#BookOfJimmy

My newly acquired Fender Squire Vintage Modified bass 

I’m going to go ahead and do a review of this Fender Squire Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass: 
ITS AWESOME! ????? 
Oh... you want details? 
I’ve mentioned before my attraction to getting a short scale bass has been due to my reoccurring rotator cuff problems which limits my arm movement. “Short scale” = less lateral arm movement = less pain = ? 
The neck is smallish. Think Jazz neck at the nut that doesn’t get much wider. Or if you’ve played a Hofner: similar. It’s a little beefier feeling than that. Which also means accessing strings on your picking hand will be narrower.  
In my later years combined with not regularly playing I’m experiencing cramping in either hand when I play “hard” and for longer periods of time so the smaller neck helps ALOT. 
Basically, VERY playable and fun. 
Tone controls are Volume - Volume - Bass boost - Overall tone. And it’s active so the boost, BOOSTS. I tend to roll that WAY back. Tone about 3/4 both volumes all the way up and I’ll back off Pbass pick up to give me more of a Jazz (Jaco) tone. I expected this to AT LEAST do this or this bass would end up on the trade bait wall. But this Jag surprisingly does a bit more. This one will get the growl tone of my 80’s Japanese Squire Jazz I love so much. 
And the harder I play it the better the growl. (Think Entwhistle or Geddy or Chris Squire solo tones) Yeah, this crazy little Squire Bass will DO IT. 
I haven’t bothered to open up the volume pot cavity to inspect... I’m sure it won’t be too impressive. Maybe it is. Too scared and don’t want to be disappointed so I won’t until I need to. 
Probably the worst thing about the bass is the actual neck finish. I suppose it’s a “satin finish” but on most Squire guitars I compare it to “accidentally getting an overspray or clear coat and then wiping it off.” Wood it ok but I don’t like the way these necks with this kind of finish ages. Eh... it’s Squire, right? You’re not SUPPOSED to worry about how a SQUIRE guitar “ages”. 
That IS the Squire thing: You get components that will last enough long enough on a guitar to learn that you need to spend “American Made” money in your NEXT bass. Translation: not built to last. 
At this point ( roughly 330 days away from my 60th birthday ) I’m not worried about “guitar aging”. It’s all eventually becoming grandkid hand me downs anyways ? 
Final say: If you can find one of these basses at a decent price (new on Amazon around $220) and WORKS (truss rod MUST work...I put a solid full turn and a half in this one to straighten it) GRAB IT! You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, lemme know. If it’s not red I’ll want it ? 
#BookOfJimmy #FenderSquire #SquireJaguarBass

Truck headaches galore ? 

Well, our Kenworth broke down again. Probably computer issues handling the emission controls.  

I think it is officially to the comparable point that if I were still touring in a band and I had to borrow or rent an amplifier and guitar once or twice a year over the last 4 years.... I think it would be time to get a new amp and guitar ... 

Tomorrow we visit a dealership.....

#BookOfJimmy

#BookOfJimmy 

I thought I would go ahead and place all of my #BookOfJiimmy ramblings on Facebook and Twitter in one place. Enjoy

..."A trio of young teens, two black dudes and one white dude, came up to the door to mow our front yard for $10. I looked at them in the eye and asked, "Don't you guys know there's a race war going on right now?" They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders and then mowed our front yard. 
Teenagers.....always think they know it all."? 
#BookOfJimmy    

It should be a law that if you're going to make people wait in line at a drive thru you should have access to their wifi #BookOfJimmy

Dear #JJABRAMS and/or #JamesCameron and/or #JamesGunn: Make a movie about the Edmund Fitzgerald. You can even have The Rock and Kevin Hart AND Vin Diesel in it. Or maybe Leonardo DiCaprio should sink another ? https://youtu.be/9vST6hVRj2A #BookOfJimmy

· 

Be the needle and thread when there's a hole in the pocket #BookOfJimmy Oh... and pick up any dropped change

 

Just a reminder to young students to practice because you never know when a Beatle will let you jam on stage in front of 1000's of people #BookOfJimmy

I've listened to Beatles songs 1000s of times. Today a handful of their brought a tear to my eye. Could've been Don Henley's thoughtful introduction to his pick of favorite Beatle songs. ( While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All Across The Universe, The Long and Winding Road, Here Comes The Sun ) Or it could've been in listening to the songs and once again admiring the talent of these 4 guys plus George Martin will more than likely not come our way again and I am grateful that they gave the world a library of over 200 songs to listen and to share for generations. 
Some are still out there and say they "don't get the Beatles" 
If you don't you're not listening. 

#BookOfJimmy

The most important ingredient to a major LEGO build is a strong cup of coffee #LEGO #BookOfJimmy

 

 

Buh Bye Social Media! 

Well , I’ve done it. I’ve rid myself of the burden of all social media sites. Sure you can call my website a social media site and if that’s the case, this will be the only one. I will still be posting/blogging thru the Timeslip band website and its social media platforms but that’s about it.

stay tuned....✌?

A Blast From The Past 

Hey! Its been a long time!

I am motivated to write here because of some old band pics showing up on Facebook and because of my good friend, Paris Brown is now the drummer for the project band TIMESLIP thst I am also a part of.

Paris and I used to be in the second coming of the band The Catfish back in the 90's. I'm thinking 1993 or 1994 maybe?

That band consisted of three of the members of Catfish I originally played with: Steve Elston  (sax, keys vocals) Ralph Island (Congas, Timbales, assorted percussion) and myself on bass.

The original Catfish broke up for ...who knows. For whatever reason Steve, Ralph and I kept going with it. We picked up a couple of guitarists we all knew through jamming at the Slippery Noodle: Dan Flynn and Tony Hamm. Not sure what Dan Flynn is dong these days. The last I heard, Tony Hamm was the guitarist for the country / rock band Cornfield Mafia.

At some point we decided to enter the International Blues Band competition in Indianapolis. The winner would go on to the World competition in Memphis. I believe that year the winner to represent Indy was none other than my good friends and ex-Catfish Dan Holmes and Randy Howson with bassist extraordinaire Bill Ritter. So they go off to Memphis.

Nowadays, Dan Holmes is down in Texas fronting his own band. Randy "RJ" Howson is down in Florida fronting his. And Bill Ritter is the bassist for local Indy favorite and legend Jennie Devoe.

Catfish took second place in the contest which was the prize of recording for a couple hours at The Lodge, a studio here in Indy.

This brings us to the "Blast From The Past"

Here is a photo of this lineup of The Catfish:

l-r  Jimmy V, Paris Brown, Steve Elston, Ralph Island, Tony Hamm, and Dan Flynn

The "podcast" listed is the result of our recording at the Lodge.

My apologies for quality. Its from a 2nd or 3rd generation cassette tape to a MP3 convertor to thumb drive to here.

Jimmy v on bass, Paris on drum set. Besides playing in TIMESLIP Paris also plays with local Indy band JUS'TA BAND.

Steve on Vocals, sax, and keys. If you wanna catch Steve he is one of the premier solo artists performing at retirement homes and facilities all over Indiana. he also DJ's parties and weddings.

Tony and Dan on guitars. I don't remember who did what leads. Maybe one of you guys will see this and drop me a note on who did what. As I mentioned before, last I heard, Tony was the guitarist for CORNFIELD MAFIA and Dan is m.i.a.

(songs are posted in COMMENTS below blog)

First song is Eric Clapton's SOMEDAY AFTER AWHILE. I believe we wanted to use our Lodge recording as our demo to get gigs. Someday After Awhile was to show off our "Blues" touch.

Second song  is an original by the band  THE BLUES IS A FEELING. a little Blues diddy we wrote and threw almost EVERY cliché into it we could think of.

Third and final cut was a band favorite to play live. Sonny Landreth's CONGO SQUARE . The version we try to emulate is the Neville Brothers version.

Almost all of this was recorded live with no over dubs. I think the only overdubs we did was either Steves keys or one of his sax lines.

Obviously we didn't use a click track either ! LOL! I didn't check if we all actually sped up or I started pushing or pulling on the meter.

Some might ask, "Why no bass solo(s)?

Two reasons: 1) I wasn't that good then

                       2) EVERYBODY did and deserved solos in this and the first formation of Catfish.

 

And that's my Blast From The Past for today.

Ill be 60 years old next year so I have lots of past blasts I can come up with.

Til then...... Keep the dirty side down and the shiny side up! 

Now NO band! 

And just like that Im currently not playing and/or officially a member of any band. Trucking was down for us a couple of months I got busy hanging out once again at R&R Music and playing numerous genres or music with TIMESLIP, DAVE MUSKETT, KENNY HAVENS, and the mighty BIG DADDY CADDY. But once again "it" calls and we are out on the road. This time with our OWN truck and leasing our services to LANDSTAR. So far its been GREAT.
 Today I write this in a hotel room in Carson, CA and thats pretty much what Ive been waiting for: the ability to drive into So Cal and make a delivery or pick up AND spend time with family. Today, on our time off, before the pickup we ran around the Long Beach and Redondo Beach area with my sis Cora and her husband Ron. Also spent time rediscovering where we lived for about a year in San Pedro, CA. Our old military housing is now a barred up window low income housing project. Also visited our old Barton Hill Elementary School. Its always funny how things like your old school seemed SO much larger than they are.
In short, I can see us trying to pick up a dedicated route through here soon!

Thats all for now. This website has been down for a bit because I havent been paying attention to email notifications telling me it was about to expire. I just got it back up again and thought Id at least write some thing new in here.

oh...I should mention that Donald Trump is our President Elect now....

NEW BAND! 

Well, it was inevitable. If we're not going to be out driving the rig throughout North America I was bound to land in a musical project.
the band is called TIMESLIP. A great bunch of guys headed up by singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Taylor. Here are some links to the band where you can see and hear them. I call it "All Original Age Appropriate Music"

 
The beauty about this band is I will get to play Congas and other percussion on songs. Ill definitely be playing bass and actually solo in a few tunes also. Vocals will be mainly backups at this time, but who knows!
Our first show together is May 21st, 2016 at SAHM's on 96th St in Fishers, IN. Hope to see you there and at any future shows.
The band knows of our truck driving and are wiling to work around our schedule of being home one week a month ( at this time) Fingers crossed everything should work out fine.
Here's to the "new band" Timeslip. We'll see where it goes from here.

We're down for a while 

"Down" meaning we're not driving. We are currently trying to purchase the truck we've been driving for ourselves and will become "official: owner operators !
That process takes around a month to do so in the meantime, Deanna diligently(stressfully) works the administration of our new venture and I have gone back to R&R Music for the month or so to keep busy. In the process I have also taken on a couple students AND a couple of gigs: My 20th and 22nd with Dave Muskett and May 21st with my buddy Mark Taylor and his band Timeslip. Please check my calendar for more details.
We're down for awhile but we'll be out inspecting the roller meat at PILOTs throughout the US soon!

Rest Area 

  
Conveniently placed along the interstates and some highways are “Rest Areas”. Usually spaced around 50 miles or so apart . Sometimes they are the only sign of civilization for miles and miles. A trucker gets to know most of them quite well. Most Rest Areas can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 110 big tucks and trailers. Occasionally you do run into a Rest Area that will say “NO TRUCKS” and so you keep driving til you find one more accommodating. 
 
 Because professional truck drivers have strict rules and regulations when they can drive and when theyre supposed to rest these Rest Areas play a VERY important part of our drive. It didn’t take long to learn that wherever you are you need to start looking for a Rest Area around the early evening if you want to have a chance at finding a parking place. Depending on the state they can fill up very quickly. And when they do the parking will over flow onto the on and off ramps. Parking becomes so scarce at times that I don’t know why so many trucking companies advertise the need to hire more drivers. Where are you going to put them all when its time to park and rest? And some Rest Areas are closing down because there are states that cant afford the up keep on them. 
 
  Rest Areas can vary from very nice warm and inviting places to very isolated cold slabs of cement with a urinal. 
 
  On one late night I stopped into one that was somewhere between the two descriptions. 
It was somewhat well lit as I approached the structure. Medium sized. The central “lobby” area lit with the all too familiar glow of fluorescent light fixtures. 
WOMEN to the right, MEN to the left. Left it is. 
 
  This Rest Area bathroom was long and narrow. Four sinks lined the left side of the wall and four urinals and four stalls lined the right side. Odd door at the end of the room. 
I stand at the urinal and do my business.  

  Voices? 

  I look to the left and right of me. Nobody.  I bother to lower myself to spy anyone in the stalls. Nothing. I shake it off. Emotionally and physically. 

  The more I use the “modern” Rest Area restrooms, the more I am accustomed to not having to touch anything. I don’t have to flush. I don’t have to turn on a faucet to wash my hands. Soap can be auto dispensed. And of course there is the auto hand drier or sometimes it’s a paper towel dispenser that rolls out a section of towel just by waving your hand in front of the sensor. Modern technology all to help stop the spread of germs. Except for that pesky door handle to get in and out of the bathroom. 

 Voices? 

  I wait for all automated machines to stop. 
Something…. Distant voices. 
I look up at the air vents. I concentrate on them to try and make anything out. The sounds do not appear to be coming from there. 
Added to the voices I hear a distinct metal sound. Where have I heard that before? 
In the handicap stall I see the stainless steel pipe they install for assistance. I grab it and my ring taps on the bar. The sound. Metal on metal. 

  Muffled voices. 
I shake it all off like Im just hearing things and go to leave. As I pull the door open I stop, 

  The doorway at the other end of the bathroom. 

  Not every rest room in a Rest Area has one. I never pay much attention to them figuring that theyre locked closets for supplies. 
I turn and stare down at the other end of the rest room. 
“It’s a closet” I exclaim to myself. “Right?” 
Leave now and don’t give this a second thought. Every moment in every horror movie flashes in my mind on how the movie has a much happier ending if you just turn around and walk away, 

Voices. 

Ok. MAYBE its behind the door. 

  As I walk closer to the door I stop a step short. Its partially open. Or is that partially closed? 
I dare not push the door open further because they ALWAYS make a creaking noise. 
Against everything Ive ever learned in the movies I peer closer. Light. 
Is the sound coming from here? 
I move to get a better angle at the microscopic crack in the door way. Stairs. 
STAIRS?!?! In a Rest Area restroom? Downward stairs. Basement? In a Rest Area restroom?!?! 

  I shall not push this door open. I shall not push this door open. I shall not push this door open. 

Voices.

Muffled scream.

MUFFLED SCREAM!??! 

Nope. Im out. 

  As I turn and make a beeline out the door I repeat to myself, “Maintenance guy is watching a movie.”  “Yeah…that’s it…hes downstairs on his break watching a horror movie.” 

THAT is how you avoid a “typical” horror movie ending.

  Maybe next time Michael Myers.

First Year of Driving The Big Rig 

My First Year of Driving The Big Rig As of this writing it is April 12, 2016 and Deanna and I have been CDL holders for about a year. We have approximately 90,000 miles behind the wheel team driving. Two years ago I would have NEVER guessed that’s what we would be doing now. Practically the farthest thought in our minds. Another farthest thought would be ME without any kind of musical “job”.

My last endeavor was with Crambone and I officially quit them at the end of 2015. It just got to be too much trying to schedule shows around the driving schedule. Crambone deserves to grow and they cant do that with one member never home. They also deserve a great bass player and they have one in Michael “Oz” Osborn.

Do I miss the music thing yet? In some ways yes and in some ways no. Would I give up what we are doing now to go back to a full time music gig? Right now? No. Having WAY too much fun and seeing WAY too many beautiful places. We also see a lot of the not so beautiful places but that’s “the world.” It aint all pretty.

On a side note: I’ve noticed my ring constantly falls off my ring finger now. I don’t think Im losing weight so Im going to have to attribute it atrophy since Im not playing guitar, bass, or ukulele no where near that I have over the past 20 years or so.


Driving through Portland, Oregon today I took pictures of many “campsites” I could see along the interstate. “Homes” created by tarps and tents and plastic buckets and whatever else one may scavenge up to live in the bushes alongside a busy highway. I also noticed that the city of Portland put up wrought iron fencing underneath over passes and bridges so that no one would take up residence up in the crooks and crevices. Its life and some choose to live that way.

Some look at the way Deanna and I live now and cannot fathom themselves doing it. Once again, we did not see that either a couple years ago. Two years ago Deanna was knee and elbow deep into perfecting her garden in our backyard and looking for ways to expand and improve. Not now. Not even home enough to cut the grass let alone tend a garden. Two years ago I was involved with my King James and The Verses band in full electric and in duo or trio acoustic versions. Also there was Crambone. I was still looking for any kind of musical gear deals and tinkering, repairing, restringing the gear I had. We both had different day jobs also. Deanna was mainly at a desk helping the community at the John Boner Center and I was selling musical retail and teaching guitar, ukulele, and bass. How does any of that point to getting behind the wheel of a T660 450HP 15 speed Kenworth truck pulling a 53 foot trailer with a gross vehicle weight of often times a shade under 80,000 lbs? I supposed one piece of evidence would be that we both tend to change careers after so long. I’ve held out longer in my career choices being able to maintain basically two choices: The automotive service and retail business for 20 years and then being a professional musician for 20 years. There was some overlap but that’s about it for my work experience. Oh sure there was that year away at the Phoenix Institute of Technology where I had a handful of jobs that the school pointed me towards. I worked at a 24 hour McDonalds for about a week. Kmart for maybe a month. Evening janitorial for a few businesses for a couple weeks. And a carwash making 7 quarters an hour ( that’s $1.75/hour ) Oh, but plus tips. I did that for maybe a week. But the point here is I suppose it was time or a career change. Neither of us saw this one coming.

I’ve mentioned before that this job isn’t for everyone. There are a few reasons why it works for us:
1) We are doing it together. We’ve both had careers that kept us away from home so now was the time to have a career that put us together.
2) We both love camping and trucking is a form of camping. You have to be able to live with just the essentials due to space. We’re just not setting up camp and a tent anymore. Now our tent and camp is on wheels and our campsite is wherever we can park 75 feet of vehicle.
3) We get to bring our dog with us. This was a BIG deal. We were offered jobs from companies but they didn’t allow a pet to go with you so we really lucked out with Bulldog. Also, every so often we get to take our grandson along with us and that’s a BIG plus.

4) We get to see a large part of America.

Granted most of it is via the interstate but if you haven’t done that you need to. No amount of pictures or post cards can justify seeing Mother Nature at its finest. I think I got the “bug” for that touring with the Kelly Richey Band. Even then I thought it an added bonus to be able to drive the tour van and see things. Knowing that I could do that made it an easy decision for me to get behind the wheel of a Kenworth and do it. In the band we always joked that we didn’t get paid for performing, it was the driving and set up. Now I actually AM getting paid to drive. Its funny how sometimes I lose track of where we are. As I’ve discovered touring, people look the same everywhere you go. It’s not until they speak and you hear an accent in their speech do you realize the region you are in.

To sum it all up, we are a year into driving the big rig and see no stopping yet.