Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Mike Watt Experience...

Let me just do a run down of how my night went.

I arrived at the parking lot of the Granada and spotted Mike Watt's tour van sitting alone in the lot. I parked next to it thinking I would get a photo of my FJ next to the van. As soon as I stepped out, Mike walked out from behind the van. I called to him and he came right over. I explained to him I was a long time fan and a bass player, too, and that I had an instrument I wanted him to see. He said yeah and I opened the back of the FJ and fumbled open the guitar case revealing the Bell Custom Guitars Ahu Bass. He picked it up immediately and started thumping away. I asked if I could get a photo and he said yes. I rummaged around and finally found my camera and snapped a couple of quick pics while he was playing sitting on the back of the FJ. I was thrilled, but not surprised. Mike has always been open and gracious. He looked it over a bit and commented on the quality and comfort, naming all of the components and specs like he built it himself.

We spoke about bass and touring for a while and not wanting to bother him anymore, I said have a good show. He said "I'm gonna play hard cause' I know there's a bass-man in the crowd."

I went around the front of the Granada and called the wife to tell her. She knew it meant alot to me and she was exstatic. I then walked to the Chevron station to get some cash and in walks Watt! He was getting some Tums for Tom W. (guitarist). Apparently the chicken from Granada's grill was unfriendly to him. We strolled back liesurely an conversed on a wide range of stuff including the recent passing of Stooges guitaist Ron Asherton. When we got back to the lot, he suggested I show the bass to Tom. I did and also gave him the Bell Custom Guitars spiel along with a business card. He was way cool, even with a rotting gut!

The show was great and Watt gave it 100%, as usual, playing new tunes, and some Minutemen. Afterwards while he was selling t-shirts and handing out stickers, he reccognized me and stopped down to hand over his "63 Gibson eb0! The folks around me were as stunned as I was and started taking pictures. Watt asked me if I could tell the difference between my "69 and his"63. I could tell the neck was wider at the nut and that the bass was lighter overall. It also had two Lindy Frailen guitar pickups! Crazyness. He confirmed my evaluation all while selling t-shirts. Turns out that one of the photographers was from Bass Player magazine and she wanted to know why he handed me his bass. I told her it was because I showed him the Ahu and invited her to photograph it. She did and asked if I wanted to hang backstage. I wanted to, but knew I had to rise in 5 hours and be a responsible parent, so I split.

Watt saw me as I was leaving the lot and leaned over with his hand and gave me the Jamaican fist handshake of respect and said '69 eb0.

This morning I saw Sammy Hagars' video "I can't drive 55."