BassCliff w/True Willie at Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, 7/12/17(video added!)

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassCliff, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Hey gang!

    I just so happened to see Mr. @johnnyplaysbass at my KRB gig tonight in Placentia and he says to me, "Hey, where's your True Willie gig report?" How about that? I promised Johnathan I'd post up both gigs tonight when I got home. I'll start with my True Willie gig yesterday at the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters Festival of Arts.

    This is the entrance to the festival, this picture taken from the paylot across the street. We had received cash from the festival organizers so that we could park as close as possible once we unloaded.


    Before I parked I pulled my trusty Astro Van into the fire lane behind the stage to unload.


    Gee, wasn't that a glamorous shot? Well, you know this life isn't all glamour, right? Mine is the life of a small-time rock star. I rolled my gear up on stage and took a setup selfie. The mural behind us was very nice.


    This facility was recently remodeled and rebuilt. It is an excellent venue. Here's a shot of the stage as Mike (git), T-Willie, and John (keys) get set up. The drummer, Dave, is not here yet. (Gee, that reminds me of a comedy bit. "Dave's not here man!")


    You also see Sid, FOH sound guy in the white shirt, and Chris, his crew, setting up at the same time we are.

    My rig, complete with my Fender (w/flats) for backup. I always think I'm going to use my Fender on this gig, being a vintage tribute act and all, but I just never have time to swap basses. At least we haven't worked that in yet.


    Here's a shot from the FOH mixing booth. Sid doesn't even have it uncovered yet.


    You can see the crowd already gathering, claiming their space, opening up their Merlot, and getting ready to enjoy the show. I heard a couple of the staff here say that True Willie is the only band during the festival that the crowd arrives early just to hear the music. All the other bands are just there, background noise. It kind of makes you feel special, but puts on a little pressure.

    Dave's here!


    Johnny Fingers is all plugged in and ready to sound check.


    As I head to the green room I wander by some of the art on exhibit.


    We had a nice room. It was air conditioned.


    While I was there a couple of nice ladies brought us some hospitality.


    It was quite welcome as I had come straight from work and didn't have dinner. I feasted on pita bread, hummus, and cheese, with grapes and cookies for dessert.

    The crowd was starting to fill in as I made my way back to the stage.


    Here's my amp-selfie just before we start the show.


    This is Mike on the geeetar. I'm not sure if he's comfortable in that hat.


    Dave is a heck of a nice guy and a solid, steady drummer. It's really a pleasure playing with him.


    Here's the view from my mic as we are about to start our set. It was a terrific crowd.


    True Willie gets us started with one of those songs that Willie Nelson used to sing.


    We played one set and took a short break. Then I gave my camera to Dave's wife to take some pictures out front.



    OK, one more. As you can see now that the sun has set a bit, that really is a nice mural behind the stage.


    However, that is a solid wall behind us and the Sid, the FOH guy, said my stage sound was too boomy. Not too loud, just woofy. I think it was because of the curved wall behind us. But no problem, I adjusted my EQ and Sid was happy. I wasn't playing loud at all, but my tone was getting in his way out front. Sid is also a bass player and he likes to mix the bass so that it has definition. That is so cool. Some of the sound guys we have worked with crank the low end so that the bass is an indistinct 'bowff, wooff, waff, fufff' sound instead of hearing the actual notes. It was refreshing.

    I'll be back in the next post. Thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  2. Hi!

    Roger, as True Willie, not only looks like Willie, he sounds like Willie, and tells stories like Willie. He had the crowd in stitches a couple of times.


    Mike Fleetwood, yes, that's his name, is an excellent guitar player. In fact, he plays so well that I wish he'd turn up a little bit. I always put his guitar in my monitor so that I can hear him.


    And then there's this guy.


    When True Willie and I sing "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" all the old ladies in the crowd just go nuts, and some of the younger ones too.


    T-Willie and I admire Johnny Fingers and his work on "Mama Screw Your Wig On Tight". It's a great instrumental that features the piano.


    Then we are back singing more collaborative stuff like "Pancho and Lefty" and "Highwayman".


    Dave does a great Waylon, sounds just like him.


    Mike handles the Kris part on "Highwayman".


    We had two seemingly quick sets and we were done. Here's Chris packing up the house gear.


    As I rolled my gear across the street on my Rock-n-Roller cart I took a parting shot.


    The True Willie band will be back again a little later during the Festival of Arts for another musical engagement on Aug. 23rd. We'll probably have to learn a couple of new songs before we come back. But then, we had tunes on the setlist tonight that we didn't get to. It was a very fun gig and we got lots of positive response. True Willie tends to draw an older crowd but there are quite a few folks younger than I. In fact, Dave and I were talking and I asked him, "Where are all the young people? These folks are all my age!" ;)

    We had a great time. The next gig I have with TW will be at the OC Fair on Aug. 9. Stay tuned. Thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    pcake, SWRnut, mwbonsall and 33 others like this.
  3. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Cool gig Cliff. I haven't been to the festival in many years. The place is looking great. Such a wonderful band to be in. I can't imagine things much better than doing all Willie songs. Pancho and Lefty is one of my favorites.
    nixdad, BBQisgood, Fat Freddy and 2 others like this.
  4. Hi Grant,

    Thank you very much. Yes, the venue is looking great. Johnathan and I were talking about catching one of your shows soon, either at Beatnik Bandito or Original Mike's. Please keep us informed.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BBQisgood, Fat Freddy, McG and 2 others like this.
  5. Cliff, that's a great report! Looks like you had an awesome crowd and made some great music! It's really something to see how seamlessly you blend into all your various musical projects. Thanks for sharing this!
    BBQisgood, Fat Freddy, McG and 2 others like this.
  6. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Another great report!
    BBQisgood, Fat Freddy, McG and 2 others like this.
  7. Hi guys,

    Aww, shucks! You guys are too nice. :)

    Aww Mr. @kojack. "Seemlesly blend"? Oh, I don't know. I think I've just been doing this long enough that I've done a little bit of everything and know how to fit into most situations. I know how to fake my way through most stuff. After almost every gig Dave says, "Well, we fooled'em again!". ;)

    This venue isn't huge but there must've been a few hundred people right there in front of us and a few more wandering around the art exhibits. The music was pretty "great" except for when I missed the bridge to "Georgia". Eeek! I was farkensnargled! When I played the seven and three transition notes into the six chord to start the bridge, nobody played them with me. I thought I was lost! I actually stopped playing for a couple of beats in order to hear the guitar and keys. I jumped right back in when they decided that we were, in fact, playing the bridge and we finished the song without further incident. Later John told me that T-Willie had queued Mike for his solo at the wrong time. Johnny was supposed to play a harmonica solo over different changes and I guess that threw everything off. I decided that next time I'm just going to stick to the original arrangement and drag the rest of the band along with me, as it should be. ;)

    Mr. @Oddly, I appreciate your feedback. I'm here to show the world that even an older, overweight, semi-talented, disrespected bass player with self-esteem issues can have a little joy in this world. :)

    Yes! Try this at home kids!
    Start with Mel Bay books if you have to. I did. :D

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I was always of the sorts that if you have a good crowd, you play better because you have more people to please. I would have love to see a video. Great gig report Cliff even without the food. ;)
  9. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great report, Cliff! And what a cool gig.

    We've been to the Laguna Festival of Arts several times over the past 35+ years, but have not yet seen a concert there (this would have been a goodie!)

    I'm doing my best to get The Fab 8 booked in Laguna during the summer as well, either for this same gig or the Sawdust Festival (which even has an official "Beatles" day.) The problem we have is that both venues have booked the same guy for the past decade. He puts together a pickup band (of working pros) for these gigs. They don't sound much like The Beatles, but he's very well liked and embedded in the community (I do respect their loyalty.) The lady at FOA loved our videos and the way we sound, but it sounds like we may not have a chance until this guy either gives up the gig or is unavailable.

    Looking forward to seeing you with TW soon!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  10. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    Wow - fantastic, man!! Great pix, great crowd... plus, you looked good, too! (Sometime I'd like to hear your thoughts on flats. I've recently switched to them, and like 'em a lot.) I wish you guys played out here in Hot-lanta, though. Beautiful stage set up - was that a grand piano?
    nixdad, BassCliff, McG and 1 other person like this.
  11. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Nice report Cliff! What a great venue. Great pics as well.
    nixdad, BassCliff and dbase like this.
  12. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    Oly Pen
    I also love the camaraderie you have with other bass players, @BassCliff. Having that community is really great and a lot of fun!
    nixdad, BassCliff, McG and 1 other person like this.
  13. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Mr. @Oddly, I appreciate your feedback. I'm here to show the world that even an older, overweight, semi-talented, disrespected bass player with self-esteem issues can have a little joy in this world. :)

    Hey! Stop talking about me .... ;)
    nixdad, BassCliff and McG like this.
  14. Greatness as always! We are big Willie fans in Austin and I am sure would love T Willie as well.
    Willie himself just played his 4th of July party this year. 84 and Played until 1 AM -an inspiring man!
    I was in Kerville with Robert Earl Keene so i missed it...
    Thanks for posting as always Cliff.
  15. Holdsg

    Holdsg Father of Pugs Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Mesquite, NV
    master, of the art of gig telling
    nixdad, BassCliff and McG like this.
  16. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Huh? I thought he was talking about ME!
    nixdad, BassCliff and McG like this.
  17. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    What a sweet gig. Really enjoy the reports.:woot:
    nixdad, BassCliff and McG like this.
  18. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    Great pics, cliff.

    I think you should make this your new avatar:

    mwbonsall, bobba66, HolmeBass and 6 others like this.
  19. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Looked like a very classy affair!

    I had an 89 Astro van when I was in HS & college. We put a lot of miles on that with our band.
    nixdad, BassCliff and McG like this.
  20. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    We should be back at Mike's once or twice more this summer/fall. We've talked about doing a CD release at Beatnik Bandito. I think that would be a great place to do it.

    It would be awesome if you and John made it to a show. He won't remember me but I bought a GK CX115, rack bag and TI strings from him at Jim's Music a couple of years ago. Really nice guy. I'll let you know as soon as a date is set for either venue. :)

    Ah, fooling the audience... the sign of a true pro. ;)

    According to interviews with his band members the real Willie constantly throws arrangement curves. Sounds like Roger is going for the complete package :laugh:

    Ha, the first bass lines I learned were from a Mel Bay book :D

    Hi Chris. It would be so cool if the Fab 8 made it down here to OC. I've had a lot of trouble making it to gigs in your area.

    I went back to flats about a year and love them. Came full circle from when I used them in the 70s :thumbsup:

    Good taste in music Jimmy :cool: