Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So little time

I'm getting ready for the 2007 NMA reunion next week. Here's my list of the things I want to do while I'm there:

  1. Rehash the story of Roy Mahoney and me convincing the School of Music admin officer to print up a phony set of orders for new warrant officer Tex Waldron. The CO then summoned Tex to his office, handed him the paperwork told him that, as one of the Navy's finest big band directors, he would soon be the leader of the Navy Band's Sea Chanters.

    In later years, Tex claimed the news of this supposed reassignment left him "slightly disappointed." Funny, but I seem to remember peeking around a corner as he came storming out of the CO's office, forehead glowing like red-hot coals and blue smoke shooting out his ears.

    I also recall his reaction to his eventual discovery that I was behind the trick. Every phrase he uttered began with an f-word, and I'm not talking about "funny," "forget about it" or "Frank, I dearly enjoy your clever little tricks.")

  2. Play "Night in Tunisia" at a jam session, so the crowd can thrill to my newly-developed technique of playing uptempo be-bop melodies in octaves. I've worked hard on this trick, employing smoke, mirrors and false fingerings to make you think I'm playing the melody in octaves. Well, at least you think I'm hitting some of the notes in octaves.

    Actually, my wife says it's hard to think about anything while I'm doing this.

  3. Have fun regardless of whether Lee Hudson shows up. I refuse to let that blathering buffoon ruin my fun. Just because his odious presence made every day at Navy Band Newport a living hell is no reason to let him get in the way of a good time. Of course, that whining, tedious, dim-witted dolt wouldn't dare come to the reunion if he knows I'll be there. He'd be afraid of what I'd do to him.

  4. Attend lots of Big Band rehearsals. Last year was my first reunion, and I was surprised at just how good the bands are. It shouldn't be a surprise; in a lot of ways, we're better players now than when we were young. We've got at lot more experience under our belts. We've got a lot more everything under our belts.

  5. Play Freddie Green-style guitar with a big band. I'm bringing my Gibson E-335. MU2 Steve Dimond cleaned the grit out of the tone controls and put new strings on it in 1980, so it should be ready to go.