Author Topic: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!  (Read 513 times)

Offline Bruce D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:53:24 pm »
Hi all,

This is Bruce D.  This is the honest truth.  I was, at 8, considered something of a musical prodigy.  My parents got me started on Classical Piano at age 3.  By age 6 I was giving recitals.  At age 7, I decided I really liked what I had seen and heard of violinists such as Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, David Oistrakh, etc, and switched to taking violin lessons on a full scholarship at Hart College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.
My folks bought me a German Stradivrious reproduction, and by age 9 I was giving violin recitals.  My musical knowledge, at that time, was strictly and exclusively Classical symphonic and Chamber music.  My parents were successful in keeping my brother and me entirely isolated from that "monkey music" being played on Top 40 radio.  I had no idea who Elvis, or Dion, or Chuck Berry were.

In September 1960, we had just moved into a new house in West Hartford.  My dad had recently dumped his rusted-out '48 Olds, and had bought a demo '59 Olds 98.  Initially he was quite taken with that car, before the manufacturing defects began to make themselves all to obvious.  But the weekend after he'd purchased the car, like a kid with a new bicycle, he suggested taking a ride for no particular reason, (and of course, back then, gasoline was only about 25 cents a gallon for premium).  So, we all piled in and went exploring the rural outskirts of Hartford.  Dad decided to see how the radio sounded, and turned it on.  I suspect the last person to drive the car before him, had probably been one of the young lot boys, who had tuned the radio into 1340 KDRC AM, Hartford's #1 Top 40 station.  Before he realized this, Skip Moore's immortal drum roll kicked off Walk Don't Run.  As Dad was reaching over toward the tuner, Don Wilson's incredible opening chords rang out.  By the time Dad's fingers were wrapped around the tuner, Bob Bogle's awesome tone (that I have NEVER been able to obtain on any Fender guitar) started the melody.  I was mesmerized, to say the least.

I begged my dad not to change the station.  With a sick, defeated look on his face, he removed his hand and allowed me to listen to the 2:03 length of the song.  This is one of those moments in one's early life, that one never forgets.  That moment in time, sealed my destiny to become a lifelong Ventures fan, and aficionado of Instrumental Rock, in general.  By my sophomore year in High School, I already owned eight Ventures LP's, and I bought every one I could get my hands on.  When all my friends and associates were listening to The Doors, Cream, Traffic, etc, I was grooving to songs like Shanghied, Bulldog, Yellow Jacket, Driving Guitars, Walk Don't Run, Journey To The Stars, etc.  It was incredibly validating among my circle of friends, when, in early '69 (as I recall) Hawaii Five-0 went Top 10.  I never saw that coming, but what a wonderful moment that was for a dyed-in-the-wool Ventures fan.

Since those days, of course, came college, marriage, career, divorce, etc.  But, in 1980, I realized a long-held dream when I was able to see Bob, Don, Nokie, and Mel, all rock the house, at The Starwood, in West Hollywood, playing to a super-appreciative Punker audience. (I was 27 years old at the time, but being in that crowd, made me feel old).  Since then, I caught 3 or 4 of their live appearances at their old stomping ground, The Palomino, in North Hollywood.  It was at one of those shows, (I believe in 1985) that Gerry McGee flubbed a couple of notes while playing Apache.  If Mel's eyes had been laser beams, McGee woulda had two holes burned through his back.

In 1994 I met a professional musician and we started an oldies/casuals band.  We played about 8 classic instro numbers, including Walk Don't Run and Hawaii Five-0.  I'll never forget a gig we played, with Preston Ritter on drums.  For those who don't know, Preston was the power-house drummer on the 1967 #11 hit, Too Much To Dream, by The Electric Prunes.  Very cool.  That band broke up in 1997, and in late '98, I met another drummer, Doug Appleton, a major surf music fan, and a big fan of The Ventures.  We decided to start an instrumental Ventures-influenced band, and called it "Longboard Ranch".  I wrote about 25 original songs which ended up on two commercial CD's we produced, in 2002 and 2005.  Although I tend to use a lot more reverb than Nokie ever did, when I play a Ventures tune, I strive to replicate as closely as possible, the original tones and nuances of the song.  A few of my originals, have spurred those who purchased our CD's to remark that in some ways, it was like listening to The Ventures playing several never-heard-before songs.  Those kinds of comments fill me with pride, a pride of accomplishment that no other activity has ever brought me.

In 2013, my songwriting partner, Loyd Davis and I, are now working with Sergio Vigilato, an original member of the Brazilian instro band "The Jet Blacks" from 1962-67.  We are now being exposed to THEIR big musical influence, The Shadows, and are learning a bunch of Shadows tunes, so ultimately we'll have two tribute bands in one, with me playing lead on Ventures tunes and Sergio playing lead on Shadows tunes.  In addition, I'll finally have a band of players willing and able to do vocals, so we'll do a major amount of Rockabilly-flavored Oldies and a few similar originals.  I'm attaching the doc file of our likely repertoire, at least what we've set out to do, from now.  Should be a total blast.  The best of all worlds.   

Social Buttons


Offline tabalt11

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 487
  • Location: Drexel Hill, Pa.
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 07:08:28 pm »
Welcome aboard Bruce.   Glad you 'finally' made it
over here.   Tom B. here.   

Walt & I don't have a prize for you but I can honestly
say 'your intro' is our longest to date & as you can
see, in ONLY 14 months, we've managed to net
150 Ventures & or Shadows fans.

Walt will be along shortly to formally welcome you.
You're gonna 'have a blast' browsing thru all the
wonderful categories & hopefully adding
your expertise in certain areas!

ENJOY!
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:10:37 pm by tabalt11 »

Offline wstagner

  • Little Mister
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
  • Rarely a day go bi I'm not aggravate aboot sumtin.
  • Location: Illinois near Chicargo over by here.
    • View Profile
    • Classic Pumps
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 09:37:53 pm »
Welcome, Bruce.
So, where can we see/hear/enjoy some of your music?

Offline Nokie

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 12:50:35 pm »
It's great to see you over here, Bruce. Do you still play violin and piano?
-Marty

Offline mlkemper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 02:20:27 pm »
yeh we almost all had experiences playing VENTURES tunes ...I played THE MCCOY AND YELLOW JACKET[ with my new sunburst MOSRITE] at intermission of our play SOLID GOLD CADILLAC..IN high school ..my pre amp fell off the top of my amp and rolled under the curtain ...lol... except for that we recovered and rocked the gym ..it made some of the teachers mad because we got more applause than the production they worked a month on ..oh well that's show business

Offline Bruce D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 05:14:48 am »
For those interested in hearing our material, there are 15 originals, with me on lead guitar, at this link:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=155273&content=music

I gave up violin about 1970, when I graduated from High School, and was no longer involved with the High School Orchestra.  I haven't played serious piano since 1962, but can navigate my way around a keyboard, when I'm arranging an original, and want to add rhythm and bass. 

Offline wstagner

  • Little Mister
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
  • Rarely a day go bi I'm not aggravate aboot sumtin.
  • Location: Illinois near Chicargo over by here.
    • View Profile
    • Classic Pumps
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 08:19:28 am »
So, who's in your band or do you do these all yourself on the computer?

Offline Bruce D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 03:31:03 am »
Walt, If you go to the link I provided, you will see a thumbnail photo of five players, who at the time were my band, Longboard Ranch.  One of those players was only with us for a few months.  The "Original Four" as it were, were, Doug Appleton, drummer, Loyd Davis, Rhythm & some Lead Guitar, Chris Ireland, Bass, and myself, doing primarily Lead Guitar and some rhythm guitar.  This lineup was our band from early 2000 to mid 2008.  More recently, Loyd and I have joined up with Sergio Vigilato, who was the Second Guitarist with The Jet Blacks, Brazil's leading Ventures/Shadows cover band, from 1962 to 1967, when he left Brazil to come to the U.S.

We were described, in 2003, by The Great Kahuna, Les Perry, a Surf Music DJ, as one of the FIVE BEST Surf/Instrumental bands in America.  Phil Dirt, the nations #1 Surf Music DJ, at KJFC at UC Santa Cruz, gave a rating of 4 stars to our first CD, "Surfin' Out West", in 2002, and 5 stars to our second CD, "Longboard Ranch Rides Again!", in 2005. 

I've been told that when I play a Ventures tune, I sound more like The Ventures than they do!  Especially a song like "Journey To The Stars".  If there was a way I could upload the mp3 file, I'd be happy to do so, as we did record this one, about 2006.  When we played the International Street Fair at City of Orange, CA, back in 2007, at the end of our third set, none other than the co-writer of Mr. Moto, (Eddie Bertrand, lead guitar of The Bel Airs), came up and told me that we were one of the best traditional surf bands he'd heard, and that we had the early 60's sound totally nailed.  It's much more fun to play with a full band of musicians, rather than trying to be a solo act.

Offline wstagner

  • Little Mister
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
  • Rarely a day go bi I'm not aggravate aboot sumtin.
  • Location: Illinois near Chicargo over by here.
    • View Profile
    • Classic Pumps
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 08:55:19 am »
Heer's Bruce's bands version of JTS:

98.220.198.136/bruceD/

checkit oot
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 12:18:32 pm by wstagner »

Offline abstamaria

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 10:17:39 am »
That is quite a story, Bruce. What is not clear to me is whether you became a full-time professional musician and, if so, at what point.  Is your band with Sergio a fulltime endeavor?

Regards,

Andy

Offline Bruce D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 01:42:06 pm »
Alas, my musical career has always been just a part-time endeavor.  I would have gone into music full time, but my parents strongly discouraged me, telling me the odds against my making it would be astronomical.  So instead, I spent 6 years in college, obtained an MBA in Finance, and entered a career in community Banking, which by 1988 was as dead as a doornail, and today the odds of making the kind of career I planned in Banking are just as astonomically poor as of making it in the music/entertainment business.  Go figure.

Offline wstagner

  • Little Mister
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1240
  • Rarely a day go bi I'm not aggravate aboot sumtin.
  • Location: Illinois near Chicargo over by here.
    • View Profile
    • Classic Pumps
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 03:59:08 pm »
I try to talk people OUT of goin to college every chance I get.
2 Xpensive for the ROI.  Wanna go to college? Go to JC 1st and see if you like it.  It's cheap.  Plus they also offer practical courses.

The college Xperience is wayyyyy overated.

Offline abstamaria

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Age
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2013, 03:33:52 am »
I am five years older than you, Bruce. 

I hope you are able to sell your LP collection easily and at a good price.  I don't collect and only keep replacements for the first Ventures LP I saw as a teenager (the Walk Don't Run album) and the last one I bought (In Space) before my friends and I went on irretrievably to the Beatles, et al.  The In Space album came from Walt.

Good luck.

Andy

Offline ComputerDoctor

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
    • View Profile
Re: Let's Take a Journey To The Stars!
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 09:23:54 am »
I got both CDs, Surfin' out West and Longboard ranch Rides Again and love them.  What's next?

Howard in Brazil

PS, can Sergio Vigilato get the rights to re-release his group's catalog?  It's very difficult to find here.  I mention his name or the group and everyone remembers!