Nixdad with The Fab 8 @ The Huntington Members Summer Evenings, 8/10/19 - pro photos added!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by nixdad, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi Everyone -
    Crowd 2.JPG

    The gig we had last night was truly THE high point (so far) for The Fab 8, as we were invited to perform at The Huntington (typically called The Huntington Library) for their Members Summer Evenings concert series. We've performed for several thousands of people before for some of the local municipal summer concerts which are public gigs, but this is the first time we've performed for a private gig of this magnitude.

    This is going to be a long one, so I hope you enjoy the journey.

    The Huntington is a 207 acre facility located in San Marino, CA, which is adjacent to Pasadena. 120 acres of the facility are dedicated to some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. The Huntington is probably most famous for being the home of Pinkie and Blueboy.

    Here's a bit of history:
    Railroad and real estate businessman Henry Edwards Huntington was born on Feb. 27, 1850, in Oneonta, N.Y. Henry and his uncle, Collis P. Huntington, were leaders in building the railroads that span the country. In 1892, Henry moved to San Francisco to represent Huntington interests on the Pacific Coast. In 1902 (two years after the death of Collis), Huntington transferred his headquarters to Los Angeles and started to connect, consolidate, and extend the electric railway system in Southern California (the “Red Cars”). He had large landholdings in Southern California and numerous business interests. In 1903, he bought the San Marino Ranch (now The Huntington). He married Arabella Duval Huntington, the widow of Collis, in 1913. Together they amassed extensive library, art, and botanical collections that continue to evolve. In August of 1919, they signed a trust document that transformed their private estate into a public institution, making their collections available “to promote the public welfare.” Henry died in 1927; Arabella predeceased him by three years. The Huntington opened publicly to visitors in 1928.

    Some stock photos of their world famous botanical gardens:
    Huntington grounds 1.jpg

    huntington grounds 2.jpg

    huntingto grounds 3.jpg
    We were really fortunate with the way we got this gig, as we were not referred, didn't know anyone and their staff had never seen us before.

    I had contacted The Huntington a year ago through their general email after my wife had read an article stating that they host summer concerts. I included some history, the link to our website, a few photos and a couple of videos. I didn't think anything of it after that, as we all know what the odds are of hearing from anyone through a general email.

    To my surprise, I was contacted by one of their administration staff early this year. My email had been forwarded, and after sharing what she heard with one of her co-workers, I was contacted stating they thought we'd be perfect for this series. They only have 4 concerts as part of this series every year, and we were the very first "popular music" group to ever be invited to perform, as all other musical acts had been classical, baroque, jazz, world music, etc. We came to terms, and set the date. Since this would be the first time they've ever had a group like ours, it was requested that we perform 2 instrumental numbers as part of our set.

    We've been especially excited about this opportunity, as this opens us up to a whole new audience and level of affluence we'd never been exposed to prior.

    On to the day...
    The day started off great, as I started by having breakfast with my Dad at Roberta's in downtown La Verne. He's 81 years old, and I'm thankful for every chance that I get to spend with him.
    Dad and I 08102019.JPG
    BTW, we'll be performing just across the street from Roberta's next month in late September for La Verne's 2nd annual Beer Walk.

    Oh, and did I mention the temperature? This is So Cal, and it's August, so the expected temp this time of year is about 100 degrees (last year we had a 6 week 100+ temp heat wave.) Today? The expected high was only 85 degrees. Unbelievable.
    Here's the temperature on my radio on the drive over:

    We were due to be on stage to set up at 2:15 pm. San Marino is located about 28 miles west of where most of us live. Because we all had to enter the grounds together, the band decided to meet a few miles east and caravan to the grounds. Here's Camillo manning the final gate before we were escorted to the stage area located south of the library:

    Luckily, we were able to pull right up to the stage area to unload. They had umbrellas up for us during setup. Here's the back of the library with our stage, which was 14'x24':

    Stage early.JPG

    Here's Matt admiring the view, imagining a lawn filled with people:
    Matt setup.JPG

    Just across the street to the west is the Huntington residence, which is currently where the restoration of Blueboy is being done:
    Blueboy house.jpg
    Palm trees just to the east of the library. The grounds were still open through setup:
    Palm trees.JPG

    After unloading we had to drive back up to the parking lot. Pamela and Melissa were kind to cart us back to the stage area so we could continue the setup dance. You can't tell from this shot, but the sides of the service road we were on was so lush it reminded us of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland:

    A few setup shots. Doug:
    View attachment 3505711

    View attachment 3505712

    This is Fred Harrison from Sound Snob. They have been doing sound for this event for 15+ years, and were a joy to work with.
    View attachment 3505713

    Here's my amp set up. They provided the D.I., so I did not use my Reddi today:
    View attachment 3505741

    This was also the debut of my new Ric 4003, a Snowglo with checkerboard binding "Fab Bass" from Andy Babiuk's Fab Gear in NY. It's #5 of only 25 made. Here's an after-gig shot:
    View attachment 3505743

    Another first for us is that we had our own Green Room. It was a general area in an administrative building which included some offices for us to change in. It was not a BassCliff-type spread, but we were thankful:
    Green room tub.jpg

    That's about 20, so I'll continue momentarily. Stay tuned!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hey Chris!

    Fabulous! I'm holding my breath to see the rest! :D

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Wisebass, pjbassist, JimK and 4 others like this.
  3. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    No food was provided, but the 1919 Cafe was located just across the walkway. They had a nice selection of food, it was air conditioned, and quite a nice place to hang after we had set up. Although they closed at 5 pm to clean up before re-opening at 5:30 for the event, they allowed us to hang when they found out we were the entertainment for the evening.
    1919 1.jpg
    1919 2.JPG
    Here's Hai and Dale enjoying a pre-gig meal:
    Dale & Hai.JPG

    I ordered the pulled BBQ chicken sandwich. It was marinated beautifully and was quite tasty with a glass of unsweetened iced tea.
    Here's the chicken sandwich:

    A few of the guys hanging before the gig:
    D,M,D Green room.JPG

    Showtime was 6:30 pm. BTW, we were only scheduled to play for an hour (AN HOUR!,) but we begged to be able to play for an extra 15 minutes. We were told their phones were ringing all day with people calling about the event, and members started lining up as early as 4 pm. The did not let people onto the grounds until 5:20 pm, at which time it's mad rush to stake out premium ground (we were allowed a guest list, but were forbidden from laying out any chairs or blankets until 5:20 pm as well.) People had been flowing onto the grounds nonstop.

    Here's the view as we left the green room and Melissa escorted us to the stage. Needless to say, we were pretty blown away:
    Walking out.JPG
    Walking out 2.JPG

    As the saying goes, here's my office for the evening.
    Every parking spot on the grounds was taken, so they had to turn people away to park on the streets (The Huntington is surrounded by very nice residential neighborhoods.) Luckily, the long walk didn't defer people from attending:
    Crowd 1.JPG
    Crowd 2.JPG

    We included 2 instrumentals tonight (as requested,) so we performed "Norwegian Wood" and "And I Love Her" with Hai playing the vocal melody on flute. Here are the guys performing "Blackbird" which I don't perform on, so I had a moment to snap some photos. BTW, way over to the right are some other grass areas loaded with people that we can't even see. By design, the sound company runs speakers to the remote areas so they can hear the band although they can't see us:
    Blackbird 1.JPG
    Here's our live recording of "Blackbird" from our new CD if you'd like to have a listen:

    The gig was over in a blink of an eye. This was by far our shortest performance, as with only 75 minutes, we could not play everyone's favorites. We ended our initial hour with "She Loves You," but then jumped into our encore set of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Hey Jude" (in which we had the crowd sing along with us,) and ended with "A Little Help From My Friends." My gosh, it was a magical evening.

    We found out after the show that this was their best attended show in more than 10 years - right at 4,000 people.

    "You just fed the souls of everyone here" was a compliment we received from one of the guests after the show. What do you say to something like that?

    Unfortunately, we couldn't sell our own CD's during the concert, but they were sold at The Huntington Bookstore. Several of my bandmates went to the Bookstore after we were done performing as requested for a meet and greet, and to autograph CD's. I have no idea how many were sold, but I'll know in the next week or so.

    There were 2 professional photographers on staff, and we've already been contacted by other photographers which were in the audience, so I have no doubts I'll have many more photos to share soon.

    Anyway, thanks for staying with me here and allowing me to share. Hopefully this gig will lead to bigger and better opportunities, but by chance if it does not, I'm happy and thankful for this experience. It was definitely one for the books.

    Let's see those gig reports!


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    MrLenny1, Stumbo, SWRnut and 60 others like this.
  4. That is awesome! Sometimes there are gigs where everything just comes together in a magical way. I wish I could have been there!
  5. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Wow Chris!

    Really, really fabulous! That's such a posh place and to pack in the crowd like that is absolutely wonderful. I'm sure you've created a lot of buzz in the community. You guys should pick up a lot of cool gigs from this event. Good show, my friend. :)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  6. Excellent.
    Spidey2112 and nixdad like this.
  7. Congrats on the gig. I'm always amazed at how manicured and orderly SoCal is. One of these years I'll get down your guys way. I hope this leads to more and more profitable gigs in your near future. Thanks for sharing.
  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Dude .. I'm lost for words .. such great pictures and that crowd and the FOOD. You know my weakness Chris.. You really did go forth and kick some ass at that gig .. very impressive.
    I just posted my piss ant little gig. Looks like hell compared to yours. I cant compete with you SoCal guys .. Now I'm off to view BassCliff post ... and then I'm jumping off a Cliff somewhere (no pun intended). ;)
    Stumbo, Wisebass, BassManKK and 7 others like this.
  9. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks @pablomago! Yeah, it was one of those nights. Weeks of anticipation and hoping things go well, and then it's over. It did not disappoint!

    Thanks Cliff! Yeah, it was pretty cool. I'm truly hoping this truly turns into a "cornerstone" gig which leads to other well paid opportunities to perform for more people.

    Thanks for viewing!

    I've heard about how awesome The Huntington is for decades, but I've still never visited as a guest (I have not yet seen any of the awesome botanical gardens as pictured, either.) I'll need to make time to make it happen, I have no excuses as it's truly a treasure and very close by.

    Thanks Bill (I though you'd like that sandwich shot!.) This was one of the good ones, and hopefully going forward, will not be too far in between.
    Thanks for the heads up, I'll go check out the new report!

    BTW - when are you going to finally get your hiney here to So Cal?
  10. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Oh Chris...I am SO happy to hear that you guys went down a storm........Bloody brilliant!...:thumbsup::hyper:
    Wisebass, nixdad, McG and 1 other person like this.
  11. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    What a great gig Chris, I love that kind of stuff. Hope you get some more like that. BTW, I was perusing through the musical line up for the Mn. State Fair coming up at the end of the month, there is a Beatles tribute band called the Fab 6, I don't know if I will be there the day that they play but I was surprised by the name being similar to your group.
    Wisebass, nixdad, Spidey2112 and 3 others like this.
  12. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Hey Chris! Outstanding gig report! The scenery is beautiful and so is your new bass!
    Wisebass, nixdad, Spidey2112 and 3 others like this.
  13. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    YaY Fab 8 :thumbsup: I knew you guys would kill it there. Perfect music for the crowd and nobody does it better :cool:
  14. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    What a great gig! Hope that opens the door for more like that for you. And thanks for that bit of history. Now I know the origin of the street name I grew up on in South Pas. Collis Ave.
  15. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    A splendid time was guaranteed for all. Congrats on a terrific gig.
    nixdad and Fat Freddy like this.
  16. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    This is what I like to hear.
    Wisebass, nixdad and Fat Freddy like this.
  17. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    Excellent historical background, excellent facilities, excellent crowd, excellent execution . . . excellent gig! Brought a lump to my throat. Very happy for you. All in all . . . not bad! ;):thumbsup::hyper:
  18. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Just... dude.
    Stumbo, bobba66, JimK and 2 others like this.
  19. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    That looks like a real fun one, @nixdad! To play for so many appreciative people is a dream! Kudos on a great gig and an excellent report!
  20. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thank you, Ron. It was very special indeed!

    Hey Scott - Yeah, we're one of many "Fab" bands out there: The Fab Faux, The Fab Four, The Fab 3, The Fab 5, The Fab, The Fab Beatles, The Fab 8, and now The Fab 6. At one point several years ago I suggested to the guys that we consider changing our name, but everything else Beatles related that I had considered was already taken (including the Beatless, which I thought would be clever since we have no drummer.) Oh well.
    If you are there when The Fab 6 is playing, please let me know how they are!

    Thanks Tony! Yeah, she's purdy. Hopefully some quality photos of me playing the bass will emerge over the next few weeks. If so, I'll post.

    That you, Grant. That means a lot coming from you.:)

    Cool! Always interesting to make a historical connection.
    I love South Pasadena - such a cool downtown area. It's too bad the Michael Meyers house from Halloween has since been torn down. Isn't So. Pas. where some of the exterior scenes of the Batcave from the 60's Batman series were filmed as well?

    Indeed it was. Thank you, @garp!

    Thanks Spidey! You got that right.

    Thanks @ELG60! I appreciate you taking the time to view and comment.

    Thank you!

    Thanks Jaime - you're absolutely right. Sometimes we're just musical wallpaper, and sometimes we're the reason for the party. It felt good to be involved in an event for so many people to "Come Together."

    ...OK, that was corny as $%#@*!!, but I couldn't resist!:vomit::vomit::vomit:
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019

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