Small World Stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Vince Klortho, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. Do any of you have any "small world" stories? This isn't about name-dropping. I mean interesting coincidences that demonstrate how small this world with billions of people actually is. I have a couple of them. Here's the first :

    In the late 1990s I joined a band that was playing all-original music. We recorded a couple of albums and played a ton of gigs on the west coast of the USA. One night we were playing at this club in Portland, OR called The Satyricon. We showed up a bit early to scope it out and have a beer. When we walked in the singer said, "Hey Scott. How's it going?" Scott was the drummer in the band before I joined. Scott said he was playing in a band and writing songs and they were just about ready to make a record. I asked what the name of the band was and he replied, "Everclear." My reply was, "I am surprised you could get that name." He said he was too but somehow they did. It turns out that this was the same band that had several hits and Scott is credited with writing a few songs on their first album.

    Several years later I was between bands so I worked for my friend in his sound company. We did a lot of shows for lots of bands at lots of places. One night we were doing a show at a place in Albany, OR for a really cool band called "Floater." They have a great bass player named Rob Wynia who I really like. After the show I was unplugging things and wrapping cords when Rob noticed the shirt I was wearing. It was from Dogfish Studios who recorded tons of bands and shows including the recently released DVD "Nirvana Live At The Paramount." Rob said, "we recorded a couple of our albums there." I replied, "yes, I have those albums and I really like them. My band recorded two albums there too." He asked what my band was and I told him. He said, "Really? I saw you guys open for 'Jolly Mon' in Salem a couple of years ago. That was a great show. You guys rocked!" I thanked him and was astonished that he remembered us. Here's the really small world part : the guy who played drums for 'Jolly Mon' at that show in Salem is the guy who replaced our friend Scott in Everclear.
  2. Here's another one - a bit more global in reach.

    A few years after the events in the previous post, a band I used to be in reunited for a New Year's Eve show at the same place in Albany, OR. We opened up the show for a band called "Huzzah." After their set I went up to their singer and said, "Man, your guest guitarist just tears it up." He replied, "Yes, his name is Pat and he recently recorded some tracks for the latest Steely Dan album."

    Several years later, I was on a Caribean cruise. It was on the Holland America line and my wife and I, at age 40, felt like the youngest people on the boat. They had a steel drum band from Trinidad that was really good. We both liked them a lot and tried to see them every chance we could. One night we offered to buy the band some drinks and they sat down and talked with us. I talked with their bass player a lot and he was a really cool guy. His name was Oliver. When he found out I played the bass and had an Alembic we became fast friends and he asked me to sit in with them. Oliver had played all over the world and I was truly impressed by his travels. We talked a lot about all of the places he had been. At one point he started talking about some gigs he had in Japan. He said, "this band had a really great guitar player named Pat. This guy actually played with Steely Dan on one of their albums." It turns out this is the same guy who had played in Albany that New Year's Eve years ago. When I told Oliver about this coincidence we both had a really good laugh.

    That was a really strange coincidence and convinced me that this is definitely a very small world. At times.

    So, does anyone else have some "small world" stories?
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  3. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I was in a band named Looking Glass (not the one with a hit or two, coincidence) in the Norfolk, Virginia, area. Our guitar player left us to go with The Motions that later became Blues Image. I had moved on and was playing with a band named The Diminished Fifth. I came home after rehearsal one day and happened to go into the spare bedroom and on a table was a checkbook I didn't recognize. The name in the checkbook was the guitar player I had worked with in Looking Glass. It was sort of a surreal moment. How did a checkbook belonging to a friend who had left for L.A. a couple of years before show up in a bedroom in a house I had only lived in for a few months.
    I asked my girlfriend about it and she casually said, "Oh, yeah, this guy said he knows you and he is looking for you. He left his checkbook on the coffee table and I moved it to the table in the spare room. He said he would be back tomorrow. He is probably at the Jolly Roger."
    I went to the Jolly Roger and he had been there and gone. The next day, he did show up. He was looking for me because he was putting together a band to open for Steven Stills and Manassas. So I packed up and went to Tucson, Arizona, to help get the band off the ground, but it never did.
  4. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    When I was in elementary school, I lived in Saginaw, a small town just north of Ft Worth. I moved away after fifth grade. I eventually graduated high school in Burleson, a small town just south of Ft Worth. My best friend from high school moved to Alvarado, an even smaller town considerably further south of Ft Worth right after I graduated. Time passes. MANY years later I was trying to find the football field where my son would be playing his first night game. The directions the coaches had given us got us ALMOST to Saginaw and then led us toward the neighboring town of Blue Mound, ending up at an abandoned feed mill. We could see the field lights from where we were. But we couldn't figure out how to get there, because at no point on the directions did it say "Not just once but twice you will have turn off of a real road onto an unpaved, unmarked, unlit, goat path to get there. My wife was getting remarkably grumpy by then and said "I don't care who the next person you see is. We're going to ask them directions." About that time, we see two people walking out of the house on the corner of the next street we were about to get to. She turned abruptly while pushing the down button for my window. We stopped in front of that house and there is a guy standing in the yard looking a little freaked out. I said "Excuse me." and that was as far as I got before he said "Wayne? What are you doing here?" It was Bob, the younger brother of my best friend from high school, who lived more than fifty miles from there and was in Saginaw for the first time ever that day to attend the party he was walking out of when we pulled up.

    My wife came from a really really small town and couldn't understand why I thought it was odd to run into someone I knew by going back to a town I had once lived in. Years later, after the funeral of Bob's dad. My wife overheard him telling someone else there about the weirdly random event of my appearing from out of the blue to try to ask him for directions while he's in a town he'd never been to before. She finally got it.
  5. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    When I was..

    Naahh - never mind
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  6. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    Nothing in the world to do with music, but back in 67, there I was sitting in my office, in a bomb dump, in the jungle, in Panama, and the door opened, and in walked a guy I'd been in high school with in New Jersey in the 50s.

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  7. My wife and I were on a cruise in 2013 for our 20th anniversary. On the first night, I was doing karaoke (which I wound up doing every night of the cruise) and thought I was pretty hot s***, when this BEAR of a guy gets up and starts absolutely KILLING "My Girl". I can't decide if I'm hearing Marvin Gaye, James Ingram, or David Ruffin, but I know a ringer when I hear one. I asked him afterward, and he told me that he had replaced Teddy Pendergrass in Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. A quick check of the Internet on my cell phone confirmed that the man was speaking with a straight tongue. I was, needless to say, impressed. BTW, he told me he'd liked my voice too.

    A couple of days later, we were both doing "band-aoke" - karaoke with a live band. On the songs I sang, I played bass as well (after a short discussion with the house bass player, during which I impressed him with my Carvin arsenal and correctly identified the tone woods and electronics on his Ibanez SR-506). My man Kenny asked me to play bass and sing with him on "Mustang Sally". Of course I complied.

    On our actual anniversary, he was doing a Motown revue with the ship's band. He asked me again to come up, and with him I played bass and sang "My Girl", which he dedicated to my wife. Beyond cool...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
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  8. I am originally from a very small tobacco town in south eastern North Carolina, about an hour from the coast. While in the Navy I did a couple years out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One day I was driving the the main drag (don't recall the street name) along Waikiki Beach when right in front of me is a beat up, older car with a dealership sticker from the long gone Chevy dealership in my dinky hometown.
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  9. I used to work at a small music store. I did a bunch of online buying/selling on my own, and was approached by the shop to set up a webpage and e-commerce. I had zero experience on web building, but I learned html from some online tuitorials and put the little shop on the internet. That was back in college.

    Fast forward a bunch of years - I'm on Talkbass and see Rocket Music is here as well! "My little e-commerce child is all grown up now..." :D
  10. AMp'D.2play


    Feb 12, 2010
    A few months back, the mrs. & i had a dinner date with her sister & her sister's husband, a keys player. He's constantly busy as he plays in several bands. The band I'm in occasionally has this female singer sit in so we are now FB "friends". From her FB page, I noticed that she has performed with one of the bands my wife's B-I-L is in, though it didn't appear they ever peformed at the same show.

    So we go out to dinner and I mention to the B-I-L, do you know so-and-so (the chick singer)? He says, as a matter of fact, she just left an hour ago. One of his other projects was recording in his basement studio, and that BL wanted a female voice to do some harmonies. Then the B-I-L says, yeah, I had to kick them all out since I had to get ready for dinner! (that recording session was actually the 1st time they'd ever met)

    OK, not really any big names to drop, but still ...
  11. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I met my guitarist in May 2011. He got married in Oct 2013. At his wedding I learned that his cousin was my roommate from 10 years ago, and 400 miles away.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
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  12. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    A more music-oriented small world moment: Twenty two or so years ago, my now wife wanted to impress me by introducing me to her coolest cousin, who happens to be an amazing musician. Slim Richey is an absolutely killer swing jazz guitarist who had moved to the Austin area not real long before then. She didn't know that I'd known and actually jammed with him before he left Ft Worth. We go down to his place near Austin, knock on the door, Slim answers it. He sees me before Melanie and "Brother Wayne! What are you doing here?"

    Melanie's surprise was kind of ruined. We visited for a while, crashed out for the night and the next day decided to make a big pot of chili, call around the neighborhood, and have a party/jam session.

    I didn't realize that 'calling around the neighborhood' would gather SEVERAL amazing musicians, some of them national treasures. One of those in particular was the amazing Johnny Gimble. My Grampa had told me he'd played with Gimble when they were both immensely younger. I decided to find out, and said "Mr. Gimble, does the name Cleo Bagwell mean anything to you?" and he replied "How do you know Flash?" Flash Bagwell had been Grampa's nickname when he was with the Lightcrust Doughboys. Look them up.

    It was a pretty cool moment for me.
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  13. This one might take a bit, pull up a chair.

    I've recounted here before that I was introduced to drumming and playing bass at about the same time, at age ten thanks to a neighbor. I won't get deep into THAT story here, but he taught me the basics of keeping time on a drum kit and playing roots and fifths (and sometimes octaves) on bass.

    I reeeeeeally wanted a drum set, but my folks thought that drums were too expensive, too loud, took up too much room. They bought me my first bass at "Murphy's Mart", it was a Tele Star (Teisco), I bought a used amp with money earned as a paper boy.

    So I played bass.

    Then my older brother's band lost their drummer, I borrowed a kit and filled in until they found a drummer who actually owned a drum set.

    So, by this point I'm sixteen years old and working as a busboy in an upscale restaurant inside of a hotel. I made friends with a guy named Rob P________ from the next neighborhood, he was a dish washer in the restaurant. We were talking one night and somehow it came up that I played bass and drums. He said that he owned an old, beat up set of drums that he wasn't using, but he might be interested in trading it for a bass and amp. So we did. I delivered my bass and amp to Rob's house in Dormont on Espy Avenue and picked up my first drum set.

    My brother's band had already gone through a few drummers by then, and I knew their songs. So, that's how I ended up a drummer. The trade took place in 1975.

    I moved away in 1979 to Florida, although I ended up living in several cities up and down the east coast during the next thirty-five years. I played drums in bands wherever I lived.

    In 2008 I bought another bass, a week or two later I suffered my first stroke. The strokes were why I eventually retired the following year and then moved back to Pittsburgh in 2010. We ended up buying a house in Dormont, one neighborhood away from where I grew up all those years ago.

    So one day in the summer of 2010 I drove down into our local shopping district to run some errands. I backed my little white Chevy HHR wagon into a parking space in a lot on the corner of Potomac and Espy Avenue. My car has a plate on the front that says, "Got drums?"

    I ran a bunch of errands, stopped at the bank, the library and the bakery and walked back to my car, there was about a thirty second window in which what happened next could have happened...

    As I was walking into the parking lot a Buick pulled into the spot next to my car and a big guy around my age got out and was looking at the plate on the front of my car. "Is this your car?" he asked as I approached. "Yes" I replied. He liked the plate on the front and asked me where I got it. I told him that I bought it from "Drumbum" on line. "Do you play?" I asked. He said, "Yeah, I played when I was a kid, but I traded my drum for a bass years ago, I just got a drum set again a year or two ago and got back into it." That made me laugh. "That's funny, I traded a bass for a drum set a long time ago, I just moved here and bought a house here in Dormont." He then said, "I moved back here too, I grew up right down the street on Espy Avenue." I looked at him and said, "You must know Rob P________". He paused and looked at me for a moment and said... "I AM Rob P________!

    So, Rob and I resumed our friendship thanks to me parking in that lot and him seeing the "Got drums" plate.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  14. Great stories guys. Please keep them coming. :)

    Here's another one. This time more of a brush with celebrity.

    The singer in my current band is a rep for various automotive products. One of them is a very high capacity dynamometer used by racing teams and tuners. One day he got a call from a friend who is an engine builder in the Bay Area. The guy said he had just built an engine for a rockstar but his dyno couldn't measure the thing. He asked the singer to bring one of units to his shop to measure the engine. The singer said he would do it but had to be able to meet the guy and get an autograph. The builder agreed so the singer made a trip over there. It turned out that the rockstar was James Hetfield and he had a Dodge Ram pickup with an engine that had an immense amount of power. The singer found it hilarious that when he sat in the truck to rev it up he found two child seats in the back and the CD player was playing kids music. James turned out to be a great guy and autographed a few CDs for him.

    Even rockstars can be parents too. ;)
  15. I met Daniel Rodriguez (the Singing Policeman) at a bar after the opening night of a musical I was playing in. Turns out his accompanist when he visits New Zealand is my music teacher, who was also playing in the show. I have three degrees of separation to both Letterman and George Bush!
  16. Skarekrough


    Aug 7, 2006
    About 15 years ago I was in a band for a brief span of time and was fired, unceremoniously, via email. When I went to go get my gear all I was given was a "it isn't working out....sorry."

    Now, the music scene isn't huge and over the next few years I heard some rumors and stories about why I was brought on and then let go. With the physical build of a linebacker most of them centered around the drummer who felt intimidated by me.

    I didn't give it much thought past that until I walked into the conference room at my current job and found the guy who fired me sitting across the table for a meeting. His client was about to become my client and we had to meet to organize a hand-off of IT services.

    As I shook his hand he suddenly remembered where he knew me from and put it all together and then turned ghost white.
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  17. Here's another one. About 13 years ago I was officially living in Oregon but I spent most of my time in Silicon Valley working on software for an equipment manufacturer there. One of the guys I worked with, Steve, is a guitar player and one day he told me how he and his girlfriend were recording an album after hours. He told me how he was in a chat room talking with Barry Sless from the David Nelson Band (at the time) who were based in Baltimore, MD. Barry said the DNB was going to be on the west coast for a while and in the Bay Area very soon and they got it worked out to have Barry record some tracks on their album. A few weeks later I was back down there and Steve told me the sessions went great and Barry's playing was terrific on their album. I thought that was really cool that they could hook up together like that. A few weeks after that I was in the sound crew at the Oregon Country Fair and the David Nelson Band was on the bill. We camped there for four or five days and it was a lot of fun, even though I worked a LOT. The stage manager asked us if we had room in our camp for a couple of guys from the DNB and we said OK. It turns out one of the guys who camped with us was Barry Sless. He was a REALLY cool guy and we both had a good laugh when I realized our mutual connection with Steve, my co-worker.
  18. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    In the fall of '77, after just graduating high school that Summer, I was out on my own for the first time in my life.

    The band I was in was playing at a house party (real popular for the under-aged back then) in the SF Bay Area. We really weren't that good - just some 18-19 year-olds playing Rock and Blues jams.

    We met a dude older than us who said he was a singer up from L.A. looking to join a band.
    We thought he was a really nice guy. He didn't know anyone at this party, so we hung out with him that night. We never saw him again.

    Months later an album called Infinity by Journey came out, with it's big hit "Wheel in the Sky" all over the radio. When I bought the record - you guessed it - the back cover photo showed the guy we met that night - Steve Perry.
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  19. Not sure this qualifies, because it doesn't involve people, but in high school back in the '70's, a friend of mine was building a bass and I gave him a POS Danelectro for parts. He built this weird offset V bass. Haven't seen him since. A few years ago I went to a local luthier's shop and hanging on the wall was the bass, Dano parts and all. I bought it for $30.00 just for the sentimental value.
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  20. It's been almost a year since the last one of these so I think it's time for another one. :)

    Many years ago I was playing in a Dead-style psychedelic band and we had a pretty decent local following. We played at a good friend's wedding party who was a homebrewer and he had lots of friends who brought their libations to the party. It was a really great time until the cops shut us down and gave the residents a noise citation. The guy's name was Brad so thereafter we called that show 'Bradstock.' This was in Corvallis, Oregon.

    A few years later the groom was standing in line for a Dead show at Red Rocks and he overheard the guy right in front of him talking to his buddy about an "awesome" party he went to in Oregon for a guy's wedding where they had a Dead band playing and all kinds of homebrew. My friend listened for a while and then he said to the guy, "hey, that was my wedding party."

    They both got a really good laugh out of that and I was again reminded that sometimes this world we live can seem really small.

    I have another one that involves a lap dancer but I'll save it for later. ;)
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