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The ASCAP/BMI Man Cometh

13 Jun

  We were having drinks with some friends last night and discussing some of the comments we’ve gotten on my recent blogs, and the topic of ASCAP/BMI payments came up…..a couple of people around the table didn’t think they ought to have to pay to play recorded music in their restaurant or for the music […]

Salary Entitlement for Musicians?

09 Jun

I read an interesting article the other day (at about the plight of the musicians in the Minnesota Orchestra……now as a matter of full disclosure, I want to state for the record that I am all in favor or musicians making as much money as possible, as this is in the best financial interest […]

The Five Dollar Cover Charge

07 Jun

I was talking with some friends recently, and it came up in the conversation that during the 70’s, you could hear a pretty good local band at a neighborhood bar for a five dollar cover charge. The club owner, of course, collected the cover charge and used it to offset the fee charged by the […]

Mk VI Production Variations

06 Jun

The MK VI horns were built entirely without blueprints and underwent considerable evolution over the production run. The employees simply remembered what to do and made changes as they saw fit. There was not a huge amount of difference between the French assembled and Elkhart assembled horns. Most of the differences were cosmetic. Here are […]

Jazz Education? Are You Kidding Me?

06 Jun

I live in a city with two significant Jazz Studies programs at major universities, and have customers and friends who are either faculty members or students at major Jazz Studies programs at universities around the world. I’m often brought in to lecture at these programs, and I think I am as familiar as anyone with […]

Ebay HATES Saxophone Sellers

06 Jun

The recent policy changes at eBay have made a bad situation worse if you’re a seller. If you allow returns, you must now give buyers 14 days! You must also give refunds only as cash refunds or exchanges, no merchandise credits. Couple this with all the other eBay BS such as no feedback for buyers, […]

Every Saxophone Player Is A Small Business Owner

06 Jun

Over the last couple of days there has been a rather vigorous and often quite heated discussion on one of the saxophone related groups I’m a member of on the subject of changes in the music industry and how it affects employment opportunities for musicians…..and of course, since it was a saxophone related group, how […]

The Shipping Dilemma

06 Jun

I was having an email conversation this morning with an absolutely world class prick from New Zealand who objected to the shipping costs as too high……stating that he could get shipping services for far less…..well, maybe he’s right. We ship small packages via USPS World Express Mail. We do so because (1) we get a […]

Saxophone Lies: Put Up Or Shut Up

06 Jun

First, as a matter of full disclosure, I want to make it very clear that I do not believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus. None of these entities exist, and nobody has ever been able to offer any conclusive proof to the contrary. Unfortunately, the saxophone world is filled with […]

The $25,000 saxophone……

06 Jun

I got a call from a guy I used to play with years ago over the weekend. He said he was letting me know that he was willing to sell his old Selmer for “only $25,000”……uh, yeah…. Seriously, boys and girls, do any of you actually have first hand knowledge of any 60 year old […]

Could we please have some standards?

06 Jun

As you know, our company manufactures and sells (among other things) saxophone mouthpieces and synthetic saxophone reeds. In the course of talking with customers in an attempt to assist them with their purchase, I have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of standardization in the saxophone accessory business. We recently published a reed strength comparison […]

Truth Saxophone Advertising, Please!

06 Jun

Every business day it is my pleasure and honor to speak with several potential saxophone buyers who have expressed an interest in our instruments and who have questions about them. Invariably, I am asked to compare and contrast our saxophones with other brands on the market, and I am always happy to do so. I’m […]

Must-Have Saxophone Tools

06 Jun

Anybody who has ever visited my repair shop knows that I’m a sucker for tools…..if there’s a saxophone repair tool that exists on this planet that I don’t have, it’s most likely because I didn’t know it existed. Seriously, boys and girls….you can’t do a world class job of repairing saxophones if you don’t have […]

Stuff They Don’t Teach You At Music School

06 Jun

I am rapidly approaching the 50th anniversary of my first gig where I was paid for playing the saxophone. Over the years, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and hopefully I’ve learned a little bit from at least some of them. Here are a few tips, based on my experience, which will help keep you working. […]

Be Proactive About Safe Sax When Travelling

06 Jun

I often tell people that I’ve been to every continent except Antarctica with a saxophone (a true fact), and this has taught be a lot of do’s and don’ts about traveling with a horn. I’ve also been in the saxophone repair business since right after the Earth cooled, and have learned a thing or two […]

The Golden Age Of Saxophones Is Now!

06 Jun

    I used to work at a music store where the owner (a very funny guy) used to talk about the “big saxophone scare of the 1920’s” when virtually every home had at least one saxophone and American instrument factories were straining to meet demand. We’re still living with the remnants of this big […]

Every Musician An Exterminator

06 Jun

It happened again recently: a musician leaving a gig at a Frenchman Street club late at night was robbed at gun point of cash, a cell phone, and other belongings. Fortunately, in this particular instance, his instruments were not taken in the robbery, so he can continue to work. This is an all to frequent […]

What’s The Musician’s Union Good For?

06 Jun

Before I begin this rant, as a matter of full disclosure you need to know that I am a member in good standing of Local 174 of the American Federation of Musicians AKA “the musician’s union” and that I first joined the Federation (Local 733) in 1966 (I was required to do so because I […]

Does Your Repair Technician Check Your Mouthpiece?

04 Jun

  If you take your horn to the repair shop because “it’s just not playing like it should” and there is no obvious problem, then maybe, just maybe, the problem lies with your mouthpiece, and I’m pretty much willing to bet you lunch anywhere in New Orleans (and we do have some DANDY spots to […]

How The Musicians Union Blew It

02 Jun

As a matter of full disclosure, I’ve been a member of the AFM since 1966, and have served as a member of a local board of directors, been to several national conventions and regional conferences, and in the 1980′s was a full time, salaried employee, working as business agent for my home local….. I’m currently […]

Could I Get A Copy Of Your Vintage Horn Inventory?

02 Jun

I get asked this question practically every day. True enough, at a point in the past our company did in fact drink the Kool Aid and sold vintage horns, and true enough, when I was an active professional player, I also drank the Kool Aid and used them, thinking they were somehow superior. In addition, […]

The Mk VI: What’s The Mystique Really About?

02 Jun

I’m sure that the saxophone world was in an absolute state of shock when the Mk VI was introduced in 1954. Here was an instrument that was light years ahead of anything else available up to that time, both in terms of sound and in terms of ergonomics. There was nothing else available on the […]

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