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Interviewing bassist stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Arthritic_Tom, Mar 23, 2012.


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  1. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    No, but a guy I know is building a replica of one of the German models, based on my books. He'd invited me to come fire it, but then I got the Meniere's, so my traveling days are over for now. Someday I'd love to fire one.

    Here's an inscription on the back of a photo postcard I have, sent by a German World War I flamethrower operator to his his family. The photo shows him firing a flamethrower:

    Dear Parents and Sister!

    I send you a card with a dangerous killing machine. It is a flamethrower. There is loud smoke and fire that comes out at the front. If there is a spark, you are lost beyond rescue. Everything else is fine. Goodbye.

    Best wishes from your son Karl.


    Imagine getting that card from your kid.
     
  2. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Here's the Schiffer Books mailing list:

    Subscribe to our Newsletters

    By signing up, you'll be getting information on all Schiffer books, and they print thousands of titles. That's why I set up the Google Group, which is in effect a mailing list just for my book.

    Up to you. The publisher asks me to remind you that it's a year from publication, which means that I'm pretty G-D sure they're going to send me a contract.

    It won't take me long to write the book. I'd post my formal proposal to the publisher here, but it gives away everything, so I won't. I have to keep some sense mystery.

    I will say that I'm working on a stunt to provide quite a visual gut-punch for the book, and I'm pretty sure it's going to come off. I'm amazed at how cooperative people can be. You're all going to love your book, as I think of it. Your book.

    Over the weekend, I also unloaded about five years of anger at the close-mindedness of the military-history world. I basically went out in a spectacular, well, ball of flame at a forum where I posted regularly.

    As you might imagine, it was not well received. Too bad. Everything I said was true, and the truth sometimes hurts. And gets you banned!

    Oh, well.
     
  3. For the record, I just ordered "In Cold Sweat" from Amazon, and got this message:

    Only 9 left in stock - order soon.

    So, now, TalkBass world, only 8 left! Get them while you can!
     
  4. NWB

    NWB

    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    All I can come up with is -- :D!!
     
  5. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Well, if Ghosts and Ballyhoo makes as big a splash as I think it may, they might do another print run.

    I'm going to go all out promoting my memoir, investing in a publicity firm, because now I can't do readings! Ha-ha! I hated readings, so I was conflicted about taking part in events where I had to appear publicly. There's no feeling in the world like sitting at a table in an empty room, surrounded by a pile of your books, waiting for the readers who never arrive.

    A secret: I did a reading, and I brought two Sharpies to sign the copies of In Cold Sweat. The staff at the venue laughed at me, to my face, for thinking that I'd have so many people lining up that I'd need two Sharpies to sign all the copies.

    I'm grateful that I'll never have to experience anything like that again. Meniere's disease has many compensations.

    No more jury duty, for another. I was called every 18 months, like clockwork, and now I can't go. If you think dealing with Hollywood monstrosities is tough, try deliberating with a jury of your peers in Southern California.

    Think The Island of Doctor Moreau.
     
  6. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Second most satisfying thing I've ever done, after starting this thread. I don't regret it at all.

    They're still mumbling away to each other in bewilderment over why I did it.

    What the hell. Here's what I posted. Not to get too deep into the weeds, I've discovered that two flamethrower units wore the same badges but in different positions on the sleeve. Presenting this new information has resulted in me being declared insane, a pervert, an idiot, an upstart, a clown, a laughable dilettante, a poseur, an insult to military historians everywhere, etc.

    The leaders of the respective German flamethrower units, Willy Rohr and Bernhard Reddemann, were bitter rivals. I own several hundred original photos of German flamethrower pioneers, which I've studied for years. But my theory has been soundly rejected for no reason that I can perceive. It's been received with outright hostility and contempt by people who know nothing at all on the topic. So I've resigned from this area of study and in doing so finally said what was on my mind.

    Thus I present to you my swan song in the military-history field:

    Excellent job of completely missing my point. I've never said, "I've said it, so it must be true." I've said we've gone over this many times in this very thread, and I'm tired of explaining my theory, which I've said over and over is just a theory. However, I've laid out concrete circumstantial evidence for the theory, and not gotten any rebuttals except, "I don't believe it," or "Maybe they just wore the badge wrong." Not very impressive, I must say.

    That tells me that there's an idée fixe at work here, and when we're dealing with that, there's nothing I can say to change anybody's mind, so there's no point in going on about it. "I don't believe it because I don't believe it" is just as inflexible and illogical as "I've said it, so it must be true."

    Don't whine to me about hostility. I've had a boatload of it directed my way for no reason at all, along with derision and bizarre pretzel logic. I'm just giving back what I've been getting. I never said I don't like people questioning my work. But show me a thoughtful, detailed, non-snarky post where someone respectfully presents an opposing viewpoint along with their own factual evidence to back it up. I'll wait. Besides, this isn't even hostility; it's just a "lively discussion," remember? It's what we love, 'cause it's exciting!

    And finally, you're getting the picture: Willy Rohr's men put their badges in a higher position because they felt superior to Bernhard Reddemann's men. Rohr was the superstar, while Reddemann was the carpenter's son and a member of the the reserves. Just a supposition. No actual military documents stating "Rohr's men felt superior to Reddemann's men," so it's impossible, right? Impossible, I say! Harrumph!

    I've presented tons of circumstantial evidence, and those who think my ideas are all wet have done no such thing. That's why I've finally lost patience. Who needs this? Seriously. If you can't understand my impatience, too bad. Besides, the post I wrote before this last series of exchanges was to Robin about a possible black death's-head badge. Did anybody offer anything in the nature of a serious discussion about my photo? Of course not. It was just the usual mocking one-liners. Did anyone wonder why a pioneer was including in an infantry assault unit? He's not from an infantry-gun battery, because he has no exploding shell on his shoulder straps. He's a pioneer with what appears to be a dark, skull-shaped sleeve badge, but he's not from the flamethrower regiment. I thought people would be genuinely interested. My mistake.

    So if you've got a problem about how this has devolved, take it up with the people who turned it into some weird, completely uncalled-for p*ssing contest, the way all military-history forums are. I originally got into the field of military history to share information. I've discovered that my approach is not welcome because people aren't interested in new ideas, so that's why I'm not going to waste any more time on it. This was just the last straw, that's all. It's been building for a long time.

    I linked some of the responses here to another non-military forum [Talkbass!], and people were utterly shocked at what they called the most amazing head-in-the-sand attitude they'd ever seen. It's endemic in military forums. That's fine. You don't see it because the culture has taken you over, apparently. But I can still think for myself. I've enjoyed some of my time in this field, but in the end it wasn't any more rewarding than music journalism, so it's time for me to stop messing with it.

    My three books are out there for anyone who wants to read my ******** theories and the many, many, many pieces of evidence I use to back them up. If anyone ever has a substantial argument against them, with their own counter-evidence, I'm willing to listen.

    But I'm done with laughing emoticons and one-liners. Who needs it? It's a gigantic waste of time on my part, because there's no engagement. I don't mind engaging with people, but this adolescent, endless snark has taken all the pleasure out of it for me, so I'm moving on. Big deal. The forum will go on fine.
     
  7. WIN!

    But don't tout us too highly Tom. The mere mention of Carol Kaye, Pick usage, flatwounds and 'How do get this sound?' threads get heinous in a hurry.
     
  8. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I get the pick-versus fingers debate, but somebody's got to tell me why Carol Kaye make things get heinous.

    Besides, I didn't even get arguments in the military-history world. I just got "I don't believe it" or "I don't see it." Period.

    I found a glorious genuine combat photo--rare as hen's teeth from World War I--of a German flamethrower squad running through barbed wire during the assault on Verdun. The exact place and units were identified, and it was dated down to the hour: 5:30 P.M. What was amazing besides the amount of gear they had was that one guy was wearing a spiked helmet and the other was wearing the familiar German coal-scuttle steel helmet. Nobody's ever published such a photo, ever.

    I posted it, and one of the most respected British authors on the Battle of Verdun just wrote, "I don't see it."

    So, I outlined the two helmets and reposted it.

    "Still don't see it. Sorry."

    And that was it. Nobody discussed anything. The thread died then and there, because this Font of Knowledge, this Historian of International Renown, had spoken. I used to call myself the Great Thread Killer.

    I could see having a heated exchange, but when people who are frigging AUTHORITIES on the topic and would hopefully be interested in new information just say, "Nope. Sorry. Go away," that's when I lose my mind.
     
  9. Carol's opinion is pretty concrete and it ruffles feathers here when someone gets booted from her friend list or when the Kaye / Jamerson lid gets cracked from Pandoras' box. More than one thread has been put to sleep by a moderator when opinions get heated.

    But that's life on the interwebz.
     
  10. It took me almost a whole day to read this thread, but was well worth it! Good luck with the book Tom!
     
  11. MartinG1957

    MartinG1957 You can never have too many bones....

    Aug 5, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Now that's what I call a resignation letter! Well done Tom-takes a lot to walk away from something you are so passionate about-I can only imagine the amount of hurt and frustration that led you to such an action.
    The problem with challenging the status quo of an establishment is that....you are challenging the status quo of an establishment... Vested interests and egos immediately man the ramparts and repel boarders.
    Apart from the intellectual bankruptcy that allows such people to flourish and perpetuate their own agendas, thoughts and biases to the exclusion of understanding, learning and respect, they forget a prime concept which I think applies to many such situations, encapsulated for me by Sir Terry Pratchett:
    "Personal is not the same as important."

    Like many others, I will be on the list to eagerly put my money down for what I fully believe will be a significant contribution to music history and will be the exception which proves the above rule-in this case, personal most certainly is very important, principally because in this case, personal is a unique body of information which we are lucky to have you as the custodian of as you are both willing and able to share it with us.

    Sorry folks, just realised this has gone on a bit- back to the important stuff!

    Thanks and anticipation.
     
  12. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    I can understand this stance without condoning it at all. Someone who is viewed by others as an authority on a subject has a fair chance of taking that to heart and believing the hype. That makes it particularly difficult to take new information from a perceived amateur, particularly if that information contradicts some of their own published work. It's a rare person that can embody the words 'expert' and 'humble' simultaneously.

    For refererence, see... most of the internet.
     
  13. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Tom's "issues" with BPM kinda remind me of the guy who got his degree in law enforcement but "failed" the state police exam by scoring too high. Seems they have found that smart people don't do well with the routine that is 99% of their job. BPM obviously has made the decision to focus on the larger less informed demographic and not the 1% of players that care about the things that Tom wanted to write about. Not an unusual position for a magazine to take. Now, you'd think the advertisers would want "quality" of audience over "quantity" but it turns out that ads work better on the less informed than those who know what they want.
     
  14. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Just got the word a few minutes ago. Ghosts and Ballyhoo: Memoirs of a Failed L.A. Music Journalist will be published by Schiffer. I'll be sent the contract next week.

    I owe it all to Talkbass and its readers, who had more sense than I did.

    The book will absolutely floor you, I promise. I've worked miracles behind the scenes to set the groundwork for a work of art that you'll never forget.

    Think I'm promising too much? Nope. This thing will blow you away. NOT because of me, but because of my experiences and the number of people who have--in the past month--helped me immensely by granting permission and cooperating in various ways which must remain secret.

    This is your book, so enjoy it when it comes out. The publishers tell me that if I can finish it by the end of the summer, it just might make the next run of titles, so I'm going to give it a try. That'll mean I won't be posting here anymore, but the end result will be a spectacular memoir that all of you can take credit for.

    Has this ever happened before? A group memoir? I don't think so.

    Anyway, if there are a few final questions before I devote all my time to writing this book, let's hear them. I'll be back someday. Count on it.

    Thanks again. You're fantastic people, even if you have silly-a** fights over picks versus fingers.

    Oh, and you can drop me a PM here any time, asking to join the Google Group to keep updated.
     
  15. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    WOW! Tom, we're all very happy for you and I'm sure I speak for everyone that we will miss seeing your daily posts here. Your gonna be a busy guy for sure, but I'm looking forward to reading that book as well. I still hope you drop in when time permits and after your project is finished.

    Best Wishes,
    Mac
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Congratulations Tom!
     
  17. grinx

    grinx Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    this thread is like your first hot, lusty summer fling with some chick from Michigan and she is only going to be here 2 weeks and then she is gone forever leaving you with nothing but amazing memories you take with you on your terra firma journey

    (run-on sentence for Tom)
     
  18. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Congrats Tom!!!
     
  19. Big Congrats Tom! Good luck. Can't wait to get a copy of Ghosts and Ballyhoo. Tell your publishers that if they can get that thing out by December, it would make my Christmas shopping a lot easier! Even if they don't, at least I've got a few of my friends' next birthdays covered!
     
  20. I appreciate what you're doing Tom. Looking forward to buying a copy of the book.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Apr 10, 2021

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