Jaco, Trujillo and Me!

Robert Trujillo, John Bendy, Rawn Randall, Mike Bendy at Winter NAMM!

Robert Trujillo, John Bendty, Rawn Randall, Mike Bendy hamming it up at Winter NAMM!

(Editor’s Note : Happy Birthday wishes to Robert Trujillo’s – 10/23)

The story spans over 30 years and this is all true; Me, Jaco Pastorius and Robert Trujillo.

The first time I saw Jaco play live was at Avery Fisher Hall in New York in 1982. I would never quite be the same.

The last time I saw Jaco was at the 55 Bar on Christopher St in NYC in 1986.

I was taking lessons from guitarist Mark Barasch. My main teacher, Steve Logan was on on the road with David Sanborn. Steve recommended Mark thus placing me in his West Village apartment once a week not far from The 55 Bar.

55 BarOn this particular night I just finished a late lesson and thought I just pass by to see who was jamming. Yikes! it was Jaco playing in a trio setting. I have completely forgot the other musicians. It may have been Kenwood Dennard on drums and Hiram Bullock on guitar. I know Hiram because my teacher/sensei/guru Steve Logan played with Hiram as well. Come to think of it, it probably wasn’t Hiram because he would have been out on tour with Sanborn as well.

Here I was a few feet from one of my 2 bass heroes. (Yes, Stanley Clarke was the other.) I am up close and personal with Jaco and to my utter dismay he is playing through a combo amp with a blown speaker and not sounding like the Jaco I know.

On the break he went outside and as if if in some sort of surreal comic book now here I am speaking to my fallen idol. “Hey man, can you get me a better amp?”, he says. I didn’t know him and had never spoken with him before except maybe once on the West 4th St basketball courts. Now my mission was clearly laid out for me.

FIND JACO AN AMP!

jpastorius_1I ran back to Mark’s place. I just played through his Polytone Minibrute III, not great but it’ll get the job done. I run full speed the 5 or 6 blocks to Mark’s apartment. I ring the buzzer. There’s no answer. I ring again and recall Mark saying he had his own gig that night.

Now what…I think to myself – I’ll buy an amp from Matt Umanov Guitars (just a block away). This is for Jaco and I gotta save the day. It’s after 9pm and Matt is closed. I walk back to The 55 with my gig bag on my back.

I failed my mission. The cats are back inside jamming. Shamed, I can not go back inside.

Fast forward 6 or 7 years to 1992.

I’m living in LA and working for Mike Tobias, the greatest luthier on the planet. I meet one of our top endorsees, Robert Trujillo. He’s a super nice guy playing for Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves. I organized a series of clinics in the LA area with Rob and some of his band mates. These clinics are being held at various Guitar Centers. Well here we are at our first event in Lawndale and the boys start playing a grove that turns into a sixteenth note high speed barrage of noise. Much to my chagrin the predominantly male audience whips themselves into a frenzy and a mosh pit forms. Sweat forms on my brow as I imagine the 100s of thousands of dollars worth of damage that is about to ensue. (Please don’t mention ‘sue’!)

I stopped the performance and begged for order and narrowly escape the evening with my life and my job. I also fall in love with a Guitar Center lady who would break my heart 7 weeks later. But that’s a story for another blog.

Fast forward again to the Winter NAMM 2013 convention in Anaheim. Twenty plus years later and Mr Trujillo has gone on to work with Ozzy Osbourne and a little band you may have heard of called, Metallica. I hadn’t seen Rob since but here he comes with an entourage walking into the Osiamo Music Gear booth. We greet and catch as much as his many fans around him would allow. Then he says too me, “Do you want to play it?” I say, “play what?” Just then the very talented Osiamo endorsee bassist Mike Bendy appears with THE HOLY GRAIL! It’s Jaco’s bass. Rob had purchased it some years previous and now here it was being delicately placed in my unworthy hands.

How did it play?

Rawn Randall with Jaco's Bass, the Bass of Doom

Rawn Randall with the “BASS of DOOM’!

KC Music Grand Opening Party – a HUGE Success!

kcMusicStoreFront

Our newest dealer for Pickboy, Dr J and Mooer, KC Music, opened on October 4th with a big party, seven bands, prizes, guest appearances and so on. We asked the owner, Mark Ballard some questions about why he decided to get into MI retail.

You just opened a store so you must think the future of MI retailing is looking up.  Have you had experience working in MI retail? Would you share some of your thoughts with us?
I have never been in retail, not one second in my entire life – so I have no history to base my opinions on, just wild-eyed, naive enthusiasm. I have been told that I am insane to be be opening a B&M store period, but I believe I have a better idea. Once we get our store open and figure out a few more things we will begin lessons. We have five lesson rooms and lots of applicants for instructor positions. Our ace in the hole is our group/performance program that will commence in March once my non-compete contract is satisfied with School of Rock, LLC. At that point I am opening The KC Blues Academy, ,The KC Country Music Academy and KC Rock University, all  performance based programs that will maximize revenue. Individual lessons will be given in the store and group rehearsals will be held off-site because they are loud. The students’ discounted purchases will help the retail end survive the internet and GC who is opening a location about five miles away next year. I dislike them very much for the way they have treated friends of mine (former employees) and for the way they treated me during my 10 years at School of Rock

Why do you think Pickboy, Mooer and Dr J will do well at your store?
I am hoping that Mooer and Dr. J will be big sellers and I will be touting their compact, tru-bypass attributes and their affordability. Pickboy will be a snap to sell, I imagine I will be ordering more after Black Friday. Great stocking stuffers for the guitarist who things he or she has everything.

 

Biggest challenge for your KC Music for this year and beyond?
Our biggest challenge is making sure that *we never let down in terms of promotion and in-store events* (we have a cool stage, PA and backline permanently installed, we can also multi-track from the stage with a flip of a switch and a couple clicks on our computer) and seeking publicity opportunities. I am very good at this aspect of the business, so part of my focus will be there *every single day.*

Introducing Neal’s Weekend Deal

Neal Walter

Please welcome Neal Walter, the newest member of the Osiamo team.

For the past 5 years Neal has been the spokesperson for guitartricks.com, the internet’s first multimedia guitar lesson website.   If his face looks familiar, you may have seen one of his 150 guitar lesson videos on YouTube, or his marketing videos for Guitar Tricks, which have been viewed millions of times in over 250 countries.   If you’re our dealer you may have talked to Neal on the phone already.

We asked him what he had to say about the new job and this is what he said: “One thing I like about working for Osiamo is that there’s a heart and soul at the company.  Ed, Rawn, and Jeremy really care about customer service, they’re honest, loyal people who appreciate offering value to guitar and bass players.  Plus they’re just fun guys!  I’m happy to be able to add a guitar players point of view, as a consumer, and as a pro player.  I think it’s cool that everyone at Osiamo is a gigging musician and has been for years.

I like that Pickboy is made in Japan and it has been around since ’67.  Like Guitar Tricks, Pickboy is one of the originals,  and I feel like more guitar players need to know about them. “

Neal’s previous work, includes guitar lessons, product reviews, giveaways, NAMM coverage and interviews with Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Dweezil Zappa, Orianthi, Tony Levin, Paul Reed Smith and more.

Neal is based out of L.A., if you have a store in the area and would like Neal to stop by for a product demo or just to say “hi”,  let us know!  He’s already making the rounds and he’d like to meet you too!

Stay tuned here and to the Osiamo newsletter for the next wave of product videos, guitar tips and surprises from Neal.

In fact, here’s the first one:

Osiamo Dealer Spotlight : BestBassGear.com

MAXZAK

Managing Director Max Kay with Osiamo Endorsee Zak Loy of Alpha Rev. (look out for a feature on guitarist Zak Loy in a future blogisode)

I opened http://www.BestBassGear.com as dealer of Osiamo product in the 2012. After speaking with Max via vis the the phone for many months I finally got a chance to meet him at the 2013 Winner NAMM show. Max is a great luthier/builder/repair guy and bassist! as well I promised to buy him a beer but I’m pretty sure he paid for it. Max I owe you another beer! – rr

 

How long have you guys been in business?

11 Years.

What Osiamo product do you carry and why?

Taurus Abigar MultiDrive SLTaurus pedals
The Taurus overdrive is the richest, most harmonically pure I have ever heard. After hearing the demo I didn’t want to give the pedal back. All the Taurus pedals are phenomenal.

 

 

rockready ultrastrap 3.5

Ultrastrap
When I injured my left shoulder I could barley wear a bass until I got my Ultrastrap. My guitar player that has a bad back wanted to try it and he refused to gave it back, so I had to get another. The clever Neoprene and shock-banding construction make it the perfect prescription for a bad shoulder or back. It makes my bass feel 3 pounds lighter compared to a traditional bass strap.

(ed. note : now the Rockready Ultrastrap)

R.Cocco
RCocco strings are descendents of a string making family legacy in Italy that sold strings to Stradivarius, the greatest luthier of all time. String to string consistency is good and the sets are well balanced in tone, timbre, tension and feel.

What does the future hold in store for BBG?

We are doubling up our effort to stock hard to find parts for basses. When you need a less common bass part we will be ready for you.

5 Questions with “J. Schwing” Joshua Lozada

Joshua Lozada

Joshua Lozada hitting with Mooer Pedals!

Why are we talking about J. Schwing? I met Josh at the 2014 Gerald Veasley Bass Boot Camp. He was playing at my buddy David Seagal’s (New York Bass Works) booth. We hit off from the beginning.  Josh is a spiritual cat, a phenomenal bassist and a great person. Why do we call him J. Schwing? Because he Swings his a** off! Let’s listen to what he has to share with us! – rr

1) For those not familiar tell us a bit about your career?

I’ve been playing bass for 17 years. My beginnings were in my local church and through the years, has grown to International travel with worship leaders and Christian Artists. I have also expanded outside of the Christian/Gospel market in live performances with Hip Hop & R&B acts throughout NYC. Salsa music and Latin Jazz, was a big influence in my development as a bass player and my introduction to being a professional musician. As the genre began lose some of it’s momentum in a live performance setting, I found myself getting more involved in R&B and Rock music as a means to earn a living. With the increasing popularity of Christian Contemporary Music in houses of worship throughout the world, I now find myself fully immersed in that scene and staying very busy.

2) What do you see coming up for the future of music?

It’s tough to say. We’ve seen the ever expanding world of technology used in music and things have drastically changed. From the recording process to the distribution of the final product, technology is showing itself to be more relevant. I’ve benefited from tracking bass from my home but it’ll never replace getting together with great musicians in one room and hitting the record button to bring that feel to life. But the reality is that space is expensive and the pure convenience of recording virtually is appealing to many. Also, accessibility to musicians that you may have not been able to get in a studio to record your project is now possible thru virtual recording sessions and social media. As we’ve seen, technology has hurt many artists financially and I can only hope that this tide will turn in their favor in the near future so that good music can be created and the people that bring it to us can earn their living and continue to be inspired to create.

3) What role has music education played in your life?

I am a self taught bass player but I did have formal musical instruction in my school years. I played trombone from middle school thru high school and took part in the concert and symphonic band as well as award winning jazz bands, which is where I really learned my true appreciation for music. Jazz music and the study of jazz really took a hold of me and inspired me to be a musician. After I graduated high school, I took up bass and the rest is history…

4) Why are you using Mooer pedals?JoshuaLozada

I was first attracted to Mooer Pedals because of their size. Real estate on a pedal board is precious and I wanted to get the most out of the space but when I finally tried out some of the Mooer Pedals, I found that it was way more than just it’s small size. They are built extremely well, and they sound amazing. Most products can give you one thing but you’ll normally find that it’s a trade-off but I’m getting the compact size with an amazing effect in a well built pedal. It’s a win-win. I’ve been using the Mod Factory and the Ensemble King as a main stay in my pedal board and I couldn’t be happier. Amazing pedals!

5) What future projects do you have coming up?

I’ve been working on a solo demo for about a year now. I’m hoping to release something by the end of the year, time permitting. I’ll be continuing my travels in Latin America, US and Canada throughout the year with Ingrid Rosario and you can normally find me on Sunday’s at Christ Church in NJ.

 

Osiamo Music Gear Goes International, endorses Brazilian Guitarist Pedro Sampaio!

Pedro Sampaio with Antenna

Pedro Sampaio, aka, Samp, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and now 24 years old is a session guitarist, songwriter, film composer and guitar instructor. Since early childhood, Samp started digging music from his parents CDs, where he got his first influences: Eric Clapton, The Police & Pink Floyd. He started playing guitar when he was 12, a year after he personally met one his major influences on guitar, Jimmy Page. Since that day, he has never put his guitar down.

Samp kicks-off his career at 19, when he started giving guitar lessons. Soon after he started doing studios sessions in Rio de Janeiro. Those sessions brought a few opportunities for Samp. Mainly composing soundtracks for movies, and also inspired him to start his first band Antenna.

Samp recorded his first album with the band Antenna and recorded a live DVD with the band, which you can see in this teaser.

 

In 2014 Samp moved to New York City to attend an internship at the widely-known Big Foote Music + Sound studios. He recorded guitar and also got the chance to get acquainted with recording jingles for commercials.

He was introduced to Pickboy by his friend and fellow endorser John Murphy. Says Samp, “John Murphy, told me about that one.. the Pickboy Metacarbonate Pos A Grip 1.00mm, and I went mad! Best of both worlds!”

Samp plays PICKBOY picks which is the pick of choice for other successful artists such as Lita Ford, John Murphy, Jay Gore and Duane T. Jones.

Pickboy Picks, a Great Value!

2014 Pickboy Picks

Each and every day we make decisions on what to do, where to go, what to eat, and sometimes what to purchase. When making purchases we often say that something is too expensive. What does that mean? We are in fact making value judgements which includes the price and often a bunch of other factors that we use to determine if we’ll buy or pass on an item.

When we use the concept of value to make decisions sometimes the picture becomes a bit easier to see. For example, this morning did you make coffee at home, buy a cup at the local corner store or go to Starbucks? The choices are in increasing order of expense but the value with each one is different. Each takes a different amount of time, energy and costs us a different amount of money.

coffeecup

What motivates us to choose the cup at home today over the cup at Starbucks later in the week? It’s value. The coffee at home today gives us a quick start to our day and doesn’t take much time and doesn’t cost that much. Later in the week when we go to Starbucks its more of a time commitment (walk, bike or drive there, wait in line, order, etc.) and of course costs us more money. But we do but and perhaps value both equally.

Getting back to Pickboy picks it’s easier to see that the price alone is not and will not be the only motivating factor in your decision to purchase or not. Since we’re talking about music and art the choice of what pick, string, guitar, amp, effects pedals etc. all becomes an artistic choice. These choices are necessarily more complex than our decision to have a coffee at home or at Starbucks. Artistic decisions involve value and also heart and soul. Most of the greats that we’ve come to know and love have sweated over all the tiny details to achieve their sound and tone. As the cliche goes, “the devil’s in the details.”

John Murphy Pickboy Artist

We like to think that Pickboy picks represent a unique value equation for guitarists. While the cost may be a bit higher, Pickboy’s attention to detail is also higher offering the player a more intimate experience with his art, music, guitar and audience.

What value decisions have you made today? What value decisions have you made that have affected your art, your music or your customers? In today’s crowded market place with many brands competing for your attention we feel that Pickboy offers one of the best value choices.

Unfortunately for musicians, the most common way many manufacturers and brands try to get your attention is to lower the price. We like to call this the “race to the bottom.” At some point you have to ask yourself is it possible to provide that product at that price. There were most definitely some short cuts taken to produce it. What were the short cuts, how will it effect your experience with the product and have you factored that into your value equation?

While other manufacturers are entering and competing in the “race to the bottom,” we at Osiamo Music Gear stand behind our brands and feel that each of them offer a superb value in the market place. We evaluate each product to make sure it provides a food value and furthers the journey to help musicians express themselves fully.

What is your dream? To perform in front of thousands, play that perfect solo, record a hit single or album? Whatever your dream is, remember, make decisions that further your dream each and every day.

The choice is always yours so choose wisely.

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