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BTMN

Another HFC Meetup

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Good times. HSB0531 came by yesterday and we hung out at my place for a few minutes.

I put TR28 in his hands.

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He had already suffered guitar overload walking in the door before I showed him this Blue sweetie.

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After that we met up with Thorn at Dean Guitars HQ in Tampa and got a great walk thru of the place. I have been there a few times but it is always really Cool to watch folks walk around the place for the first time. Saw some NAMM stuff we can't talk about anymore than that. Man, I love some Dean Zs almost as much as Hamers sometimes. That said my heart sinks sometimes when I see some features on a guitar but then I realize it's just saving me for G.A.S. later.

We came over to St. Pete way when we finished that and went to look at a few things at a fellow musician friend's house.

After a short bit all of us piled into Thorn's car for a ride to the beach to eat some burritos at a fasten-8ing place. Y'all had to be there for that one. One of the group kinda fell apart on the way home and I think we left that place at the perfect time. Thorn dropped Jim and myself back here at my place and after a few brief minutes of more photos, goodbyes, and green picks it was all over and another great chapter of HFC Cool was completed.

NEXT!!!!!

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NEXT!!!!!

I'm hoping to be down in the keys in Feb. A little road trip North might be a good escape from the family about mid-week.

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As I said in a different thread, I'll be passing through the first week of February, on my way to Fort Lauderdale. It would be great to stop and catch up with you in your stomping grounds, Gene.

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Keys are a drive but there is a boat that runs a round trip thing between Key West and Clearwater. Not sure on the details about it but you might take that and spend the night somewhere and take it back the next day.

Bruce I will PM you my number and we can work on that.

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Love the AES T-shirt

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"After a short bit all of us piled into Thorn's car for a ride to the beach to eat some burritos at a fasten-8ing place.

NEXT!!!!!

Aw, there is the burrito post!

Excellent always a good time in St. Petes.

Hamerica

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I have to say that meeting with Gene (BTMN) and Michael (Thorn) was the highlight of my trip to FL.

Gene was the perfect host and graciously let me try any guitar and bass he had, including his new pride and joy Shishkov #28.

Michael was a very down to earth, humble and funny cohort in our daylong trip.

There was not a dull moment with him or Gene.

On to the Dean HQ where Gene arranged a private VIP tour for me and Thorn.

Everyone at Dean were very gracious and allowed us full access sans pics of course.

Onto a quick jam at his friends house and then a fantastic burrito restaurant that was everything he described.

Gene and Michael, I had a Great Time with both of you.

And thanks to Gene for some unique guitar picks.

These guys are exactly what the HFC is all about.

Wonderful friends that I finally got to meet after 12 years on here.

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Would have loved to join but alas. That was worky time.

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Love the AES T-shirt

Thanks Rich.

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All I can say is I haven't laughed like that in a very long time. There was some real antimatter going on that night. And the personal 2-plus hour tour of the Dean HQ was unbelievable. There was so much to absorb and the guys who work there just treat it as another day. They have a dream job and you can tell they really love what they do. Our tour guide's name was Pat and it turns out he lives less than a mile from me. He played a few of the guitars he was showing us and I definitely don't want to jam with him. Each guitar he picked up he played for approximately 8 seconds and in that 8 seconds I was thinking the guy must be a MONSTER player. He had a room where he tested out the pickups (by playing) through a Marshall 100 watt head that had an attenuator on top. I mentioned the attenuator and he said he doesn't use it, lol. He plays full volume. My kind of guy.

He and I didn't talk very much during the tour because he was quite focussed and animated on the guitars and the processes for building them but then everyone piled into the head at the end of the tour and that's when he asked me if I knew The Harold Twins. I was searching my memory banks. Turns out he knows these guys I jammed with for a short time when I was 18. We jammed in their mom's house in a little room off of the living room. Full volume with me Peavey Classic 50 and I don't remember what they used. I remember my ears ringing like hell afterwards, the drums were right behind me. None of us could play very well and we made one hell-of-a-racket! One twin played bass and the other guitar. There was a drummer but I don't remember anything about him. They wanted me to play a party they were hosting, which is why we were jamming, and I said I wouldn't embarrass myself that way. And that was that for me. They went on to form a band called, "Plaid Skirt," and went on to tour Europe for a few years in the "Big Hair" days. I think they were still a cover band IIRC and saw them several times at local dives when they returned to the states around '86 - 7. I was a photographer then and took some B/W shots of them that I still have somewhere. I'll see if I can dig them out and scan them in if you guys are interested. But they were one of the first local bands to have wireless rigs which was cool because they were quite energetic and would scamper around the place rather comically. I told Pat I couldn't remember the name of my favorite dive on the outskirts of Winter Haven and he asked, "The Rustic?" And I actually got prickly's on my neck. I haven't thought about that place in 25 years.

So the tour was fantastic and I asked permission to take some cellphone shots of some things I'm allowed to share with you guys. I'll work on resizing them and putting them on my server for you to see.

Gene has a friend not far from his home who has a wonderful music room complete with drums and a PA. I think we were plugged into an H n K head through a Marshall cab. Gene brought along his new Shishkov and was first to play. Jim requested to play a MM bass, IIRC. They jammed for a bit with our host on the drums. He then asked me if I wanted to play and I said no. Our host is quite a charming guy and he smiled at me and said I could play the Cowbell. lol Then Gene asked me to hold his Shishkov and of course the reaction is to reach out to help. I didn't realize he was going to adjust the strap and trick me into strapping it on (so to speak). So everyone was looking at me and our host asked me what I was going to play. Never in my life have I felt so awkward. I literally could not think of a thing to play. Jim was playing a few riffs and admiring the bass and I just stood there totally bamboozled. I hemmed and hawed for what seemed 5 minutes. I was quite embarrassed. Our host stood up and smiled at me and said that if I just hold the guitar for a bit and concentrate on it that it would begin to speak to me. He left the room and I began to strum an Ab then a D, F, G, etc. I was so nervous holding Gene's new guitar. I was afraid I'd bang it into the mic stand or into the shelves behind me or drop it. I wished I had grabbed my guitar out of the case which was left in another room. And the amp was up so loud I was very self conscious. So I started to loosen up a bit and instinctively grabbed the low E-tuner and tuned it down to D. Gene looked at me and said, "What'd you just do?" I told him I just D-tuned it and he gave me a look like I had just kicked the litter out of the cat box. So I jumped into the opening of Aenima. It was the only song I could come up with. Luckily we were all hungry and decided to hit the VIP.

We pile in my car and our host begins telling jokes. I've never seen anyone as easy to make laugh as Jim and his laughter is infectious. Our host was telling a Fastin-8-Ting joke about big tits and only able to fasten 8 of them (punchline). We were all laughing our asses off by the time we hit the burrito joint. I could barely see through the tears to drive.

Our waitress was named "Coral" and the way she said it reminded me of Rick from The Walking Dead and how he calls his son Carl, "Coral" while grunting like he has a hernia. So I sat there amusing myself doing my best "Rick" impersonation groaning out, "Coral, Coral, CORAL" to which I received blank stares while I was laughing.

Jim is a genuinely humble person with a mild demeanor. He's one of the rare people you meet that when they say they are pleased to meet you you get the sense that they mean it. When he speaks it's not just to make conversation. He is genuinely interested. His intelligence is keen and though soft-spoken, it's clear and poignant in words he seems to choose carefully.

Gene, I enjoyed myself immensely. I'd like to do the tour again someday as there was no way for me to wrap my head around such an operation in one sitting.

Jim, I'm looking forward to your next visit. You are a fasten-8-Ting person.

Our Music Room Host, I truly enjoyed meeting you. I look forward to actually jamming next time. If you survived the Burrito Encounter.

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Great story..glad you guys had a good time. Better day then mine was that's for sure. I miss FL, maybe one day.

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Jim is a genuinely humble person with a mild demeanor. He's one of the rare people you meet that when they say they are pleased to meet you you get the sense that they mean it. When he speaks it's not just to make conversation. He is genuinely interested. His intelligence is keen and though soft-spoken, it's clear and poignant in words he seems to choose carefully.

What the...are you reviewing a piece of gear??

I want a Jim!

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I'm looking forward to my next FL visit even more now!

Great review, Michael. ;)

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All I can say is I haven't laughed like that in a very long time. There was some real antimatter going on that night. And the personal 2-plus hour tour of the Dean HQ was unbelievable. There was so much to absorb and the guys who work there just treat it as another day. They have a dream job and you can tell they really love what they do. Our tour guide's name was Pat and it turns out he lives less than a mile from me. He played a few of the guitars he was showing us and I definitely don't want to jam with him. Each guitar he picked up he played for approximately 8 seconds and in that 8 seconds I was thinking the guy must be a MONSTER player. He had a room where he tested out the pickups (by playing) through a Marshall 100 watt head that had an attenuator on top. I mentioned the attenuator and he said he doesn't use it, lol. He plays full volume. My kind of guy.

He and I didn't talk very much during the tour because he was quite focussed and animated on the guitars and the processes for building them but then everyone piled into the head at the end of the tour and that's when he asked me if I knew The Harold Twins. I was searching my memory banks. Turns out he knows these guys I jammed with for a short time when I was 18. We jammed in their mom's house in a little room off of the living room. Full volume with me Peavey Classic 50 and I don't remember what they used. I remember my ears ringing like hell afterwards, the drums were right behind me. None of us could play very well and we made one hell-of-a-racket! One twin played bass and the other guitar. There was a drummer but I don't remember anything about him. They wanted me to play a party they were hosting, which is why we were jamming, and I said I wouldn't embarrass myself that way. And that was that for me. They went on to form a band called, "Plaid Skirt," and went on to tour Europe for a few years in the "Big Hair" days. I think they were still a cover band IIRC and saw them several times at local dives when they returned to the states around '86 - 7. I was a photographer then and took some B/W shots of them that I still have somewhere. I'll see if I can dig them out and scan them in if you guys are interested. But they were one of the first local bands to have wireless rigs which was cool because they were quite energetic and would scamper around the place rather comically. I told Pat I couldn't remember the name of my favorite dive on the outskirts of Winter Haven and he asked, "The Rustic?" And I actually got prickly's on my neck. I haven't thought about that place in 25 years.

So the tour was fantastic and I asked permission to take some cellphone shots of some things I'm allowed to share with you guys. I'll work on resizing them and putting them on my server for you to see.

Gene has a friend not far from his home who has a wonderful music room complete with drums and a PA. I think we were plugged into an H n K head through a Marshall cab. Gene brought along his new Shishkov and was first to play. Jim requested to play a MM bass, IIRC. They jammed for a bit with our host on the drums. He then asked me if I wanted to play and I said no. Our host is quite a charming guy and he smiled at me and said I could play the Cowbell. lol Then Gene asked me to hold his Shishkov and of course the reaction is to reach out to help. I didn't realize he was going to adjust the strap and trick me into strapping it on (so to speak). So everyone was looking at me and our host asked me what I was going to play. Never in my life have I felt so awkward. I literally could not think of a thing to play. Jim was playing a few riffs and admiring the bass and I just stood there totally bamboozled. I hemmed and hawed for what seemed 5 minutes. I was quite embarrassed. Our host stood up and smiled at me and said that if I just hold the guitar for a bit and concentrate on it that it would begin to speak to me. He left the room and I began to strum an Ab then a D, F, G, etc. I was so nervous holding Gene's new guitar. I was afraid I'd bang it into the mic stand or into the shelves behind me or drop it. I wished I had grabbed my guitar out of the case which was left in another room. And the amp was up so loud I was very self conscious. So I started to loosen up a bit and instinctively grabbed the low E-tuner and tuned it down to D. Gene looked at me and said, "What'd you just do?" I told him I just D-tuned it and he gave me a look like I had just kicked the litter out of the cat box. So I jumped into the opening of Aenima. It was the only song I could come up with. Luckily we were all hungry and decided to hit the VIP.

We pile in my car and our host begins telling jokes. I've never seen anyone as easy to make laugh as Jim and his laughter is infectious. Our host was telling a Fastin-8-Ting joke about big tits and only able to fasten 8 of them (punchline). We were all laughing our asses off by the time we hit the burrito joint. I could barely see through the tears to drive.

Our waitress was named "Coral" and the way she said it reminded me of Rick from The Walking Dead and how he calls his son Carl, "Coral" while grunting like he has a hernia. So I sat there amusing myself doing my best "Rick" impersonation groaning out, "Coral, Coral, CORAL" to which I received blank stares while I was laughing.

Jim is a genuinely humble person with a mild demeanor. He's one of the rare people you meet that when they say they are pleased to meet you you get the sense that they mean it. When he speaks it's not just to make conversation. He is genuinely interested. His intelligence is keen and though soft-spoken, it's clear and poignant in words he seems to choose carefully.

Gene, I enjoyed myself immensely. I'd like to do the tour again someday as there was no way for me to wrap my head around such an operation in one sitting.

Jim, I'm looking forward to your next visit. You are a fasten-8-Ting person.

Our Music Room Host, I truly enjoyed meeting you. I look forward to actually jamming next time. If you survived the Burrito Encounter.

Michael:

Thank you.

That was really nice of you to say.

I don't see it but my girlfriend Toni said you described me to a T.

I really laughed and needed it too.

The coral/Carl joke Makes sense now.

I didn't get it that night, but reading your post I was picturing you heaving out Carl Carl Carl.

Laughed my ass off picturing you at the table saying that.

Our guest host for the evening was Rick?

He was amusing once the margaritas kicked in.

Now I get why you said "do you want to take him or should I?"

He was falling over himself and talking like a drunk Keith Moon.

Further fuel for the tears and laughter.

I know how you felt about playing.

I haven't picked up a bass since August.

And the usual not knowing what to play with people I haven't played with before.

You described the tour perfectly.

And Gene was the perfect sidekick to Pat our host.

Gene did the setup and Pat did the delivery.

Gene was eyeballing specific guitars with the "I knew you would want to see this one" focus.

Pat would pull the case out and we'd all do the OMFG look.

We saw lots of amazing stuff headed towards NAMM and Dean endorsers.

Everyone at Dean was more than gracious and allowed us hands on access to every part of the factory.

And it was Huge!

The VIP burritos: amazing

The friends I enjoyed them with: priceless.

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Look, all I'm telling ya is ya have to have more cowbell, Baby.

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Great story and HFC experience for a life time.

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Look, all I'm telling ya is ya have to have more cowbell, Baby.

Yes definitely more cowbell

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Great, as always!

I went to FL from 12-19-15 to 01-02-16, but was too busy with my wife's family plus other activities.

I'm planning going to FL again by the end of this very year. I'll spend a week in Surfside, South Beach, and another week in Marathon Key. I'll try to make myself available for a trip to Clearwater. The idea of that boat you guys mention sounds interesting.

There's also the DOA meeting --in November, I think.

I'll show up in either case. I owe a dinner to Thorn --he mentioned a seafood restaurant we should visit, and for which I must pay the bill. And of course, Gene is more than welcome, as it's always a pleasure hanging out and playing with him.

I really love you, guys. I do! :)

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(He does)

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Great, as always!

I went to FL from 12-19-15 to 01-02-16, but was too busy with my wife's family plus other activities.

I'm planning going to FL again by the end of this very year. I'll spend a week in Surfside, South Beach, and another week in Marathon Key. I'll try to make myself available for a trip to Clearwater. The idea of that boat you guys mention sounds interesting.

There's also the DOA meeting --in November, I think.

I'll show up in either case. I owe a dinner to Thorn --he mentioned a seafood restaurant we should visit, and for which I must pay the bill. And of course, Gene is more than welcome, as it's always a pleasure hanging out and playing with him.

I really love you, guys. I do! :)

We love you too, Z!!

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