[Dixielandjazz] Fwd: Harry Gold
gary at kiser.org
Fri Dec 2 17:37:02 PST 2005
Harry was pure fun. When I was on the steering committee for the Los
Angeles Classic in '86, we had his fine band on the line-up. My radio
cohort, John McNally, and I got the idea of putting together a
octogenarian band. I first talked with Harry, Rosy McHargue and Wild
Bill (all on that year's roster) if they were up to the idea. With
their green light, I organized 2 sets with a band I called "Still Going
Rosy McHargue - C melody sax
Wild Bill Davison - cornet
Harry Gold - behemoth sax
Spiegle Willcox - trombone
Paul Mertz - piano
Tommy Hearne - banjo
and, my aging skull can't remember who I booked on bass and drums
Bernard Carrera on bass and Gabriel --- on drums maybe. If anyone has
photos of these sets, I'd LOVE copies.
I enjoyed the sets, however, I heard many gripes that the group was just
a bunch of old men with instruments. Personally, I disagreed. I had a
kick hanging with these guys for the weekend. They would compare notes
of events waaaaay before I was born. They discussed/argued the music
business, recording, women, booze, and more. I regret there was no
"making of..." video made because the off stage banter was precious.
Harry's big thing was he wanted me to take him to a supermarket. Yes, a
supermarket. He wanted to compare notes with what was on the shelves
back home. He ended up buying a bunch of stuff to take back as gifts.
To my knowledge, he never visited a regular gift shop. He was more
interested in cookies, crackers and canned goods.
We exchanged post cards for several years afterwards, but, that
dwindled. I regret that I never looked him up since I have been in
France. That said, in the 15 years that I have been over here, I have
only been to England one time. They talk funny over there.
Away from Harry, I had a B-L-A-S-T with Spiegle. It was his first
appearance on the West Coast in 25 years. At first, he asked much more
money than the festival would pay. Margaret Teagarden grilled me
publicly for wanting to bring a has-been out west for above all-star
pay. A week after I gave Spiegle the bad news that his conditions were
refused, he called me back to accept standard all-star pay.
From the numerous invitations out west that followed showed that my
ideas weren't that bad after all. Weird, I was completely left behind
on all Spiegle tributes after he left us.
Anyway, Spiegle stayed at my little apartment on 3rd street in Santa
Monica for about a week and we had a ball. I'd get him over to Rosy's
and I'd just listen to them go over the ol' times. Again, I am an idiot
for not recording these conversations.
If anyone thinks that Rosy was a flirt, then they never met Spiegle. I
took Spiegle to several local (sometimes dive) restaurants (that's what
he wanted) and no waitress was safe. Oh, he was harmless to the girls,
but I'm sure if he was 'that kind of guy,' he would have 'won' a couple
with his charm even at his age. I took both Rosy and Spiegle to the
'50's Café' (I think that is what it was called on Lincoln in Venice)
and the two had a field day with the waitresses in their 50's style
skirts. There were four marriage proposals that meal.
I hope Harry finds his friends in that great jazz band in the stars.
All the best, Gary
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