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My Day With Carl Thompson!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by GSRLessard14, Feb 6, 2006.


  1. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    I went to visit Carl for the first time today on his birthday. I just posted this whole story with pics on another board, so I'm just gonna copy and paste the story. :hyper:

    Allllrighty then. SO. When we got to Brooklyn we first ended up going to Carl's apartment because we thought that was the address of his shop. So I call Carl and he's like you're a couple streets away. So we get to his shop and meet some cool people and talked bass. It was awesome. This guy Jeff runs a music shop on Long Island, he has a 6 string fretted bass and a piccolo 4 string. You'll see them below. We took pictures of me and my friend Jimmy and Carl with the first bass he ever made. Those are on my dad's camera, I'll post them up later. Carl had about 5 or 6 basses in the shop while we were there. One of them was a 6 string fretless that Aaron just bought, it's a 70's model. It's the heaviest bass Carl has ever made, though i didn't think it was that bad, until i held some of his other basses. Holy. ****. Light as air, and I'm not even exaggerating. i couldn't get over the weight, even for the 6 strings. good god. amazing. anyway. So we hung out in the shop for a few minutes and talked about basses and people's orders and the time Les gave Carl a gold record from when Tales from the Punchbowel came out. We got pics of that too. So then Carl had to head to the gig, so everyone packed up their gear and we headed outside.

    So my dad, my dad's gf Suzanne, jimmy and I were walking out with Carl, talking about how to get to the gig. Then Carl asked us if we wanted to ride with him (!!!!). So we were like that would be fantastically awesome. So i carried what i believe was Jeff's 6 string bass, it might have been someone else's, and jimmy and i hopped in Carl's acura while my dad and suzanne followed behind us. Carl talked to us about bass and music and some of his philosophies about building instruments and all kinds of good stuff that left me all very starstruck. We found places to park and then got out at the restaurant, the Downtown Atlantic. We helped Carl bring his gear inside and helped him setup a little bit. Then we sat down as the rest of the band started to arrive. People with Carl had reserved tables up front so it was really nice.

    Carl's band, which was essentially Carl Thompson & Friends, was pure jazz, made up of bass, drums, guitar, two saxes, a clarinet and a vocalist on some songs. Carl, Cook, Jayme, Virginia, Frank, the clarinet guy, and Connie, respectively. It was amazing. I'd never seen a jazz gig before. Carl plays with a hook finger style, ala james jamerson. He used one of his 4 string fretless basses, it had very light inlays. I was amazed at how precise he was. He was all over the neck with his walking bass lines. He's a really great musician. everybody knows carl, our dinner was free cos we were with him. There was a bass shaped cake and everything. The superbowel was on all night and it was a great jazzy vibe.

    During the cake/set break, everyone busted out their CTs. It was an orgy of basses. I played/held a 4 string piccolo, a 6 string fretted, and a 7 string... i don't recall if it was fretless or not, i dont think so. Carl's instruments are amazing. 30 seconds into playing the piccolo 4, i got that feeling that the instrument is an extension of your body for the first time ever. I can't stand my modulus anymore. Thanks carl, hahaha. btw, carl showed me my bass so far in the shop, it's a block of wood. hahaha. The rest of the night was more jazzing and snapping pictures of basses and owners. Carl made sure jimmy and I got a picture with the whole band, and he ended up singing You Are My Sunshine to suzanne. hahaha, he loves the ladies. it was pretty funny. Great night. I plan on visiting him every month or a little less during school, with more visits during the summer. We had to leave right after the set finished because my dad and suzanne had a 2 hour drive back home. I would have loved to stay after the gig and talk bass/music with carl, but there'll be time for that.

    These pics are the highlights from the 50 or so pics i took with my camera, all from the gig at the downtown atlantic restaurant. My dad took more pics of me and jimmy with carl that i'll have up soon. All the pics can be seen on my facebook.

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    me looking really ugly next to the beautiful piccolo 4.
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    brian with his 7 string. that is SO much bass.
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    Serenading suzanne.
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    Duet.
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    Ahhh.... carl was a lot different than i thought he was gonna be. Based on how he was on the phone and in the video on ctbasses.com, i thought he was going to be a lot more laidback. Just as friendly though. But tonight he must have been in a great mood, rightfully so, as he was bouncing around and youthful and almost eccentric. One of my favorite nights of my life.
     
  2. BillytheBassist

    BillytheBassist

    Aug 18, 2005
    Texas
    Great stuff! thanks for sharing .
     
  3. awesome. im also a big fan of his basses and would love to meet him. has anyone seen the video hes going to be making? it should be really cool ill be sure to buy it.:hyper:
     
  4. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    YOU ARE SO VERY FORTUNATE!!! What a stellar evening. So happy you got to have such a wonderful experience!

    Cherie :)
     
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That singer is way cute. But so is carl
     
  6. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    ARGH!!!!! You're killing me here! The pics won't load on my computer for some reason!:crying:
     
  7. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    sorry dude! :meh:

    The dvds are gonna be awesome.
     
  8. seventhson

    seventhson Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Great story + pics...thanks for sharing!

    What scale length is your piccolo? And do you tune it standard?
     
  9. Geezerman

    Geezerman

    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    . :D
     
  10. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    hahaha it's not mine, it was Jeff's. But it's 32", I believe it was tuned standard, not an octave up.
     
  11. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    Updates from my dad's camera!

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    These are from Carl's shop before the gig. That's the first bass Carl ever made, from 1974,, and a gold record from Primus.
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  12. TheMightyQuinn

    TheMightyQuinn

    Dec 26, 2005
    Minnesota
    Boy, am I jealous! What an incredible evening that must have been!