The diary of a sax addict...!

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
Location
North Canterbury, New Zealand
It all started for me one late summers evening at a party at a friends house about three years ago. It was one of those evenings where the drink was flowing, the music was soothing and the evening was starting to get real mellow, possibly due to the copious amount of smoke coming in from the patio BBQ/smoking area, which seemed to smell less and less like char burnt Tesco sausages and more akin to a strangely aromatic smell that I recall from a particularly amusing stag weekend in Amsterdam, where the coffee shops are … lets say, somewhat different to the local Starbucks!

Anyway, I digress, but enough to say that we were all feeling pretty good, and maybe just a little less inhibited than usual. Anyway, my mate, the host of the party, whom I will not name in order that his privacy be protected, said hey, come and have a look at this! I followed him into a darkened room not knowing what to expect, and then without a word of warning he just whipped it out!!!! Well, I was quite taken aback; in fact I was speechless for a minute or so. I had known this guy for a few years, and not once had I known he was into anything like this!!! Do you like it he says? Well yes I said… to be honest I was a little ashamed at the eagerness of my own response, the excitement obviously must have shown in my voice, as he said go ahead touch it… it wont bite! I hesitated, I used the excuse that I had had more than just a few flagons of ale (the good stuff, Bishops Finger and a couple of Abbots), and that I didn’t trust myself, I mean suppose I bend it, break it or something drops off? Oh its fine he said, you wouldn’t be the first person to give it a rough handling, and its past its best these days, you wont do it any harm, go on have a closer look!! So I did. Throwing caution to the wind I thrust my hand forward and took a fistful. My friend started to smile, obviously enjoying my delight as I playfully run my fingers up and down the gleaming object before me. I didn’t know you were into this sort of thing I said, well I don’t show everyone he replied, but knowing you I thought you might appreciate it!

He went on to tell me that it was something called a C Melody Alto (readers…. what were you thinking!) some cheap horn he had picked up many years ago in a junk shop, at a time when junk shops were called just so, and not given fancy names like “Old World Antiquities” or “Bygone Boutique”… anyway, he proceeded to give it a blow, quite unsuccessfully I may add, it sounded like a mouse being put through a wringer, but even so, it light a fire in me, a fire that I knew I must feed.

Later that night as I lay in bed I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that I must once again visit this darkened room and gaze upon this most wondrous of sights… my mates horn, that is if he will admit to showing it to me previously, after all, he was rather the worse for wear the last time, and might indeed deny any such incident ever took place. No I thought, I won’t ask my friend, I shall indeed take this to the next level, I will seek out others who might help me come to terms with my new found feelings. I pondered this over the next day or so, and then I made a conscious decision to seek help from a professional. I let my fingers do the walking in the big yellow book, and down there amongst the various pro’s offering their services, I came across a name that sounded ‘familiar’ in fact the name was the same as a guy I used to work with, albeit not the same person. I made the call… he sounded like someone I could trust, quite positive and reassuring in fact, not patronising at all, which is what I really expected seeing as I was… well… only just discovering myself at the ripe old age of fourty**** something!
He asked what instrument I had, as this was of course required for the lesson/s. None I said (doh!), so I asked where I could get one, and of course, how much would one cost? It was mutually decided that I would get a TJ Classic from a local Nottingham store, so I hopped into my car and off I went, not before booking my first lesson, which I would be taking that very same day… The rest is history (another time maybe), however leading the sort of busy life that I do, I don’t always get the time I would like to practice, also, the move to a new country and the storage problems etc meant that I wouldn’t get to even see my baby for a good few months, let alone play it!
Truthfully I haven’t had much quality time for myself or my new found interest of recent, however the fire that initially burned bright and dimmed has once again been rekindled. This time in fact it has taken on a life of its own, fuelled by our move to a place where musicians seem to be in abundance, and Jazz weekends are of the norm, enjoyed by the many. That and the fact that I have made friends with actual musicians or musies as they like to be called, and to the point where I almost feel that I could be a part of the festivities, given a good few years of practice and dedication (always a catch huh!)… and that’s when it started!

It was a cool evening and I was just finishing off my second Jim Beam and Coke when I decided to Google “Saxophone” oh my goodness, there was loads and loads of sax related “stuff”…. where to start? I decided to play it safe and click on one of the links which happened to be a Ebay auction still running…BIG mistake. Once I was “in” and “looking” there was no escape. Axes of all shapes and sizes for sale… a myriad of accessories, mouthpieces, ligatures, tuition CD’s and books etc, all for the taking… for the right price of course. I must have these things I thought, I will need them sooner than later. It goes without saying that you can’t play the sax unless you have all the right gear… doesn’t it? And have I got the right sax for me to learn on? Probably not, so I will need at least another one, if not two or three. I mean suppose there is something wrong with the one I have, and I just don’t know it! It could be holding up my progress… hell if I had the right sax, its quite possible that I could be a natural… another Coltrane or Sanborn.

Okay, lets get another one… maybe something in pink (or not). And what about that elusive mouthpiece, by all accounts that will make all the difference, so maybe I should get a few of those while I’m at it.. and maybe one of those fluffy sock thingies that you stick inside the sax when you aren’t playing it! Yep, get a couple or so of those as well………and so on.

Well before you know it you have spent all your (and the wifes) beer money for well into the next millennium, and you’ve started eying up the kids piggy bank with a view to making an early withdrawal. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the kid in question lives next door. Okay, I will sell a few things I no longer need, my collection of old Viz annuals, a few clothes, fishing gear… the wife’s car… blood etc (does this sound familiar to anyone?)

Then there is the social side of things, meeting up with new found acquaintances who share my “special” interest… the staying out late at night, sometimes until way past 8pm It’s already got to the stage where I am lying to my friends and family, and even myself. The other night for example my wife caught me sneaking back home particularly late (nearly 9pm) after I had been out to meet up with another sax addict. She confronted me but I just couldn’t admit it…. I lied to her instinctively without a second thought, I told her it was another woman, and that I had been seeing her for cheap meaningless sex, but she knew… they always do! Maybe it was the sling that was still around my neck, the smell of fresh cork grease, or maybe it was the instrument case I was feverishly clutching… who knows! All I do know is that women (wives especially) have a sixth sense when it comes to this sort of thing!

Listen guys, do yourselves a favour, don’t get hooked on sax like I did, it can drag you in, all it takes is just one blow and …….!

The end

No children or Pigs were harmed during this production
 
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visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Awesome...and coming from somewhere in North Canterbury, you've got far to much turn of phrase to be a Cockie (farmer)
Quite a UK bias there I rekon..

I'd like to hear you play one of those horns...I rekon you'd be a Sheets of Sound type guy! and unable to take the horn out of his mouth!

Keep up the good work!:welldone

Cheers from further north......Upper Moutere...know where that is?

Cheers & Ciao
Jimu:mrcool
 
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S

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
Location
North Canterbury, New Zealand
Awesome...and coming from somewhere in North Canterbury, you've got far to much turn of phrase to be a Cockie (farmer)
Quite a UK bias there I rekon..

I'd like to hear you play one of those horns...I rekon you'd be a Sheets of Sound type guy! and unable to take the horn out of his mouth!

Keep up the good work!:welldone

Cheers from further north......Upper Moutere...know where that is?

Cheers & Ciao
Jimu:mrcool

Hi Jimu

… no not a cockie, just a pommie. And no, you wouldn’t like to hear me play… still learning the basics… maybe in a year or so. We are in the middle of some serious house renovations at present, which will take up most of my time for the next year, but I do plan to start putting aside some time for practice soon (just finishing a guest bedroom and music room:sax: ). One great thing about where we live though, lots of space, and I can make as much noise as I want!!!....... and as for Upper Moutere, ain’t that one of them there posh places up’t north?:D
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Hi Jimu

… no not a cockie, just a pommie. And no, you wouldn’t like to hear me play… still learning the basics… maybe in a year or so. We are in the middle of some serious house renovations at present, which will take up most of my time for the next year, but I do plan to start putting aside some time for practice soon (just finishing a guest bedroom and music room:sax: ). One great thing about where we live though, lots of space, and I can make as much noise as I want!!!....... and as for Upper Moutere, ain’t that one of them there posh places up’t north?:D
g'day from posh Nelson....I live in space between Nelson & Motueka.....I am a scottish pommie if their is such a breed.

I have been known to play my 1935 naked lady Conn alto from the rooftop, naked and revererate the local hills....I suggest you do similar.

Good luck with the Reno's...NZ houses are a bit different EH!

Cheers & Ciao
Jimu:mrcool
 
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