Sixty-One today…

And still alive and kicking !  Well, not exactly kicking, as my arthritic knees may apparently also have a touch of gout  :(  I await the blood test results with interest, and just hope they didn’t test for leprosy as well :D  Just to cheer myself up here’s a quick blast of Spike Jones – Flight of the StumbleBee – which degenerates into the Laughing Song.

Throughout my formative years I thoroughly  enjoyed them and also our own home-grown Temperance Seven, Bob Kerrs Whoopee Band, and of course the Bonzo Dog DooDah Band – to name but a few !

So what’s new ?  I recently lost the bidding on an ebonite Lawton 8*BB tenor mouthpiece – I just wanted to try one against the metal 8*BB that I’ve  had for decades, but the prices are just plain silly.  But the good news is that I won the bidding on a rather curious Saxscape Downtown alto mouthpiece – big wedge baffle, and the fastest response I’ve ever found – only a #6, but paired with a Rico #2 reed it plays effortlessly, even up into the harmonics – here’s a  very quick sound-bite, while I practise on it for more adventurous sounds.  More edge than the Grim Reapers Sickle…  And bought from a man called Zoltan Sagi – bit of a memorable name is that…

This entry was posted in C Saxophones, Eb/Bb saxes, Humour & Techie, Mouthpieces. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Sixty-One today…

  1. Ross says:

    Happy Birthday Alan!
    I love the crispness of the alto clip!
    Gout is a downer – I wish I could blame the club port and not inheritance.
    However, the daily medication works really well with the back-up for those
    occasional flare-ups. Just add another tablet to the daily cocktail!
    And enjoy the birthday cheer.

    On the Temperance Seven – on their trip to Australia one of the members sold
    his contrabass sax to a musician in Canberra. To my knowledge it’s the only
    one in Aus.

  2. Lewis Pelham says:

    Happy birthday dear old thing.
    I used to think that age brings it’s rewards; but the older I become, the more I realise that I was wrong.
    Just off to visit my Mother who will be 103 next week; you have a long way to go yet….
    Zoltan Saqi sound the sort of chap who sells dodgy Uzis from a bar in Tunisia.
    The Saxscape sounds good…it is rapidly attaining the cult following enjoyed currently by RPC.
    Have a lovely day old thing and do not eat too much jelly & chocolate cake.

  3. Lewis Pelham says:

    My brother, in the late 50s, used to dep for the Temperance Seven on clarinet and Bass sax.
    I remember attending one of their rehearsals in the upstairs room of a pub in High Holborn. A wheezy old retainer had a full time job carrying trays of pints up to the rehearsal room…so much for the temperance bit!
    My brother had an old Buescher bass (probably the reason he was chosen to dep) which he bought for £30 and was delighted to sell, a few years later, for £50. I told him at the time that he should hang on to it. 😥

  4. alan says:

    The Saxscape alto mouthpiece is a bit of a challenge – it seems to be there before my thought process, listen to this ! It’s a bit out of control, not quite synchronised, jerky even 😯

    The response is literally instantaneous – I went back to an ebonite Berg and the Aquilasax/Yani metal, and (by comparison) there is the very slightest ‘lag’ in response with both of those – or maybe just the need for more push. With the Saxscape it’s instantly and effortlessly there – so I may need to speed up the brain and fingers, or go completely the other way and relax 😕

    I think the clarity of sound will make the exercise worthwhile tho’ – just need to find the depth of tone now. Scary !

    ( Please note that the latest version of the ’embedded’ audio player – it’s just been upgraded – requires Flash Player version 9 on your PC 😀 If it still works, you’re fine ! )

  5. Gandalfe says:

    Happy belated birthday Alan. Here’s hoping you spent it doing the things you are want to do with the people you luv.

    Jim & Suzy

  6. Mal-2 says:

    Looking back at their album covers, it looks like the Temperance Seven has long been an eight-man outfit. Is this some sort of deadpan joke, like Douglas Adams and his five-book trilogy?

  7. alan says:

    Mal – being a lazy individual ( or maybe just economical with effort ? ) I ‘Googled’ "Temperance Seven eight" – and this is part of the Wikipedia entry

    The Temperance Seven were founded at Christmas 1955, although it has been alleged they first "saw the light" in the Pasadena Cocoa Rooms, Ballspond Road, North London, in 1904. The three founder members were Paul McDowell who originally played trombone, Philip Harrison (originally played banjo) and Brian Innes. Gradually the band evolved into a nine-piece ensemble with a light-hearted and humorous performing style, although they were all serious musicians. The name "Temperance Seven" was a subtle play on words — the number seven being "one under the eight". That there were nine members or "one over the eight" implied intemperance.

    So they were really The Intemperate Nine… 😆

  8. JonF says:


    Belated birthday greetings. That Lawton ebonite 8** was mine – JonF is AKA Purpleparsnip, the seller (!) If I’d known you’d have wanted it, I’d have offered it to you first, but by the time I saw you bidding the auction was obviously well underway.  I was hardly playing it, as although it’s a belter, it doesn’t have, in my gob at least, the guts my Guardala King has.


  9. Lewis Pelham says:

    I think that the line up of the Temperance Seven was dependant upon those who were sufficiently sober on the night of the gig!

  10. alan says:

    Jon – the desire for the ebonite Lawton of yours was pure GAS – amazing when you consider I paid way under £30 (new) for my 8*BB metal one from Bill Lewington, when they were still in that amazing shop in London.  I just wanted to try your ebonite one on a C-Mel, as my metal 8*BB (it’s gold plate, but don’t know what the underlying metal is…) is just that little bit too bright for personal playing, although perfect when I need to be heard in company ! 👿

    Glad you got a good price, and I think it stayed this side of the Atlantic, gone to Germany ?

  11. JonF says:

    Alan, the ebonite 8*BB was really bright. Brighter than my Guardala King, which is supposed to be very bright, so it would probably also have been a bit much on the C Mel. It is indeed on its way to Germany.

    I have kept my Lawton 7, which I’ve had for years. Paid a bit more than you did for yours, the pricely sum of £45, also brand new.

    My current mouthpiece of choice on my C Mel is a Rico Metalite M5. Chopped the end off so it can go on enough without fouling the microtuner. It rocks!

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