (wise thinking, I thought).

    I girded my loins in anticipation of a long, boring sales presentation. You know, the same kind of preparation that you put on when you have to listen to an insurance salesman: eyes wide open while you are snoring (I can do that for hours). Fortunately for me I was wrong. This was a two-hour long concert by a fantastic guitarist. His equally talented daughter accompanied him. Both of these people were exquisite in their performance; I believe that I have never heard a better presentation of music and singing. They were humorous, entertaining, and very personable. He was very generous with his huge amount of knowledge and experience. His name is Doyle Dykes. I believe the young lady, his daughter, is Bailey Dykes.

    Though he was co-sponsored by Taylor guitars, he mentioned these instruments only briefly. The audience of over a hundred people was thoroughly entertained and we gave him a standing ovation at the end of a marvelous concert. I hope that I will wrong many more times under similar circumstances in the future (that would be nice, wouldn't it?). In the future I will look for anything that says: "guitar workshop" and I will always seek to wangle that extra ticket (pretty clever, eh? What else is new?). So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 27 2009, 01:35 PM by Sam Post with no comments
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  • Equipment Upgrade

    Every so often someone who uses tools will need to replace, or repair, them. Happily, musical instruments are not among tools that need replacement on a regular basis. The tools of musicians can last a lifetime. Because of this fact it is wise to choose one's original purchases with care so that the musician will enjoy many decades of use. The only time a player seeks to change his or her equipment is because there is a change in the instrument played, or the musician gets to a point in their life when they would prefer not to lug around heavy amplifiers, etc. An alternative would be to hire roadies to schlep the equipment; sometimes this is the logical choice, but sometimes this is not practical.

    I have played the drums for fifty years and during that time I have only replaced the instrument one time. Not because there was any damage, but because I was eighteen years of age and I wanted a new set so it would fit inside the car more easily. That was forty-six years ago. I am still playing the same set that I purchased in 1963. The world of traditional drum sets has not changed and younger musicians often admire my set and ask me to explain some of the components. (Actually, the only thing that has changed these days is that the drum set is referred to as a "kit" instead of a "set". A "set" is what a group of songs is called.) The individual drums are still made to the same sizes, the cymbals are still made to traditional diameters, and the hardware is still made in the same way. Fortunately, I purchased a high quality kit and it is, indeed, lasting a lifetime. In fact, the instrument sounds better than most of the modern instruments. Maybe I inadvertently got hold of a Stradivarius? (I didn't know he made drums.) So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 18 2009, 07:27 PM by Sam Post with no comments
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  • Sunday Jam

    No, I am not talking about marmalade. The term "jam" is short for "jamboree" and it is a musical term that describes the event where musicians gather to play in groups. Normally ten to a hundred musicians, depending on the size of the accommodations, will gather to hear each other perform and to perform with players that they haven't met before. It is sort of a sharing of ideas and techniques with others who are in the same profession. There are no rules, no guidelines, and no pay. You can play if you wish with any other people, or just sit and listen.

    Last Sunday there was a jam session at a local restaurant. It occurred between the hours of noon and seven PM. Most of the players there were country and western performers, but only one man actually played country music, all the rest played very loud rock music. I should mention that there is always a house band whose responsibility it is to keep the music going. If there are no drummers in the crowd then the house band's drummer is obliged to play. It is the same with all instruments. The house band's public address (PA) system is normally used for all performances. On this occasion the house band had a huge PA system with a board (that's the thing that all the microphones and electric instruments are plugged into) that would rival any recording studio. The speakers were so huge that I'm sure that the people in the Keys could here it just fine. There is no reason to play music so loud that it causes hearing loss, but the guy running it however, was probably born deaf. Even worse, the system was so maladjusted that the sound was extremely muddy. The singers were very hard to hear and the bass components of the sound system were so loud that the Ghost got a headache within one minute of arrival. The bands of today do not measure their sound in watts, but in kilotons. And it is most disagreeable to one's emotions and health. So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 14 2009, 08:59 PM by Sam Post with no comments
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  • Too Windy Day

    It was a beautiful day last Sunday, too good to stay inside. The sun was out, the temperature was warm, and there was enough breeze to keep the bugs from lighting on your skin. Leaving the boat at home was not an option. We took the little boat (eight feet in length) out to the lighthouse boat ramp to enjoy another beautiful day at sea. We brought a nice lunch, plenty to drink, and copious amounts of sunscreen. I had hoped to travel out beyond the lighthouse, well away from the hordes of rude and boisterous boaters, to find a quiet place to anchor. There we would have our meal on board, maybe take a nice snooze, do some gunk holing, and then come back to shore. Great idea, but it didn't work out the way that we planned.

    That nice breeze that I mentioned kept most of the little bugs at bay (no pun) but it didn't keep away the horseflies (bet you didn't know a horse could fly, did you?) that adopted us and decided to spend the afternoon with us. Even worse, out by the lighthouse the breeze had turned into a small hurricane creating whitecaps and up to two-foot waves. All the boats were pounding badly and we were not able to go very far out into the bay. In fact, it was so uncomfortable that we decided to go back into the canal to seek some calmer water. Okay, so we anchored in the canal and had a nice meal. At least the horseflies didn't eat too much; they just buzzed us every few seconds to see how fast we could swat at them. Then it was time for a short nap. Missus Ghost chose to take a few pictures from the boat while the Ghost nap was in progress. It was a good nap except for the moron who kept going back and forth with his boat with his stereo loud enough to wake the dead. One may wonder why anyone would go out to a peaceful, natural environment and ruin it with ugly noise. So says Sam Post.

    Posted May 04 2009, 06:32 PM by Sam Post with no comments
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