Case Badges: A Nancy Clueless Mystery

Nancy Clueless in the Case of Mysteriously Appearing Vintage Case Badges

The other day I decided that I needed to clean up a bunch of boxes that were still packed with stuff from my studio. They were full of things that had been in a desk that the restoration company emptied out on December 31, 2010: the day our hot water broke at our old house.

Among the treasures I found in these boxes were all my saxophone ensemble scores, boxes of reed rush, percussion instruments like shakers, and this rather eclectic set of case badges…

case badges, musical instrument case badges, Olds, Yamaha, Buescher, Artley, King, Evette by Buffet, Bundy, Getzen,

But just where did these badges come from? Now I do know that I had a Bundy tenor sax at some point in time. I think my parents rented it for me in grade 8. It was the first tenor saxophone that I played.

My King Super 20 case—that I still own, although the horn is long gone—still has its case badge. So I don’t know where the two King badges came from.

IIRC, that weird, shield-shaped logo in the left lower corner is from an Armstrong alto that I briefly had in my possession (rented? owned?), before I got the Mark VI that I still have.

The Artley case badge is from my Bb soprano clarinet. Yes, I still own it as well, and its case is sans badge.

However, since I’ve never owned any Olds, Buescher, Yamaha, King Cleveland, Evette, or Getzen horns, where the rest of these case badges came from is a real mystery to me. They were all in a vintage, German tobacco tin that was carefully lined with paper towel. :wtf:

During the course of our lives we end up collecting the weirdest of things. We put them away thinking that at some point we will use them for something, but then we forget that we even have them. Fast forward a decade or two, and we suddenly come these treasures again. Then we ask ourselves: Where did this come from? Why do I have it?

Meanwhile, back at the farm… If I was like some of the clowns on eBay, I’d put them on the auction site and try to sell them for $500 for the lot. Hey, if people can try to sell empty Rico brown boxes for crazy-ass amounts of cash, why shouldn’t I try to cash in? My baby might need new shoes too.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Christmas Snow Globe: Just How Kitschy Is It?

Yesterday afternoon we spent a couple of hours putting up Christmas decorations in the house. As I was digging through the bankers boxes that contained all our various lights, bulbs, ornaments, and knick-knacks, I happened across the kitschiest saxophone collectible I have: a Christmas snow globe.

Christmas snow globe, musical snow globe, saxophone and trumpet in snow globe, poinsettia, ribbon, gold

While I realize taste is purely a personal one—and I have been accused of having my taste entirely in my mouth  :clown:     —and some of you might find this rather appealing; I do not. My tastes run more along the lines of the animated Coca Cola bear and M&M guy…

animiated blue M&M guy playing sax, animiated Coca Cola bear playing sax, Christmas tree, animated Christmas figures playing sax
Photo by H. Kahlke © 2014

Are they kitschy? Maybe. Maybe not. It all depends on your perspective and tastes I guess. Hey, but these guys rock out on real saxophone sounds when they play their Christmas tunes and tap their toes, or gyrate around. (I also have a sax-playing Santa who gyrates on Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, but you get the idea…)

My love of all things furry likely explains my lack of love for this cold, water-filled, poinsettia-covered, glass ball with resin bass. Oh, did I mention that it also contains a music box? It plays the chorus of Silver Bells in that tinkle, tinkle kind of way… You know, the way music boxes do. And yes, when you shake it snow flakes fly around the water-encased saxophone and trumpet.

Christmas snow globe, musical snow globe, saxophone and trumpet in snow globe, poinsettia, ribbon, gold

I was given this as a gift a few years ago, but truth be told I have never put it out. The friend who gave it to me told me that if I didn’t like it, I should give it away. She had picked it up in a charity shop somewhere. This snow globe looks brand new. I suspect the last person who had it never put it out either.

kitsch, kitsch scale, The Bassic Sax Illustrated Kitsch ScaleBased on the Bassic Sax Illustrated Kitsch Scale, I find this Christmas snow globe a bit hard to classify. It doesn’t quite make the Extreme Kitsch grade, since: 1. It isn’t made of plastic, and 2. I can’t think of anyone, personally, in a large city who would use this to decorate their condo.

Therefore, I would place this Christmas snow globe into the Ordinary Kitsch category. That said, give it a few years and this little sax snow globe might be hipishly trendy enough to make the Extreme Kitsch category, as its kind finds its way into the holiday decorating schemes of the young and trendy urban dwellers.

Christmas snow globe, musical snow globe, saxophone and trumpet in snow globe, poinsettia, ribbon, gold

I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours. ;)    What’s the kitschiest Christmas decoration that you have. (It doesn’t have to be saxophone related.)

Upload a photo or two in the comments section of this article, and let’s see who has the best kitsch among us. Come on, it’s Christmas. I’d be willing to bet that we all have at least one piece of Christmas kitsch.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

It’s All About The Bass…

Yesterday was indeed all about the bass, as I spent the afternoon in my studio seriously working on my bass sax playing for the first time in what seemed like years. Since I am currently not using my Buescher in a band, I have not been actively practicing it.

For the next few weeks that will change however, as I get ready for my February 6 performance during which I will be demonstrating a number of the horns in my vintage saxophone collection. Fortunately I had had my tech adjust the bass for me this past summer, and it still plays like a dream. David had never done any work on the Buescher for me before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. He did an amazing job though, and the bass plays like it never has for me before.

bass saxophone, Buescher bass sax, vintage sax, all about the bass, sax in sax stand, HDR photographyMy 1922 Buescher True Tone bass (# 80XXX), in its fully adjustable stand by Andreas Kaling, sporting a Geo Bundy 3 bass saxophone mouthpiece

Yesterday my all about the bass afternoon was spent trying to find the perfect piece of music to perform. ATM I’m leaning towards an original composition written by a Louisiana bass saxophone player by the name of Wayne Shell.

I met Wayne when I flew down to New Orleans to pick up my Buescher from Paul Coats. Wayne and Paul are friends, as well as musical colleagues, and both men gave me quite a bit of bass saxophone music.

The particular piece I’m thinking of doing was originally written as an unaccompanied bass sax solo, in traditional jazz (hot jazz) style. I’ll likely put the drums behind it though, but have the keys sit out.

I did say it’s all about the bass, and not All About That Bass

Sometimes I can’t help myself, and the pop culture references just flow out of me—especially when they contain saxophones.

Yes, today’s article title was a play on words referencing a pop song that just a few weeks ago was the #1 hit song in the world. Meghan Trainor’s, All About That Bass, “has topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in other countries”.1

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few months, and/or not listened to a car radio since before the summer, you will likely have heard this 1950s/60s retro-sounding song, with its typical R&B baritone line. As of today the song is #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.


1 Source: All About That Bass Wikipedia page

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!