Meet & Greet

Northern California GDP Celebrates the Era That Forever Changed Pop…

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It sure didn't seem like much. I was a sixth grader at the time. I left Mr. Bullock's class to walk down to the other end of our school building to use the restroom. The school was located fairly close to the nearby neighborhood. As I walked along the corridor down to the end of the building, an unknown melody began wafting across the school grounds.

Oh yeah, I'll tell you something...

Hmmm. I don't know this song. And I listened to quite a bit of radio in those days. I should probably take a bit longer to get to the restroom so that I can listen to some more of it.

I think you'll understand.,,,

And, as I began to listen more intently, I loved the harmonies being sung.

I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand...

Oh yeah, I was hooked. There was something about the groove of the song, the high quality singing, and the harmonies that made me think that this was a song that I would like to hear again. And again and again. And I did.

The days of Elvis Presley's Houndog had already passed for me and the girl bands were becoming proflic. The Beach Boys had hit and surf music in Southern California was what was happening. But, then February 9, 1964 arrived. The image of fresh faces with longer hair than certainly I was allowed to wear, the suits, and the sounds of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show was enough to make me want to buy a guitar right then and there.

The era of music ushered in by the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, and the countless other British bands that began to reach our shores, changed music for me forever. And probably you and most everyone else listening to music at the time. The music was less produced somehow -- simiplicity reigned with two guitars, bass guitar and drum kit as the basic sonic formula. And the bands were writing their own tunes. And what great tunes they were. Memorable melodies and great guitar hooks. I was listening to the music differently. Man, did I want to learn to play the guitar now.

We have gathered in the Sierra Nevada mountains this weekend so that all of us who watched Ed Sullivan that night, and who cut our teeth on the music of the Yardbirds, the Tremoloes, the Kinks, the Stones, Beatles and Herman's Hermits, can enjoy that era once again.

Most of the gang is already here, with more scheduled to arrive tomorrow. afm_380 and his wife SissieKidd, their son, Scott, giffenf and his wife, Karen, FritzTheCat and CarolCat, Bonedaddy, bigsbyslur and his wife, Linda, DrGretsch, and the elusive Sturgeon. Parabar is also keeping everyone in line and on pitch. (This event is musically impossible without him here.)

And we have some new faces this year. rcboals travelled down from Oregon with a buddy, and dbirchett flew over this morning on the same plane with Joe Carducci from Phoenix. A dear friend of mine from the 70's, with whom I used to sing, Warren , is here as well lending his great guitar playing and singing to the mix. And Brian Schultz, from the Bay Area, is also here.

We have some great support players too. My bandmate for many years, Johnnie B., brought his PA and will be playing soon. And my bass player, Rick O (I think he posts here as muzeeshun) and a drummer friend, Art, are here laying down the groove.

And the music has begun. The common language of guitar players seems to be the blues, and we have the blues in force. But, you would never think that four or five guitars could share the leads so selflessly, But, they have. Great music.

And, the man himself is here -- Joe Carducci. Joe arrived late this afternoon and he and dbirchett caravanned up to the Lodge. Joe and Bonedaddy unloaded the last of the swag and Joe is now esconsed behind his computer and I am sure you will soon be seeing his posts here.

One last thing... The new catalogues are here and they are absoloutely stunning. You are going to want one of these for your Gretsch paraphanelia. Truly extraordinary.

So, join with us as we celebrate the British Invasion with many more surprises and highlights to come tomorrow.

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Steven (with his Gretsch drumset) and I will be hitting the road your direction at 4AM Sat and will stay until after the Fred and Joe show! See ya'll when we get there.

I'd bring my pre-FMIC 6120 but there's usually plenty of guitars etc so drums is the prioity in the cargo bay of the immense Ford Ranger short bed!

Hope to be there by 10AM Sat. - possibly sooner (I cannot judge time - I leave that to the drummer). qaodmasdkwaspemas0ajkqlsmdqpakldnzsdfls

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Steven (with his Gretsch drumset) and I will be hitting the road your direction at 4AM Sat and will stay until after the Fred and Joe show! See ya'll when we get there.

I'd bring my pre-FMIC 6120 but there's usually plenty of guitars etc so drums is the prioity in the cargo bay of the immense Ford Ranger short bed!

Hope to be there by 10AM Sat. - possibly sooner (I cannot judge time - I leave that to the drummer). :P

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Are you guys going to be streaming some of the Event this year??

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Stand-by for photos & video postings shortly... 8-)

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No live streaming this year, Manny. Proteus ain't here. :(

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Hoo-yeah, here we go! Brought popcorn and looking forward to (visual!) updates.:D

Have fun guys!

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Have fun everyone! It looks great!

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Bummed that it wasn't in the cards for me this year. I'll get there one of these days. Hope you all have a blast.

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You guys look like you're having a blast and I know you are, plus you played my favorite "Beatles" song and made it sound terrific. Ringo and Buck (RIP) would be proud.

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Saturday morning arrives bright and early around here. At least, it seems that way when you went to bed in the early morning hours.

Last night was so great. I never cease to be amazed at the quality of the music when you throw together a bunch of people who have never played together, yet they are able to reach each other well enough to turn out some great sounding songs. It helps, of course, when it is a song that everyone knows so that you can just jump in and play without even thinking about it.

We had some real highlights last night. My pal, Johnnie, played acoustic guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Sturge really nailed the lead guitar part. My oh my. Just tremendous.

DrGretsch has really been brushing up on his Beatles songs. We would no sooner finish one, then he would break into another one. He is, quite simply, like a human jukebox. He kept us up until about 1:00 a.m. playing some jazz standards. I am still reeling from the lack of sleep!

RCBoals is quite a character. This is the first time that most of us have ever met him. The guy is damn funny; no other way to put it. And, as Bonedaddy characterizes it, Raye's humor is pretty wry, so it strikes a resonant note for many of us.

The breakfast bells went off pretty early (considering that I didn't hit my pillow until about 1:40 a.m.) and we have all had a great and filling breakfast. Pancakes, fresh fruit, and oatmeal. We've all had our coffee and tea and are ready to have another day of music.

Warren is playing some open tuning acoustic music while we await a drummer. (Can't play rock 'n' roll without a rhythm section!) He is playing Brian Schultz's Rainsong guitar, which is a carbon fiber-bodied guitar. It sounds great. Parabar has out his new Seagull and is playing it. A cedar top, cherry-wood sides and matching bookend figured back, and it is a lovely sounding guitar.

afm_380's son, Scott, is serenading us at the moment on a Dell Arte guitar. He tells me that it is a boutique build from a luthier in San Diego. The guitar is so beautiful. Spruce top, with highly figured sides and back. But, the amazing part of it is the tiger-striped back of the neck. Gorgeous.

So, we are all wishing that you guys were here with us. The day is going to go fast and, before we know it, Peter Asher will be joining us with some stories from his legendary past.

Stay tuned as I am sure that there will be more posts, photos and videos throughout the day.


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