[Dixielandjazz] (no subject)

BFBASS at aol.com BFBASS at aol.com
Sun Oct 16 18:07:27 PDT 2005

In 1978 I toured Poland and played their big trad jazz festival with 
Cottonmouth D'arcy's Jazz Vipers. Our trip was payed by Shakey Johnson of Shakey's 
Pizza Parlor fame. He accompanied us and was a much bigger hit than the band. 
Here was an honest to God capitalist that people could see in person. He was a 
big man, close to 300 lbs and had white muttonchops. He bought a very expensive 
fox fur hat and when he walked down the street heads turned. The night of the 
big concert in Congress Hall he was seated in a box near the stage. They 
introduced him, he stood up, the spotlight hit him and he got a standing ovation. 
Later I married a lady from Warsaw and I lived there a time while it was still 
communist. Incedently fellow bass players "eat your hearts out". I bought a 
carved bass for $35.00 USA. Of couse at the time that was a working musicians 
month's salary.Steve Barbone is right. Things have changed. Under communism 
young people like jazz because even though the "party" supported the arts jazz was 
rather frowned on and this was a mild way to protest the politics. LIfe was 
hard for a musician. I stood in line one time for three and one half hours to 
buy three bottles of vodka. At the time Willis (sp?) Conover was the most 
famous American in Poland because of his Voice of America broadcasts. Now the 
commercial jazz clubs are gone and the young people are more into rock but happily 
there still is a vestige of jazz left there.

Bob Finch, Chicago Six

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