Funny Story/Alembic Ignorance Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Fun Stories » Archive through January 03, 2011 » Funny Story/Alembic Ignorance « Previous Next »

Author Message
rockbassist
Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 51
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 7:37 pm:   Edit Post

I was recently asked to audition for a cover/original rock band that is looking for a bassist. After listening to their demos I decided to give it a shot. I am currently playing with a country artist who is getting airplay on over 300 radio stations but I decided to pursue this gig while we are not touring so that I can keep my chops up. Anyway, I arrived at the studio and the guitarist/lead singer looks at my Epic and says "Great looking bass but I can't believe that someone who has played all over the country is using something made in Mexico". I explained to him what Alembic was and I could see that he was skeptical. Especially since his main guitar was a $200 LTD from Musician's Friend. Don't get me wrong, I have heard great instruments sound like crap in the hands of bad musicians and poor instruments sound great in the hands of great musicians. I asked if there was a computer with internet access available so I could show him the Alembic website. There was, and after I showed him what Alembic really is I thought that he was going to have to change his underwear. We did about 15 songs, many of which I hadn't played in close to 20 years. Both guitarists were very good. I was surprised at how well they played. Not only did I get the gig, they asked me if I wanted the drummer to stay or should they find someone else. I told them that the drummer was the weakest link in the band and they immediately started auditioning drummers. In fact they, called me back that night to play with a different drummer. It's amazing how little is know about Alembic. Despite the fact that they have been around for over 30 years, many skilled musicians are ignorant when it comes to the Alembic name. They loved the sound of my Alembic.
About the country artist that I mentioned earlier. His name is Bo Billy. He is currently getting airplay on over 300 radio stations in the US, Canada and Europe. His website is www.bobilly.com. He also has a cd available for purchase on the site. Even if you do not like country music, it is still worth checking him out. I didn't like country music much but a good friend of mine is managing Bo and he asked me to listen to the cd. That was several months ago and I have been asked to join his touring band. It's funny, These opportunities started appear just about the same time that I started using Alembic.
bracheen
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 885
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 3:33 am:   Edit Post

How in the world did he come to the conclusion that your bass was from Mexico? I wonder what made that connnection in his head?
Congratulations on the gig.

Sam
pas
Junior
Username: pas

Post Number: 44
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 4:45 am:   Edit Post

I never would have had that gig. After a statement like that, I would have responded with something like "Were you born presumptuious & ignorant or did you have to work at it....?." Diplomat that I am...

Congrats on both gigs!
mpisanek
Member
Username: mpisanek

Post Number: 91
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 5:09 am:   Edit Post

I guess most things today come from Mexico! Or did your bass wear a sombrero and a poncho????

Nice job on the gigs!!
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1243
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 5:56 am:   Edit Post

Does he even know where his LTD comes from? Wherever it is (somewhere in the far east, I presume), it ain't the good ole' US of A, LOL!
rockbassist
Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 52
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 8:38 pm:   Edit Post

I'm not sure why he thought my bass was made in Mexico. I just figured that he was not well informed. I'm sure his LTD was made in Korea. He also has a Jackson. My main gig is with a country artist that is getting airplay on over 300 radio stations. We are taking some time off before doing a national tour and I just wanted to play some rock and roll locally for a while and keep my chops up. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing the gig at all. I believe that playing with as many musicians as possible can only make you better. Besides, you never know when the next opportunity will present itself.
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1264
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post

Sounds like you're doing just fine...I imagine there's quite a few of us that'd kill to be in your shoes.

I suppose it's unfair to knock foreign-made stuff, as not a lot is made here anymore. I try my best to be patriotic and buy only American goods were possible, but that is getting harder to do so all the time. Hell, how many people know how many foreign parts are on a new Harley? The suspension, brakes, wheels, some electricals, etc. are all Japanese-sourced. My Hog even has Weber-Marelli injection on it! There's nothing wrong in buying foreign stuff per se, I just try to support American industry and our economy wherever I can.

OK, I'm off the soapbox now, LOL!
hydrargyrum
Intermediate Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 165
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 12:34 pm:   Edit Post

I have always been pretty proud of the fact that despite the U.S.A.'s reputation for low production quality in most businesses, guitars are still one thing where being made in the U.S.A. is an instantly recognisable mark of quality. That is not to say that there are not excellent foreign guitars (and crappy American ones for that matter). I think you would find that anywhere you went in the world, most people world would praise american guitars as the best.

(Now of course my guitar was built by a Brit, but he lives in washington at least ;)
gtrguy
Junior
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 24
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post

I used to agree with that, but my two Yamaha TRB bass guitars sound fantastic (made in Japan), and I just played a Gretsch guitar made in China that sounded and felt as good as almost anything I have seen anywhere.

But I still like the vintage stuff the best for some reaon!
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1277
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 5:34 am:   Edit Post

Understood...My '88-vintage Charvel/Jacksons were made "over there" and they haven't had quality issue one in 17yrs. They were just fixed-model non-custom Jacksons assembled overseas. From what I remember, the "custom" order USA-made Jacksons of the same time suffered from huge quality problems when every Hair Metal band in the world inspired legions to buy Jackson.

The Gretschs are also very nice (are ANY of them made here?), as are Eastman's Chinese-made archtop Jazz-boxes.

Regardless, I'm stubborn in my old age. Given a choice, as long as the quality is there, I'll pay a premium to buy American-made goods wherever possible.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2614
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 7:50 am:   Edit Post

Kevin; this doesn't really answer your question, but is all I could find at the moment; from the Gretsch site:
___________________

In 1989, with the company again in Gretsch family hands, guitar production restarted on a large scale. Yet another Fred Gretsch had managed to purchase the remnants of the company little more than the name, really and set up shop outside of Savannah, Ga. The guitars, based on classic Gretsch models, would be made in Japan with a mixture of American and European parts.

A "custom" line of American-made guitars was also offered in 1998 and 1999, but prices were astronomical and few sold.

At the beginning of 2003 Gretsch began yet another new era as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation secured an agreement that basically gave them all control over the manufacturing and distribution of Gretsch.
gare
Advanced Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 290
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post

'did your bass wear a sombrero and a poncho????' <--I like that one

Whats a shame is how long it took American businesses to wake up about the quality of their products. The best example are cars and trucks. It took Toyota and Honda to wake them up. Even now the mfrs source out alot of subsystems to other countries..Mexico..Canada..etc.
Opps..fell off soapbox again.
But I agree with what others have said here, some of the foreign gear is really good..Yamaha etc.
I always look at an instrument as how playable is it. Pickups, electronics, etc can always be swapped out if that pleases you.
I'll always try to keep my money going in our economy, but if the quality isn't there....
And don't forget, there are some nice European instruments to drool over too !
0vid
Junior
Username: 0vid

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post

I was once asked by a Music teacher/bass player/bandleader type person what bass I was playing. He plays in Orchestras and is the band leader; teaches kids in his school all instruments including elec. bass (from various books, some jaco transcriptions etc) ......

I said: "Alembic".

He said "Olympic? Try a Fender when you get the money."
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1602
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 5:40 am:   Edit Post

My guitar instructor and repair guy is not an Alembic fan either. He doesn't like all the lams, the poly finish and the proprietary active electronics utilizing filters. The less glue the better (it's a sound "insulator", he says), lacquer is king, and he's either a passive p/u and/or a Bartolini fan.

Having said that, though, he did admit that "at least" I was getting craftmanship (a high level of workmanship) for my dosh, LOL!

While even I realize that (warping and strength issues aside) a single solid piece of wood SHOULD be better sounding that a bunch of pieces of glued together wood (all things being equal), Alembic is without peer, IMHO. Craftmanship, playability, aesthetics, quality, feel, sound, etc. (I could go on)...Only Alembic has 'em all in spades.

Why am I telling you guys this? It's like preaching to the choir! OK, nevermind....forget I even said anything, LOL!

Cheers,

Kevin
the_8_string_king
Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 60
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post

QUOTE:

I said: "Alembic".

He said "Olympic? Try a Fender when you get the money."

That is just TOO funny!!! Freakin' hilarious!!!

A few years ago, a friend who was a drummer and also my regular... let's say, "pre-emptive stress relief facilitator" introduced me to a bass player friend of his who he asserted was really awesome. So we met, and the guy began showing me some stuff, and he WAS pretty good. However, he immediately assumed a position of being a bass badass who was better than me and who was kicking down stuff to little ol' me. This is of course, quite silly. He had no idea where I was at musically, and the fact of the matter was that I had at least comparable skills; in fact, I was apparently more advanced than he in at least certain aspects of musicality. But, not being an "ego freak" as he appeared to be, I humbly watched/listened as he demonstrated some stuff and lectured me for a while. Finally, while there was a brief pause in his pontificating, my drummer friend squeezed in "Mark is actually pretty good too, you should see his bass, it's the most amazing bass I've ever seen. Mark, go get your bass so he can see it." (We lived in the same apartment complex).

He immediately said he didn't have the time to wait, and I had no interest in persuading him, but my friend wanted him to see it, and told him it would only take a minute. Begrudgingly, he asked what kind of bass it was, and I told him it was a custom 8-string Alembic. He knew what Alembics were, so at this point, he became curious, but asked, with an air of skepticism, why I'd have an octave bass for a main bass; and I replied that it wasn't an octave bass, but had 8 strings tuned in 4ths. He responded that Alembic had never made such an instrument. This was pretty silly, as it (1) implied Alembic-omniscience, and (2) assuming I (and our friend) wasn't lying, the fact that it did exist and I owned it and had it 50 feet away sort of meant that it DID exist.

So I ran up and got it, whipped it out, and started playing some of my very best stuff at blazing speed just to blatently send the message "YOU'RE not the only one out there who can play, bub!" After ripping through an original counterpoint piece and a Paganni arrangement/transcription, it was funny how he instantly become befuddled and silent, totally snuffed.

After a brief pause, he regained his previous posture and said, with the slightest air of condescension and vindicated skepticism, "I thought you said it was an 8-string."

So I then paused for a moment, made eye contact and raised both my eyebrows, and then pointed to the headstock and tuning pegs, and counted 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8! He stammered a few semi-gurgling sounds, and then, clearly embarrassed and in denial, again asserted he had to go, and ran off!

It was pretty funny, the whole air of superiority he had had, contrasting with my combination of humbleness coupled with reality being on my side. He basically knocked the wind out of his own sails (all on his own) and it was really funny. As he was walking away, I said I enjoyed meeting him and seeing his techniques (which was completely true), and then he tried to save face by making some reference to the Series 1 basses with the CVQs, and I told him that it was actually the series II basses that had the CVQs. He stopped (despite being in a hurry) and told me that he was an expert on basses and on Alembics and again said that the CVQs were on the Series 1 basses, and I told him that nonetheless he was wrong, I knew it for a fact, and that I'd be willing to bet my bass against his. After a few seconds of "facing down", he relented, and then asserted something to the effect of "whoops, that's what I meant to say all along." LOL

Anyway, some time after that, my drummer friend intimated to me that "I had intimidated and humiliated him." Hah! I replied that I just did my thing as he had, and that his attitude and demeanor was the source of his humiliation, not anything I did or said. And my friend said "I think you're right. He's just not used to anything like that."

I said, "better late than never!"
richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 540
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 7:29 pm:   Edit Post

Good for you, taking the high road and letting him kick himself in the ego.
Rich
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 557
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 7:35 pm:   Edit Post

I just LOVE the part about ALEMBIC never having made one and it's actually in the next room! If ONLY this was on video to see this nitwit sew himself up in his own BS . . . King, you've made my day!!

It's funny as I've had a couple of these run-ins with some who didn't know about my 'Olympic' bass.

Last time I was in SamAsh to buy strings, the cat saw what I was buying and put the move on me to show me some basses. OK, he's just trying to make a living and that's fine, but I finally told him I just didn't see anything like I was used to. 'So what are you used to?' 'My ALEMBIC.'
'Oh . . . .'

One of the few times I EVER let someone sit in on the BigRedBass, a session/Opry-regular friend of mine showed up at the gig. 'So THAT's it?' 'We ONLY use Fenders on the dates . . ' But I could just HEAR the wheels turning and he was staring a hole through it. Remember, the standard practice around here is for your bass' action to be jacked WAY up 'so it won't buzz in the studio' and passive pickups. And most people have never seen an ALEMBIC in the flesh.

But he's a smart guy, good player, good ears. So I let him play 4 or 5 tunes. You guys know how my axes are set up, the pickups and the amp sounded like a million, and he was just DIGGIN' it! Later I hear he talks about it like it was just the living end, his basses are all just crummy, he needs an amp like me. I'd laugh a little more about it, except that's exactly what happened to me!

J o e y
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 623
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 7:51 pm:   Edit Post

Joey,

I used to do sessions in Nashville on the Series I (and a fretless jazz and a G&L L-1000, among others), and yes, people didn't like it until they heard it. Lots of closed minds and pre-conceived notions in that town...

John
applejuice
New
Username: applejuice

Post Number: 2
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 6:42 am:   Edit Post

This type of thing happens to me alot. This one guy was convinced he was the best drummer in the world. I didn't say anything to him. I got on the drums and made him look like an idiot in front of 60 people. He was so mad he punched me.
- Joe
richbass939
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 546
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 9:52 am:   Edit Post

AJ Joe, welcome to the club. You probably don't still hurt where he hit you but I bet he can still feel getting his butt handed to him.
Rich
j_gary
Intermediate Member
Username: j_gary

Post Number: 174
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 8:07 am:   Edit Post

Hi Joe, sounds like he made himself look like an idiot. Pardon me ladies, my thought is, if he can't properly hit a skin, he most likely hit like a girl. You alright?

Dare I ask, Applejuice? (great name for a drummer)
applejuice
New
Username: applejuice

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2006 - 6:13 pm:   Edit Post

Electric Apple Juice is the name of my band. I play bass in that band at least until we can find another. I can play drums extremely well and I have been playing for 8 years. I also play guitar, which is my favorite of the three.
Anyway, despite his lack of skill as a musician, he was pretty strong. My friends were in JROTC with him and he could do an incredible amount of push ups and pull ups. - Joe
terryc
Junior
Username: terryc

Post Number: 36
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post

Loved the long story...there are some right a***holes in this world who never get the facts right.
I have a friend who always goes on about his bloody F Jazz bass and how all the great players use them and insists on asking me 'have I still got the coffee table' as he calls my MK Standard.
Well one day he came to me and said he was doing some studio work and would like to borrow the Alembic..I think it was to show face as he was going to work with some high end musicians SO I faced him him and told him that he is always blagging my bass off and if your F Jazz is so damn good use that.
I didn't buy an Alembic to show off, I have always wanted one since I saw Stan Clarke use one, I waited over 20 years to get mine and it was second hand, if these people are so jealous then they should sell all there Fenders etc and buy one otherwise just shut up and leave us all alone.
keavin
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 611
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post

Coffee Table!!! that's funny cause mine has been called the "walnut head board",,,,, well all i can say is keep banging the sh*t out of it!!!!!
terryc
Junior
Username: terryc

Post Number: 37
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 8:12 am:   Edit Post

keavin...u in UK or just up very early in the USA
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1641
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

Alembic's site uses PST (Pacific Std. Time) for it's clock, so it appears many of us are earlier risers than is actually the case.
kmh364
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1642
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post

Personally, I really could care less what anyone else thinks of my Alembics.

There may be better instruments out there (although you'd really have to go some to find 'em), and there are certainly better players out there than me...so what?

I think Alembics are the cat's *ss and they totaly impress the sh*t out of the intended audience...ME! LOL!

Whether anyone else plays them or Brand X or whatever is of little consequence. Personally, I'd rather have one Alembic than a room full of anything else.

Just my $0.02

Cheers,

Kevin
alembic76407
Senior Member
Username: alembic76407

Post Number: 428
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 - 2:00 pm:   Edit Post

Kevin, I'd do you one better,
if I had to get rid of my Alembic's, I'd just quit playing

David T
terryc
Junior
Username: terryc

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 5:48 am:   Edit Post

If I had the money there would be no other choice than Alembic..once you have had the best anything else is a let down.
Having said that I suppose Fender basses still give a lot for decent money..I know there are a few on the forum that criticise Fenders but they still do there job and Leo did get the ball rolling initially.
alembic76407
Senior Member
Username: alembic76407

Post Number: 429
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post

Henry Ford got the car thing rolling, but I still do not drive a Ford, Im a Porsche man
rockbassist
Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 60
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post

Since I'm the one who started this thread I figured I should continue with another recent story involving the ignorance another so-called musician. I recently auditioned a drummer for a recording project I am working on. When he saw my Epic he started asking questions. I told him about Alembic,how they are made, the prices of various models, etc. At one point he said, "but what makes a bass worth that kind of money, why is an Alembic more expensive than a Fender, Ibanez, and Yamaha". I then asked why a DW drum set cost more than a CB700. He said "well it's much better quality, different manterials and much better sound". So I said and the same thing applies to basses or any other instrument. He said "yeah, but it's just a bass." So I responded with "and I suppose a drum is just something you hit with a stick?" I obviously did not hire him.
jlpicard
Advanced Member
Username: jlpicard

Post Number: 349
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 12:11 am:   Edit Post

I'm continually amazed at how an indistinct, rumbling fart of a low note is good enough for most people!

(Message edited by jlpicard on February 05, 2006)
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 944
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 8:31 am:   Edit Post

Isn't a drum just something you hit with a stick? nyuk, nyuk. Then again, I am recalling other uses, like the drummer in a country/country rock band I was in called the "Half Fast Band" - ("We're not slow, we're not fast, we're half fast" - try saying it out loud). He had a floor tom that he literally NEVER hit. It's entire purpose was to serve as a stand for his beer! True story!

Bill, tgo
applejuice
Junior
Username: applejuice

Post Number: 11
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 9:21 am:   Edit Post

The percussion professor at Northwestern state university in Louisiana uses the yamaha floor toms as trash cans.
tom_z
Advanced Member
Username: tom_z

Post Number: 283
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post

Bill - that's hilarious - I'm still chuckling.
=D

Tom
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3154
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 8:55 am:   Edit Post

Joe; I'm guessing he doesn't think highly of Yamaha drums! But I guess they would make for an attractive adjustable height trash can. <g> Hmm .. maybe a small rack mount tom would be nice for the bathroom.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 962
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 7:36 am:   Edit Post

I was in New York this week and yesterday, before heading to the airport for my return flight, I checked out a small guitar store in White Plains called "Toys from the Attic" (they sell on eBay every so often.). While I'm there a guy comes in with a bass case and starts talking to the young guy behind the counter. I'm sort of hearing their conversation but not really paying attention. The guy with the bass is telling the store guy that the Blue Book has the MSRP of his bass way too low. As I'm approaching the counter, the store guy says that the bass isn't even listed in the Blue Book and shows it to the guy with the bass, who then says "It's spelled with an "A", not with an "O". This caught my ear as it sounded way too familiar. I asked him what he had in the case. Guess what? It wasn't an "Olympic"! He had an Excel. He said it was his favorite bass but he didn't know much about Alembics. I, of course, steered him to this site.

Bill, tgo
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3191
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 7:10 am:   Edit Post

Cool!

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration