Meet & Greet

A Question For The Lurkers.


Time, money, and distance are make/break factors for me. Last one, actually the only one so far, I attended was the Kansas City Roundup. I had a fine time. And I met some very gracious folks, too. Musically, after an initial bit of reticence, I discovered I could hang with just about anyone there. One of the high points was trading finger style licks with one of the long time GDP members.

I confess that I really don't relish the idea of crossing two, three, or four state lines travelling all by myself. Makes no difference whether the mode of transport be auto or airplane. Airports make me very uneasy. And driving long distances by myself through unfamiliar territory is equally uncomfortable.

And then there's the time/money factor. I am basically self-employed. I could take all the vacation time I want to, really. But I wouldn't get paid for it. I suppose attending a Roundup might be a tax deductible expense. Call it "networking" if you will. But it still comes out of my pocket, and then if you add up lost income to that....well....There you have it.

Sorry to miss these things. I'm sure I'm missing some great opportunities.


the Roundups that I've been to(here in Minnesota and the 2 in KC) have always been very enjoyable. I've met a lot of y'all here on the GDP and wouldn't mind meeting more of you. oh yeah, we even had a "Gathering" in Keithville, Louisiana at Don Wood's house. for me, timing and location affect my attending a Roundup. perhaps after I retire in a year or so, I'll be able to attend Roundups other than the ones that I've attended already.


I would LOVE to meet everyone here and have no issues with my playing ability (or rather lack of)/musical styles/personalities/egos/etc. My problem is location and money.


It's just me and I accept it - life has taught me to avoid situations that I know don't work for me. -- Gretschman36

Good, Gman36! I figured all along that it was just me.

Who knows, maybe it is that too!

– Ric12string

Well, I didn't want to disclose it in the thread, Bob, but now that you mention it ...


Career and Distance. Hopefully, after I retire in a few years, I'll have the gumption to make the long trek from Utah to a Roundup. They sound fun, and I like to have fun with fun people.


Time and distance mainly. I own my own business and my phone is on 24/7. I used to go to blues jams when they were local but that hasn't happened in about 15 years. It's been that long since I've played music with anyone else except for being in a pit band once.

I rarely even play music with my son and we share a lot of musical common ground. I guess it's just a bit awkward for some reason. Maybe if I work on that part first, the roundup would come next.

It was great meeting Curt when he did a neck re-set on my 6119. I always hope I don't come off like a dork!


I'm only in it for the endless blues jam in E.


Well I had a great first time and everyone was just fine together. I didn't know it when I arrived but I wished I'd spent more time there when I left .


For me, it's the combination of money, time and geography. I'm not located near any of the various Roundups and my work is such that while I work for a company, I conduct my business as an independent contractor. I have a list of clients that do not contact my company inquiring about my availability but rather contact me directly. As I schedule myself I take an extra Friday now and then to attend an event I can drive to easily or enjoy locally. This relationship I have with my clients would be compromised if I wasn't here to give them the service they enjoy. I only plan on working a couple more years so after that, when I move back to Ontario, going to a few Roundups will be on the docket. Money is big issue as well, what with the travel costs to attend a Roundup, the lost wages, and for us Canucks - Ryan's Roundup aside - there's the exchange rate which is crippling.

I would dearly love to attend a few Roundups and enjoy meeting many of you face to face and hear everyone play and play myself. I'd like to bring along my Super Chet which is unlike any other SC out there, to play for the folks and particularly to have others play it and get their feedback, and possibly even hear my guitar used to perform by someone else, which would be a thrill!


Tim, you know I'm only busting on you when it comes to your overly wordy long posts.

I bet you didn't think I'd see you calling me out in your latest 992 word post. Hey at least you kept it to 1000 words or less. Ha! Had a great time at the Clarksdale roundup.


Jeff H, dork you say? Not at all I consider you normal in my abnormal world.

Thanks all for taking the time to openly answer your Gretschography issues along with others. I think it helps when there are assumptions about who shows and who "don't".

Rich, thanks for your candid reply, you're good people.

EDIT: And RickyBob, your reply is past due and will receive a one letter grade deduction per day so make it good!

Why did I run two of these things you ask? Easy, the second one was the open house and I needed free entertainment.

The first one was a crap shoot, Wenzel formed the snowball then left it to melt, I thought he was on to something. I wish we had the dialog which disappeared via mushroom cloud but have to say it was very organic and everyone contributed. Fact is all I did was find a location and then the magic just kinda happened. I think the only two that knew each other was crowbone and his friend Wally. Lifelong friends and not something that could have happened in a Les Paul environment, different mindset.


Huh! Charlie, I've thought of that tune often, and the inappropriate 3-part harmony we didn't get to play Saturday night. Maybe if we keep at it, we can stack up 5 or 6 guitars on that lick...

Did you take time to count the words in my post? Gold star for you!


EDIT: And RickyBob, your reply is past due and will receive a one letter grade deduction per day so make it good! -- Curt Wilson

Curt, I am not certain what you are referencing in particular.

If you are referring to your question of why is growth sought, I did answer it by quoting Proteus' post. But, I will expand on that, if that is what you are seeking.

I surmise that you and I differ vastly on the structure of a Roundup. I believe that you probably prefer to have it as unstructured as possible and just allow whatever happens to happen. I, on the other hand, would prefer to have some structure to it, although I clearly understand when people say that they don't want it overstructured. So, I am not interested in really quibbling over that, but I do recognize that we probably differ there.

So, in keeping with that sense, I presume that you don't really care how many people attend a Roundup, as long as those who do have fun. That is a valid point of view, but, as the person who organizes a Roundup, I would prefer to see a few more people attend. Not because growth in and of itself is good, but because it affords some economies of scale, which can bring down the costs for everyone, and it allows more people to interact and to gain an appreciation for other GDPers. There is a certain joy in getting to meet people whom you haven't met in person before, but whom you know from their posts on the GDP. It is also fun to see people getting to meet Joe Carducci for the first time and to experience his warmth and enthusiasm. As Proteus put it, you want to see more people drinking the Gretsch Kool-Aid because you want them to have the fun that we all know happens at a Roundup.

In terms of why I "sponsor" a Roundup, I don't view myself as a sponsor, but more as a facilitator. If you hadn't gotten this yet from me, Curt, I am one of those guys who jumps in and tries to get things to happen. I don't usually sit back and bemoan the fact that something isn't occurring; instead, I try to figure out how to make it occur. So, when I saw Roundups happening in New Jersey and Nashville, and even in Louisiana, I thought, "Why not in California too?" So, I set about to trying to make it happen.

But, that is the only reason why I keep doing it year after year. In every organization, there are those who make things happen and get involved and there are those who don't want to assume that burden, but who enjoy the fruits of those labors. I don't praise one and criticize the other at all. Not everyone ticks to the same tock. But, there is a lot of effort that goes into organizing one of these events. And, with that effort, I think that I would enjoy seeing more people benefit from it by attending a really fun event.

In terms of the geography issue, I fully understand why someone can't buy an airplane ticket and fly out from Ohio or Pennsylvania to our California event. And, I also understand why those in California don't fly or drive back to Indiana for the Hoosier Daddy Heartland Roundup. There is significant cost and logistics involved in making that kind of trip. But, what I don't understand is that, when you have a Roundup within four hours drive of where you live that costs $175 all inclusive (that's saving only $15 per month until the next year's Roundup arrives), why that person is not attending. Those of us who have attended a Roundup know that it is a changing experience that should not be missed. But, how to convey that to someone who has never been to one so as to get them to overcome inertia and attend is something that I am yet struggling to understand and figure out.

I hope that that gives you some insight to my thinking, which may well be different from your own point of view.


A jumble of thunks on the subjects scattered through this thread:

The interplay of factors within each Roundup causes them to differ from one another significantly, and you may like what one picnic offers more than another.

In Baltimore, I have, for all practical purposes, an eight-hour event. It doesn't cost much to attend, doesn't require anyone to take a vacation day from work, and it's located in a pretty central Mid-Atlantic spot. Thus, I get a high number of attendees (which helps the bottom line, although invariably my bank account bottoms out every year anyway), generally higher than the NorCal and the former-Nashville Roundups. The brevity of the event rather much forces me to organize the stage time, so as to ensure that everyone who wants to play gets an opportunity. The brevity also limits how well newcomers get to know everyone. So it's a relatively fast-paced party in Baltimore, and similarly so at Great White North. I do my best to make it party-style fun.

I've done theme-y things some years, but that's mostly been about how we decorate the venue and dress the dancers.

The weekend-getaway Roundups are two-and-a-half days, and they are far superior as bonding experiences, simply because more time is available to do so. No real participation structure is needed... At least not for the purpose of ensuring everyone gets their chance to do whatever before the event's done. The cost is higher and people with regular jobs need to take off at least one day in order to attend the whole thing, so attendance is not quite as high as the one-day parties. Nature of the game, but it's an advantage, in that you can have time with everyone.

In Baltimore, it feels like I spend a maximum of five minutes with any one person when I'm not on-stage. I'm busy as the host, sure, but attending GWN is not much different in that regard.

After hosting seven of them, I am finally getting a sense of Balto's carrying capacity: approximately 50 is the magic number, which is about what I've had the last two years. Any more attendees and it gets hard to give everyone the stage time they want and should have. But I can dis-organize the proceedings to an extent with 50 or so, and I would like to do that, because the fun is more organic that way and less work for my troops and me. It would be great to get back to my usual party-throwing strategy: put cool folks in a room with some nice stuff and they'll figure out how to have a good time. If it looks like attendance is going to take a leap in 2017, I will probably have to push our Friday Night Before set-up activities as a must-attend part of the weekend. (By the way, for the budget's sake, 50 is far short of magic, but that's OK.)

Skill levels? Please, folks! These events are for all Gretsch-lovers, from non-playing collectors (I've had a few at Balto) to beginners to major-league pros. There's something wrong if all were not welcome, as I see it. And it has been one of my thrills to see beginning players improve over the years. Attending over the years has certainly improved my game.

As to not getting along on-line vs. real-life encounters: I've probably met over 200 GDPers since this movement began and I have yet to encounter anyone I considered to be an objectionable specimen of humanity. Yeah, there were a few cats that I did not think I'd enjoy based on their GDP posts. They turn out to be great guys. Mileage will vary, to be sure, but I see the benefits far outstripping the risks.

The first Roundup, which Curt hosted, was, to me, a "get a life" call to action: step away from the computer, quit talking about playing guitar, and actually do it. With the very guys you're talking to. It was great, and pushing into our ninth year, it's still great. Worth try, if you never have. Just sayin'.



I agree with your perspective, Bob and it makes perfect sense. Anyone who puts forth the effort to organize a Roundup deserves our respect and appreciation, which most here clearly do. As evidence, look at the honest participation in this thread.

Knowing you as I do, it makes sense that you want to increase your knowledge of how members perceive and experience these events to better understand how to expand, improve and spread "the message". IMO, all are great goals and reasonable, if not required, to increase and encourage greater participation. Your passion and approach to providing a unique experience to your events with special guests and especially, Joe Carducci's admirable commitment to attend all roundups, makes it even more special and memorable. Joe is a great ambassador for Gretsch!

Given those factors, I can easily understand why you question "why" there aren't more attendees. So, to answer your question, I believe it's truly what others here have been sharing: time. availability, distance, money and personal preferences. No matter how great the product, there is always a limited audience for most anything and for a host of reasons. IMO, a few hour drive has little to do with lack of participation. It's mostly the "other factors".

As an example, I cannot believe how few people are aware of, or attend a Setser BSO show, especially the big band Christmas shows. Other than our community and a limited audience of "regular people", particularly in the US, most have no clue "what" a BSO show is. In fact, I've heard people say at shows they were disappointed with this old time music - they thought they were going to see the stray cat guy- you know, the Elvis style music. What the heck is this BSO stuff? Or that doesn't sound like Christmas music to me. Clearly, the problem is not Brian nor the quality of the show… It's the limited audience.

I guess my point is, there IS a limited audience that will actually attend a Roundup, no matter how well it's done, who attends and how great others find the experience. However, it's clear most everyone that DOES attend has a great time and truly appreciates the hard work and effort put forth by the organizers. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Accordingly, that's all that matters, right? You enjoy it, members enjoy it, others enjoy reading about the event in real time on the GDP, watching videos, looking at photos and hearing from those that attended when they follow up a day or so later.

Again, this is not a reflection on the event, the organizers or others, but merely personal preferences, choices and yes, biases. And as you can see, I have a few biases BUT that's entirely on me.


I still remember the look on Deed's face when she met me for the first time. Hehee.


Another European here. I'd really love to meet the real yous but can't afford the travel expense. Especially getting the guitars over would be a real problem.


For me it's generally time, geography and money. I have wanted to attend the Philly/NJ events but I always seem to be snake-bitten timing wise with other commitments. My daughter is a college athlete and going to her games really tightens my schedule. My abilities as a player are less than basic (and a health scare a couple of years ago has not helped in that area; I'm fine now and taking much better care of myself) so I'd most likely pass on playing at an event but I would really enjoy hearing and seeing others perform for sure (I don't think I could resist an offer to noodle around on someone's cool axe though). I've run into a couple GDP'ers at local shops and they were always very enjoyable encounters. I'm sure I've been in the prescence of other GDP'ers in the Philly area at other times (the recent Dick Dale show) and just didn't know it. Maybe we should have an official GDP T-shirt to wear to concerts, guitars shows, music stores, etc so we can recognize each other


Try one of Bill Light's open mike events held every Wednesday just over the bridge in NJ. I'm, usually there, so obviously is Bill, Munman on occasion, Crowbone now and again, Curt and NJBob make guest appearances. It really is a good night out.


CBell, Y'all have it pretty good with a rash of GDPer's in that area. I would love to play with Billy someday. He and I would probably clash guitar heads and break a neck though.

Gman, for years I didn't play anything but my own stuff. At my first roundup I was asked to do just that. So I grabbed an acoustic and did. It did kind of limit me to acoustic stuff and I have written more electric stuff but it was still fun and I got a decent response. I understand the logistics and why some people wouldn't travel so far but hey Walter, If you plan a week around the time we have one, you'll only waste a couple of days on us and the rest of your time will be yours but yes, that would still be quite the trip. As far as guys bringing guitars from overseas...not necessary, there are always tons of guitars and amps at the events. I'm sure you could find a combination that would work that a fellow GDPer would gladly allow you to use. As far as Tim (Proteus) long winded posts, well, he aint so long winded in person.

I guess my point is that these always kind of turn into a family reunion of sorts but it's the one you want to attend.


Roundups? There's nothing like putting a face with the avatar! It's meeting members of your family that you've only heard about...some of 'em are the crazy cousins, some of 'em are the soft spoken and studious who had to be dragged out of the house and are now having the time of their lives. Wherever we go and run into GDP members, you can be sure I will make a fuss, usually too loud (sorry), with a lot of hugging involved. Can't help it. Family does that.


The best part of the Roundups is playing other peoples' guitars. I got my grimy mitts all over thousands of dollars of vintage and modern Gretschy goodness, and no one kicked me out!


Every year I'm responsible for setting up the annual convention of the Oregon chapter of the American Association of Misanthropes, but nobody every shows up.

My well-developed misanthropy, and rapidly diminishing playing abilities, aside; the main reason I haven't attended one of the NorCal Roundups is scheduling.

I can think of no better time of year to be in the Sierra Nevada foothills than early September but, given my work schedule, I just have never been able to make it happen.


The bus fare from Sydney is a real deal-breaker for me.

– audept

I feel your pain audept, though I've got another 11 hours on a bus from Geelong. Time, distance, work and life have prevented me from attending any earlier.

I've been watching roundups from the various locations since they started, spending the weekend watching the streaming (when they were streamed) and thoroughly enjoying the festivities that occurred.

That said, I am travelling across to the Balto-DC Roundup next year and super-excited about attending.


I identify with what BuddyHollywood said. I would love to attend a Roundup and I know I would have a blast. Despite the welcoming invitations I've received for the NorCal roundup from Ric12String over the years, I just haven't been able to break away from work and family for a long weekend. Although my daughter plays, a Roundup would just be my thing not theirs, and getting away for a solo weekend is tough these days. Once my kids are a few years older (they're 13 and 15) and don't want anything to do with me---or need us to drive them to baseball, theater, etc.---that's when I'll have more time for "me" things. I'm coming for sure....soon.

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