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Sometimes your heros don't disappoint...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TheWoodShed, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. After I graduated high school, I moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for college. In Ft. Wayne at what was then called the Ft. Wayne Coliseum I saw David Lee Roth on the Eat'em and Smile tour. I had the privilege of seeing Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan put on their now legendary live show, and it was at that point I decided I was going to play bass, and put my heart into it. It was literally life changing for me, as I left college where I pursued a career in music. Returning home I met my wife of 25 years in the back of my drummers van. I now have two beautiful daughters. The youngest is a 16 year old guitarist who aspires to go into broadcasting and the oldest is almost 21 year old vocal performance and music technology major at Capital University.

    So, cut to the present. Every year this when my family takes our vacation, as it is the beginning of summer and it is the first chance we have to reign in our busy lives of school, learning to drive, projects, etc. Usually we just take stay-cations, but this year I decided to take the girls to Sweetwater Music's GearFest.

    It was great. Sure, they get some of my money but the deals were just off the wall good and we got to see a lot of neat things and talk to some cool people. Billy was there, doing a 1 hour seminar. It was as great as you may think, but later he was in the Hartke tent signing autographs. When I got there, there was one other fellow talking to him. I waited politely and when Billy was done he extended this hand with a firm handshake (I didn't imagine how strong his hands are) so I requested that he auto-graphed my pass. I told him my story, introducing my youngest daughter. We talked for a few minutes about life and art, but I didn't want to take all of the man's time and bore him to death. The thing is, he was extremely gracious, and he told me that my story made his day. For such a huge talent, he seemed so humble. He gave me one of his limited Edition Winery Dogs v-picks (which was funny, cause I showed him a V-pick I was carrying). Hell, I was so gobsmacked that I almost walked away without a picture, until he asked if I would like one.

    Well, the end of the story that he doesn't know is that I am a diabetic with neuropathy, so my playing is not what it used to be. Kinda hung it up. But he made clear to me that it isn't about how good I am, or how good he is, or anyone else. It is about my art, my creativity. This is a lesson I taught my daughters all along, but still one I seemed to forget. So...I am getting my stuff out again, dusting off my bass, messing with the rig and firing up my pedal board.


    Thanks Billy...

    That said, just spending the day with my daughters talking about art and music like we did in that environment was just an experience I will never forget. We have decided to make this a yearly event for us, as our family getaway. On the drive up and back we joked and laughed so much together...a dad's dream come true!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  2. Auguste


    Apr 5, 2012
    Great post
    TheWoodShed likes this.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Billy's a brilliant player and a nice guy, and has been for the last 30+ years. He started small, played all the time onstage and off, and worked very hard. His success was not handed to him, he didn't forget where he came from, and it always shows in how he deals with the public.
    TheWoodShed and aquamentus like this.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Very cool and this just made my day thank you for sharing that with us.
    TheWoodShed likes this.
  5. aquamentus


    Apr 15, 2005
    Keokuk, IA
    Billy is just amazing. Love it.
    TheWoodShed likes this.
  6. marko138


    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Great post. But keep your daughter out of broadcasting. Trust me, I work in tv broadcasting.
    TheWoodShed and 20db pad like this.
  7. plong123

    plong123 All Your Bass Are Belong To Us

    Nov 19, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Forget the broadcasting, don't let your daughter know that you met her mother in the back of a drummer's van!
    kzr750r1 and TheWoodShed like this.
  8. LOL...they already know. It is part of our family mythos. As far as broadcasting goes, she is looking more to the audio side of it.
  9. plong123

    plong123 All Your Bass Are Belong To Us

    Nov 19, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Also, I'm here in Columbus and have played with numerous Capital grads. It's a very good music school.
  10. bswag

    bswag Guest

    Dec 21, 2013
    Great story, great pic! Nice to see on a dreary Sunday morning...

    Enjoy reviving those calluses.:)
  11. xbud

    xbud Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Southwestern, PA
    Cool Post, It's good to see somebody cares about the working/family stiffs.
  12. Greg Jones

    Greg Jones

    Dec 1, 2005
    Thornton, CO
    Great post! Thanks!

    Always been a huge Billy fan but only recently came to know how awesome a human being he is.
  13. GHOST AT


    May 24, 2011
    I always thought Billy would be very cool and down to earth, So glad its true! I love the Winery Dogs ,stellar musicianship and great songs cant get any better than that. God bless you in your fight against Diabetes!
  14. Big John66

    Big John66

    Feb 12, 2008
    Great post! Bonding with my kids through music is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. And you got to do it while hanging with Billy Sheehan! Good job, dude.
  15. Thank you all for your well wishes- I appreciate it!

    She transferred from Ohio Northern to Capital precisely because of that. I am impressed with their facilities and the industry contacts they can provide a young person just out of college whi is looking for a good fit after graduation.

    Two of the most memorable times I had with my oldest daughter is first whenever I would tuck her in at night I would tell her "Love you baby girl" and she told me "Love you too daddy!" and the second is on her college application citing me as her biggest musical influence. it really was stunning to see that, in a good way. We talk music like other families may talk religion or politics around a dinner table.

    And you are right...it is rewarding, but I am all self taught so I am making damn sure that if they want to do this they are going to be well rounded, educated musicians so they can have advantages that I never had. I want them to be better than I ever could be.
  16. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    Another C-bus player here. But, graduated from the "dreaded" college in Westerville (Otterbein).

    I have a current student who just made it into Capitals Music Tech course, and he is a bass major. Maybe they will cross paths?

    Welcome to TB. Good to hear that you are getting stuff back out to play.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    TB needs more threads like this.
    zontar likes this.
  18. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Sometimes people don't want to meet their heroes or those who influenced them, etc--for fear it will disappoint them.
    Glad to hear an experience where that wasn't the case.

    I had a similar experience meeting Glenn Kaiser--twice (At a solo concert he gave & at a blues festival) and Phil Keaggy--who actually introduced himself to fans--and then spoke with them.
    It was cool.
  19. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    Billy is a class act.
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Nice post, thanks for sharing.
    I met him at a clinic, very down to earth cat. WICKED chops.
    Had a similar experience with Michael Manring. I am in awe
    of his creativity. Very humble dude.

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