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BassCliff w/True Willie at Carson Valley Inn 2/10/17

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassCliff, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hello friends,

    Yesterday we (The True Willie Band) made a quick trip (fly date) to Reno to play a date at the Carson Valley Inn. It was quite an adventure. Here are the lads at one of our recent rehearsals. Roger usually rents the large room at the Riff Haus in Fullerton. (I don't know what's up with their website. I guess it's either hacked or they lost their domain name.)


    That's Roger (Willie) on the left, Mike on guitar, and big Dave on drums.

    John (keys) and I carpooled to Long Beach Airport. We got started at 6am on Friday morning. John seems upset that he has to pay two baggage charges for his gear. They would not let him check one of them at the gate to avoid the extra charge.


    It's been a while since I've boarded a plane from the tarmac. Long Beach Airport (LGB) is a smaller airport and is pretty convenient, depending on where you're going.


    It was a fully booked plane both ways. The rhythm section was together on the outbound flight.


    Here we are on final at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). It's pretty stormy, a little windy, and very wet. They've been having rain and snow for days. You can see the standing water.


    We land safely and start gathering our gear and baggage. I'm happy to see that my new SKB-44 Pro and its contents survived its maiden voyage.


    I think we've just about collected all of our gear. Now it's time to catch our shuttle to the Carson Valley Inn, usually about an hour away from the airport.


    This is Mark, our helpful and friendly shuttle driver. We enjoyed talking to him about the local scene and points of interest.


    It was cold, rainy, and windy all the way there. The Carson River had overflowed it banks and several roads in the valley, including Hwy 395 were closed.


    There was water everywhere. We passed a semi rig hauling cattle that had been overturned by the wind. It was pretty brutal.


    Here's some drone footage that someone posted to Youtube.

    But Mark knew the valley well and took us along Foothill Road, it actually was along the foothills and above all the flooding, but we had to take it all the way around the valley in order to make it to the hotel because of so many road closures. It took less time to fly to Reno than it did to drive to the hotel. The flight was an hour and twenty minutes. The shuttle ride was almost two and a half hours because of road closures and traffic. After all that, Mark was good enough to give us a hand with our luggage and instruments.


    Since we were running so late we went directly to the ballroom where we were performing. Our soundcheck was supposed to be at 2pm. We made it just in time. Roger got into his Willie get-up because one of the local newspapers was there to do an interview.


    It was a lovely ballroom with chairs set up for about 200 guests.


    Because we were so late, the staff brought us some sandwiches to munch on while we set up and sound checked. It was a plain turkey sandwich with mustard but I was glad to have it.


    It was going to be an intimate concert. The QSC sound system was more than adequate for the room.


    Yes, my new case is labeled "BassCliff". My daughter had made stencils and painted the distinguishing marks.

    Mike warms up his 335. He's really a fine player and a funny guy, loves to quote Monty Python.


    Big Dave is very happy with his backline kit. It was very nice.


    Derrick, the one man stage crew and FOH guy, gets John's keyboards squared away. He bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed.


    Willie and I grab a quick selfie before we start our sound check.


    Derrick gets Willie dialed in.


    I'll be back in the next post to finish up this whirlwind tour of Carson Valley. Thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    John brought one keyboard. Mike and Roger brought a guitar. I brought my Carvin. Dave brought a stick bag. Everything else was backlined. Here's some of the gear. This was Mike's amp.


    Here's my bass amp and QSC floor wedge. That Mark Bass unit was just perfect for this gig.


    After we finish sound check we all hustle up to our rooms to get ready for the first show. I took a quick shower and started pounding the caffeine. I've been up since 5am. I was very glad that our first show was 5:30 and the second show at 7:30. We would be done at 9pm.

    Here's shot of the lads backstage with our banquet hostess, Cindy. She was bubbly and doted on us all night long.


    Then Cindy took a picture of the band just before we took the stage.


    Joey, one of the executive managers, speaks to the guests and announces the band as Mike and I check our tuning.


    I got the feeling that this is more of a small-town place. Joey spoke as if everyone knew everyone else and these folks were all regulars that came out to see the entertainment here. It was very charming.

    As you can see, most of the guests were very mature at the first show. The second show had a wider age range. Both crowds were enthusiastic and really enjoyed the show. I tell you what, after I did my Julio Iglesias song the cougars were circling. ;)

    Here's Roger with an adoring fan. We had dozens of guests taking pictures with us.


    This is the end of the second show. During the second show the band really came alive, like we all got our second wind. We got a standing ovation and played an encore.


    I got to sell CDs after this show. John usually does it but he had a lot of gear to pack up so we could all make our dinner reservation. We all went to the steakhouse there at the hotel.


    We started with a nice green salad with a terrific creamy vinaigrette dressing. (And a tall IPA with a shot of Patron.)


    For supper I had the turf-and-surf special, a petite filet, lobster tail, bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp, clams, vegetables, and the biggest twice-baked potato I had ever seen. It was the size of both of my fists. I ate it all.


    When we left the steakhouse a few of Willie's fans spotted him and wanted a picture.


    We decided to check out the lounge, where these guys played last year. There was a terrific trio there called "Las Vegas Road Show" and the three of them put out a TON of great music.


    We sat around, had some drinks, and listened. Barbara played left hand bass and keys. She played such great lines with her left hand that I told Barbara I'm going to steal some of her licks. Her husband Cody played excellent guitar. They both sang great. Both of them have worked with lots of famous people, being based in Las Vegas for 20 years or so.

    I decided to go outside to find the marquis and get a picture with "True Willie" on it. But it was on the other side of the building. It was too cold (29 degrees F) to walk around the complex.


    When I came back in, what did I see?


    Yep, Willie sat in with the band. These three could play anything. Barbara even played trumpet while kicking left hand bass. She played Maynard Ferguson's "Chameleon" and just blew it out of the park. It was fun talking to those two. Andy, the drummer was a great guy too. He played quietly but with a lot of intensity. It was a good hang.

    The next morning we met for breakfast in the coffee shop. I had sausage and scrambled eggs. John had chicken fried steak and eggs.


    We were relieved to hear that Hwy 395 was open and that we would have no trouble getting back to the airport. Willie was so happy that he even loaded his own guitar on the shuttle.


    But then Roger took off. When I found him out in the parking lot I wondered what he was looking at.


    When I walked around to that side of the building I had to take a picture of the mountains too.


    Of course Mark, who knows everything, says "I've got a great place where you all can take a picture". So on the way to the airport we make a quick stop for a glam shot.


    It was a beautiful drive back to Reno.


    The flight home was uneventful. That was a good thing considering all the excitement the day before.

    We get to do this again in a couple of weeks. We have another fly date up to a place called Feather Falls Casino and Lodge on March 1st. I'm hoping the weather will be a little nicer.

    But before then I'll have a couple of gigs with the KRB at one of the Palm Springs golf clubs. Those are always cushy gigs except for the drive. Until then, thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  3. bassWR


    Nov 21, 2009
    Warner Robins GA
    Great report Cliff.
    Keep the tribute going and maybe the good vibes will reenergize the real Willie. I hear he's having a tough time these days.
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  4. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    That's really cool. I enjoy your gig reports.
    BassCliff likes this.
  5. OCDave

    OCDave Supporting Member

    A relatively new bass player. I also really enjoy your gig reports. A little help with the terminology...what does 'backlined' mean?
    BassCliff likes this.
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    You just have too much fun my friend. My advice to you is to pick up the pace a little, so that when you get 65 like me, you can back off just a little. :)
    BassCliff likes this.
  7. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi guys!

    He's been cancelling, postponing, and rescheduling a lot of shows lately due to his COPD. I'd hate to see country music lose another icon any time soon. But I did read an article, in Rolling Stone IIRC, that he's planning to make some appearances in the near future.

    I appreciate you taking the time to let me know that. I like sharing in the hopes that others will share too. I like reading about and seeing other gigs, different venues, different places, etc, from the bass player's perspective.

    To have a "backline" (or back line) at a gig means that all or most of the gear you need is provided by the venue or promoter/organizer of the event. The backline can include everything including amps, drums, keyboards, etc, so that the musicians don't have to haul the gear, don't have to set it up, don't have to tear it down. They get to just walk on stage, plug in, and play.

    I'm not that far behind you and I have no plans to slow down. :roflmao: :thumbsup: From what I've heard, you can never have too much fun. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Looks like a great time Cliff
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  9. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    A-NOTHER excellent report!! Glad everything worked out flight-wise, with all your gear suffering no consequences. I've been to Reno once or twice, and had forgotten how pretty it can be. That's a pretty unusual gig for you, with no dancing - more like a concert. Still, I'm sure you guys played great. (Kurzweil, eh? Nice!) Food shots, galore... for dbase, no doubt! Glad you made it, with no apparent problems at all.
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  10. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great report, Cliff! We appreciate you literally providing a 360 degree view of the True Willie gig.

    I'm certain a big advantage with playing in Roger's band compared to the real thing is that it's easy to find the "1." ;)
    BassCliff likes this.
  11. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    SWRnut, digmeout, /\/\3phist0 and 4 others like this.
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Wow Cliff, you outdid yourself in the food pics, for sure! Cool gig, too! He's got the Willie thing down cold...

    I love the LB airport. I try to travel though there instead of LAX whenever I can (which is about once every two years or so).

    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  13. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Awww hell, wish I'd paid attention. That's 20 minutes down the road from home and I had nothing going on.
    nixdad likes this.
  14. Inky13


    Nov 13, 2016
    Buffalo NY
    I see your Willie even had his own "Trigger". Nice attention to detail.
    nixdad likes this.
  15. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    That has got to be the best gig report ever ... You Da'man that started it all and you never disappoint. I especially like the variety of food. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.... One thing I really like was the "McGiver" beer can prop for your bass amp. Did you actually think I wouldn't notice that? Great report.... BTW did this gig pay for your transportation? ;)
    mwbonsall and nixdad like this.
  16. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Another good gig with food report.
    Thanks Cliff.
    BassCliff and nixdad like this.
  17. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    ...Methinks they spelled your name wrong in that article...or else you are the heir to a fried chicken fortune and misspelled it on your own case; Which seems less likely.
    BassCliff and nixdad like this.
  18. mc900ftj


    Jan 21, 2014
    Great report, Cliff. I'm glad the trip home was less "eventful"!
    BassCliff and nixdad like this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    @BassCliff : Me and SO are sitting home in the middle of a typical New England snow/snow shower/rain/slop February afternoon. (Where are the town plows already? Don't they assess us enough property taxes to pay for some OT?)

    And as if by request, along comes a gig report by you to brighten my day. Much appreciated Cliff.

    Looks like a fun outing. Plenty of smiles all around. Even on the band. That's always a good sign. Almost justifies the hassles of getting on a plane.

    You also gave GF and self a chuckle. Neither one of us felt like cooking or futzing with food today. Lunch was a plain turkey sandwich - mine with mustard, hers just some greens. And some pickles of course.

    Thanks for checking in. Can't tell you how much we enjoy your photo diary. :)
    BassCliff likes this.
  20. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    You do such a great job documenting your gigs. I did a charity gig last night playing and running sound when I got the home I thought cliff would of gotten the prime rib shot. :)
    BassCliff likes this.