Bassic Sax On The Move Again

vintage airplane clipart, on the move again,It seems like just yesterday that my website went crash boom bang, and had to be moved to a new hosting company. It was in fact December 2012, and since that time I have been for the most part very happy with my hosting company. The only thing I didn’t like was their server interface.

Ever since I’ve had a website—since 2000—I’ve been used to CPanel, but moving to GoDaddy in 2012, had me suddenly struggle with their proprietary back-end interface from hell. Well no more. GoDaddy finally has CPanel, but the problem is that this requires my website to move from one server to another.

On the move again, I can’t wait to be on the move again… OK, that’s a lie…

If everything goes according to plan, this weekend I will be getting the tech help I need to move the various bits and pieces that make up to its new home. Then once everything is working the way it is supposed to be, everything will be re-directed to the new server—which also happens to be much faster.

whack-a-mole-07Some of you might have noticed that over the past couple of days parts of my site have been in maintenance mode when you have tried to access it. That’s because I have been busily updating various software pieces.

Most of that is done now, but it seems like every time I finish updating to the newest version of everything, I get notifications that a new something or another is available again. It’s pretty much like playing whack a mole.

Although over the past few years I have become pretty comfortable maintaining the enormous entity that has become, there are still lots of things that are above my pay grade. Moving all the various components of the site from one server to another pretty much tops the list of things that are not in my wheelhouse. Luckily I have a friend and colleague who will assist me in that regard.

In conclusion then…

Please bear with us as is on the move again over the next little while. Once the move is completed, the site should be operating faster, and more reliably… So GoDaddy tells me anyway…

If nothing else, I’ll be able to access the server and do database maintenance much easier. ATM I can’t do that, since I can’t seem to get to same place twice using their proprietary back-end interface from hell. :evil:

…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!

Long Weekend Mayhem

Today is Victoria Day. Besides being the official day that Canada celebrates the Queen’s birthday, it is also the last day of a long weekend.

What’s special about this long weekend is that it is the first long weekend of the summer season. And while we here on the West Coast traditionally see lots of rain on the Victoria Day long weekend, this year that’s not the case. We’re actually enjoying sunny temperatures in the low 20s C—that’s the low 70s F for my American friends.

Now there are a couple of things you can count on over long weekends: packed campgrounds and stupid-ass driving. Driving has become such an issue that the news media always starts off the weekend by warning drivers that on average over 400 people will be injured, and two will be killed over the Victoria Day long weekend here in British Columbia.

car flipped over a cliff, clip art, long weekend car accidents, By the time suppertime had rolled around on Friday, our Victoria Day long weekend average of two fatalities had already been achieved.

Given the driving I saw on my 90+ minutes to and from the dentist on Friday afternoon, this didn’t surprise me.

The Transcanada Highway was littered with three accidents in the Abbotsford area (one of these had been a fatal), so the traffic radio was telling drivers to take the Lougheed Highway instead. This left lots of drivers stuck in slow-moving traffic on a single lane highway not intended to accommodate that level of traffic volume. My trip back from my dentist in Maple Ridge should have taken me 35 minutes, but instead took over an hour.

Since the summer is just getting started, and the temperature is not even close to where it’s going to be in July and August, how about everyone chill a bit. I’m sure no one wants to get injured or die in a car wreck. I can tell you first hand, it is not a pretty sight.

Speeding, lane jumping, tail gating, driving like an ass-h#$!, none of these things are going to get you to your campground site any sooner than if you drive the speed limit. Don’t believe me?

If you have a GPS you can see it for yourself. At best you can shave a few minutes off your trip. Are those few minutes worth risking your life for? How about the lives of those riding in the vehicle with you… Never mind those innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when your vehicle hits them.

Today most people will be coming back from their long weekend away. Let’s hope that everyone drives a little more sanely than they did going. Otherwise our mortality and morbidity rates will be skewed for years to come.

…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!

Vintage American Saxophones

Two vintage American saxophones get the star treatment

Over the last few days I have been quite busy taking photos and keeping both my Machinery and Photoshop skills refreshed. Over the weekend I took bunches of photos of two very interesting horns: one mine, the other belongs to a friend’s family. Let’s start with the one that isn’t mine, because it’s the one that I think is more interesting.

Buescher True Tone Alto

vintage American saxophone, alto sax, Buescher True Tone saxophone, silver sax, vintage accesories,

On the surface this Buescher True Tone alto might be considered rather boring. A quick look on eBay and you’ll likely find boat-loads of them for sale in a wide variety of conditions. What makes this #193XXX silver-plated alto interesting to me however, is its history.

So many times we see these vintage American saxophones, but don’t have a clue about their history. In this case its history is known, and that’s what I think is rather interesting.

My friend’s grandmother bought this horn new. (The horn is circa 1925-26). She then played it all her life. The horn has been with my friend’s dad for a while. He is not a sax player, and since the horn hasn’t been used for years, it has fallen into disrepair.

Its need of an overhaul not withstanding, this horn is quite good condition. It hasn’t sustained any real damage in it’s 90 year history. The only obvious sign of repair is the neck fastening screw that has been replaced with a Canadian dime. That dime is bent, which makes it hard to fasten the neck properly.

A number of the original accessories are still with this horn, and some other interesting old items—like the Martin Fréres Hand Made Reeds from Paris, France—provide an even more historical context for this saxophone.

You can find all the photos that I took of this family heirloom in the Buescher True Tone gallery on Bassic Sax Pix.

The second vintage American saxophone that I took a lot of photos of last weekend was my recently overhauled curved soprano.

Pan American Curved Soprano

vintage American saxophone, curved soprano sax, silver sax, Pan American saxophone, Conn, gold wash bell

I bought this horn 15 years ago from Gayle at At the time she offered to overhaul it for me before I got it, but to make a long story short, I didn’t have time to get it done. It played fine the way it was, and I used it for a number of years in a Latin band, and then later in a blues band. Finally, about 5 years ago, this little guy gave up the ghost, and would no longer play without its long-overdue overhaul.

Not really being a small horn player, I put my curvy in storage and used my Mark VI on those rare occasions that required me to play soprano. Finally at the end of last year I had the opportunity to get it overhauled by Claudio Fantinato. Claudio did a fantastic job on this Pan American 62M. It plays amazingly well now. He put in black roo pads and stainless steel resos.

I can’t say enough good things about his work. If you live on Vancouver Island, you owe it to yourself and your horns to visit Claudio and have him work on your horns. If I lived there, he’d be the only tech working on my horns. No lie.

If you’d like to see the rest of the after-overhaul pics of my Pan American curvy, you can check them out on Bassic Sax Pix.

Vintage American or vintage European: The choice isn’t as clear as one might think

Although I am fascinated with German and French saxophones, and do love the ones that I have, vintage American saxophones are a different animal altogether. I own a number of them, and each of them is very different. Martin, Conn, Buescher, King, they’re different like night and day.

My favourite bari is my recently acquired Martin Committee III, which has relegated my Mark VI to backup horn. My main tenor is a King Zephyr, which too relegated a Mark VI to backup status. My main alto is a Conn 6M. My main soprano is the curvy shown above. My bass is a Buescher True Tone.

Just an interesting observation about the list of above: Not only are my primary horns all vintage American saxophones, they are all different brands. Mmm… I guess I really do like a lot of tonal variety in my life—as well as the challenges of be fluent on a wide variety of less than ergonomically friendly key work.  :saxy:   :saxplayer:   :sax:

…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!