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tvthewiredturtle

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PostSubject: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:56 pm

for the friends here that got me started on my nocturne pedal in encouragement and actually ordering
them before I started to help me finance my venture and then push me on in affirmation, this is worth sharing.

Its a crost post from the Gresch discussion forum and was born out of a personal invite from brian setzer to
that he would like for me to meet him backstage after the show this last weekend.
















I've been stirring in my emotions whether I should say much for fear of sounding like
a kiss ass, but bottom line the events of saturday night are epic for a gretsch guitar aficionado and fan of Brian Setzers lifetime of work as an artist and maestro of the rockabilly guitar method.

I have to say that as I posted the pictures it hit me hard and I got all stupid teary eyed and just sort of sat here thinking only a God in the heavens really knows how much something like this is what I've longed for since I was went apesh$p being handed my first Stray Cats LP in high school as a kid in a rockabilly band.
(for some reason when I scanned this old pict I look like chuck berry's love child)


In any case what Brian did for me was not just a moment of his grace but more so fulfilled a dream really. Just like he says Eddie Cochran took him to the next level of what he wanted to play and pursue, He was that catalyst for me at a young, impressionable stage of my singing and playing guitar.
Its even affecting new generations like the 14yr old Gorilla with his gretsch (for some reason he really likes the newer "songs Lonely Ave" album than the others and my 7yr old likes "wolfgangs big night out" which is a good tool for learning about the REAL classics)

kinda of too much personal gushing to share but it sheds light on WHY saturday night's meeting wasnt a simple "nice" thing. Rather its cornerstone stuff and it kind of transcends simple fortunate events.

Even the team at Surfdog Records that was on staff there really went out of their way to make everything leading up to shaking hands with Mr. Setzer really wonderful, no wonder he loves his record label. Even Dave Kaplan, Brian's long time manager was kind and accommodating to my wife and I and he didnt need to be, BUT he was and it was genuine.

I really thought I would be able to be cool about the whole thing but in the concert midway Brian broke into Blue Moon of Kentucky from his new album out this month, I started hyperventilating a bit so I went and got a whiskey on the rocks and the rest of the show just flew by, bang and it was over and it was time to go back stage.
My wife and I had carpooled over with Buzz Campbell and his wife after dinner earlier so I went over to them and asked Buzz what the protocol was (before I asked Andi the same thing) and as they were asking around I found a security guy by the stage and he told us that the meet and greet was already before the show. I was heartbroken and went to my Eeyore like insta-gloom and told Andi I should just try to get backstage anyway so the wife and I started walking towards the door and the next security guy was like "go straight up that way, he's there".
Around a few corners there was a group of folks waiting from Surfdog and orchestra members I recognize from the NAMM show like Johnny Horton his bassist and Jim Medina the featured saxophonist you see on most of the live DVD shows. Then freakin Slim Jim
from the Stray Cats was standing right there so I got to meet the 3rd member of the Stray cats to boot, so cool.

We were in line with the group to go in when Dave Kaplan came over and goes" youre tavo right? come on in and meet Brian" which kinda embarrassed me but Buzz whispered "get in there already stop being chicken".
I walk in and there is the King of cool in my book and he looks at me and goes "You must be tavo the guitar maniac" as he shook my hand with a big warm smile. All I could think to say was "thank you Wow, its you"
and it felt like the room got very bright for a second until he motioned for us to
sit with him and I settled down a bit for a second. Smile

There is a lot I could say about my ability to size up a person having spent 20 yrs in church music ministry in a former life..but I wont torture ya.
I'll just say that the minute Mr. Setzer asked my wife and I to sit down with him on the couch and began to talk with us I could see that the man I have watched on stage countless times on videos from when he was a young spitfire to the guy in the Brian Setzer Orchestra "live in Japan" DVD to all the BSO xmas shows I have faithfully attended is just simply being himself.
The real deal, no pretense, no hoopla just a master of the gretsch guitar. Obviously a charming gentleman but he wasted no time in saying "so lets talk guitar gear, what to wanna talk about? do you want to see my rig..how bout my 59' gretsch?"
So in comes his 59' gretsch I think he'd just performed with and his gretsch Phoenix.
He hands me the 59' and one of his picks and goes "play something".
He's gotta know this screws with persons mind. In one transcending moment I get to meet him, then I get to sit down next to him, then not only do I touch an original 59' gretsch for the first time, I am holding BRIAN SETZER's personal guitar then he asks me to play something!!

I wasnt prepared for that, totally hit me like a boat oar in the face and there are all these people standing around and Brians Manager is holding a camera taking pictures.. My only reaction was instinctual from being a stay at home Dad for many yrs with my own sons with the fine art of object Distraction. As I start to flub the signature lick from his "trouble train" tune
I turn to him and go " the guys at the Gretsch pages have a few questions for you"

" number 1, I have all the guitar player magazine's you have featured interviews in talking about your gear... and you have varying answers spanning from 1983 all the way to 2001 (see modern guitars section of the GDP for the thread on trestle bracing)
What do you prefer in your gretsch guitars; tone post or trestle bracing as your tone is very bright and twangy? He answered emphatically
without hesitating "Trestle bracing in the 59' gretsch" He even looked me straight in the eye when he said it with some passion and touched the guitar saying "nothing else sounds like these 59' gretsch guitars". He's totally not kidding, that thing RANG just strumming it unplugged. totally ruined me its amazing!

number 2, I have always seen a small pinkish pedal at the base of your blonde amp or europe tour rockpalast vox cab in the stray cats era..what was it? You said in 83' that it was a "small box with 2 knobs like an mxr".. The only real small box analog delay back then that was pinkish readily avail was either an Ibanez AD-88/AD-9 or
Boss DM-2/DM-3 and he immediately responded "naah it wasnt an ibanez maybe it was boss.

At that point he needed to meet other people in the room and asked us to stay and we'd talk more but I could tell we needed to probably make room for other guests so
as we got up to leave he made a nice gesture that he'd like to talk again sometime and discuss all the ins and outs of his gear in detail for me.
I'm gonna hold him to that and get the indepth scoop that too many guitar magazine interviews failed to dig into. That is if our paths ever cross again and even if they dont, you know that I can just die a happy man at this point. Smile

ps. I did not mention the Nocturne preamp pedals that he ordered from me last
year, as much as I would like to have feedback on them you can probably guess that
strumming his guitars and talking about HIS rig was all that I could possibly imagine
taking place.

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Last edited by tvthewiredturtle on Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ruger9

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:08 pm

What you need to do is write a book like that crazy SRV book that guy wrote... the total, comprehensive, totally everything book of Brian Setzer...

http://www.stevieray.com/book3info.htm

Get Surfdog to bankroll it! Laughing
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jonhope

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:32 pm

Tavo - thats fantastic man - thanks for sharing your experience with us

Mr Setzer should also be congratulated for arranging the meeting - he is a class guy as well as a musical hero Cool

Hopefully your paths will cross again soon

cheers
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:38 pm

Tavo, I'm so happy for you. Thank you so much for sharing all that with us. Absolutely no one is more deserving.

I have to say, I'm blown away that you guys took your leave even though Brian suggested you stay. I can definitely understand why you didn't ask about the pedal, but had you stuck around he might've had time to bring it up! But that you had the opportunity to talk to him for a precious few minutes and you asked things you knew would be of interest to other fans/guitar players shows that you are an incredible class act. I'm as proud to know you as I am to be a fan of the fella we're all here talking about.
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Brent

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:06 pm

Tavo...that is friggin' awsome!!!!
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Twenty Flight Rick

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:39 pm

Dude, thats awesome! I'm proud of you bro!! Well deserved!
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:47 pm

What a fantastic story and thank you for sharing it with us Smile
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Brett

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:26 am

Very cool story.
I`m glad that i watched a few years ago a BSO-DVD and became a longlife fan and Gretsch maniac.
This is a very special artist and a very special fanbase.
And there is only one Tavo... Cool
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MJ



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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:35 am

what a wonderful experience for you! I got goosebumps just reading it. (gotta say, I am totally jealous, as I have adored Mr Setzer since I was in my teens and we first heard of Stray Cats in the states)
Even though I don't know you and I am more often a "lurker" on here, I am SO happy for you! Very Happy You are very deserving of the honor and it is fantastic the way you were concerned with the needs of others (asking questions for them and "bowing out" when other were waiting). As Andi said- you are a class act. Congratulations cheers Thank you for sharing your story and pictures so that the rest of us can live vicariously through you Very Happy
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sidelake bob

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:34 am

I Like the smile on your face! Thanks for sharing this Tavo.
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:17 am

I'm soooooo glad for you Tavo!!!!!!! Just wonderful!!!!! I think you will get some feedback from the pedal
in some form, don't know where or when, but you will!

all the best!
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tvthewiredturtle

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:26 am

thanks guys, I was sort of gun shy about posting it here. I know that sounds silly but I remember when Andi won that contest with her photo and she got the setzer guitar.. there was some mean stuff said when she was just excited about receiving a guitar worth several thousand dollars AND it was from setzer AND they used her picture on the album.
Exciting stuff but it got mocked.. so I didnt want to suddenly gush and then get smacked for it Smile

ALTHOUGH.. that hasnt been the case and I will say thank you for letting me share it with you too, it really was epic and felt like I was standing before royalty and a guitar buddy at the same time. He has that kind of charisma, or at least thats what I witnessed in that brief moment in time. Plus Surf Dog records wow..those guys poured out the welcome wagon leading up to the meeting and Dave Kaplan even talked a bit about guitars and took some pictures of us.
good times!

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Rickabilly

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:46 am

You're all class, Tavo! I am thrilled for you. It would have been nice for you and your wife to be able to stay, but who knows how much time you would have had later on. Hopefully, you and he will have some more time in the future. It sounds like you two would get along famously.

I don't know what I would have done if I had the kind of advance warning you had. And then to go through the roller coaster of wondering whether or not you'd actually get backstage dealing with confused security... Crazy, man, crazy! I would have been crushed for you had it fallen through.

I will never pretend to know Brian, but the couple of times I've met him or watched him interact with fans before or after shows, he has seemed genuinely appreciative of his fans, especially if he has a little insight on their enthusiasm from the various forums or from previous shows over the years. Most of the fan stories I've read here, including this one, sync up nicely with my own experience, and seem to carry a common refrain: he values you as a fan, knows it's a big deal for you, but goes out of his way to put you at ease, making you feel as though you're just hanging out, having an oddly normal conversation.

Reading the backstory about what Brian means to you was just as cool as the story about the Setzer-Vega Summit! Here's hoping Setzer-Vega Summit II will happen in the not-too-distant future.

None More Worthy-billy




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Madman

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:55 am

Tavo, I'm thrilled on your behalf. I think I know the feelings that were rushing through you, I met the Brian on the Kings Road in Chelsea back in '81 and didn't realise what the future held. Thanks for sharing.
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:39 pm

tvthewiredturtle wrote:
I didnt want to suddenly gush and then get smacked for it Smile

ALTHOUGH.. that hasnt been the case

That's because we're your friends and we actually like you and care about you and are genuinely happy for you, silly!

sunny
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:10 pm

Andi wrote:
tvthewiredturtle wrote:
I didnt want to suddenly gush and then get smacked for it Smile

ALTHOUGH.. that hasnt been the case

That's because we're your friends and we actually like you and care about you and are genuinely happy for you, silly!

sunny

What she said! Very Happy Well deserved, and ever since Brian wrote on GDP and invited you backstage, I've been almost giggling to myself on the thought of you meeting him. bounce
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Wrock

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:27 pm

Tavo,

thanks for sharing this great and wondeful experience with us. To me, itīs like youīve been there for all of us and I think IF thereīs anybody who NEEDS and "deserves" to meet Brian, itīs you! Thanks for the great pictures and I think Iīm checking out your story on gretschpages, too.

cheers
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:45 pm

The Gretsch pages are a great read. Check out TV's thread in the modern guitars section. The topic of the thread is trestle bracing.
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:51 pm

I've read the story in a few different places and it still gives me the chills!!!

Honestly, if someone tried to smack you down in here for sharing that story, that person/people would be set upon by an angry mob, so I wouldn't worry about these things.

Two things I want to know Tavo:

1. Have you washed your hands yet?

and

2.Since you met Brian after the concert, did the concert feel longer than usual??

Great stuff mate, thanks for sharing. In the little time I spent with you, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.

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tvthewiredturtle

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:42 pm

pony65k wrote:
I've read the story in a few different places and it still gives me the chills!!!

Honestly, if someone tried to smack you down in here for sharing that story, that person/people would be set upon by an angry mob, so I wouldn't worry about these things.

Two things I want to know Tavo:

1. Have you washed your hands yet?

and

2.Since you met Brian after the concert, did the concert feel longer than usual??

Great stuff mate, thanks for sharing. In the little time I spent with you, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.


1. you know I'm a germ-a-phobe and washed my hands upon leaving the backstage
2. I couldnt pay attention at the concert. I remember his guitar tone, the not so hot sound mix
on the upright and too loud snare but figured venues like that as sexy as they are, just arent designed
like the Gibson/Universal Amphitheatre which is the ultimate place to experience the BSO. Perfect and
exactly why PBS filmed the DVD there.
Enjoyed his slight deviation on Sleepwalk and impromptu fiddling, the white gretsch hotrod was badass agains
the bands backdrop of purple and green stagelight wash. He was having fun with the audience and although
I miss the xmas songs it was fun to hear some tunes from Lonely Avenue and Blue moon of kentucky.. I do not remember anything else except for looking at Chanda when she said man that was over fast and then the moment of running for the backstage door when they told me to hurry up and get upstairs.

thanks for askin! Smile

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Brent

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:42 am

The only reason people would bad mouth you or Andi is sour grapes. After all, what the heck are we all here for? I even sent my girlfriend the link to your story and pictures because she's seen me be the same way and have the same grin on my face. Laughing
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Brett

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:07 am

pony65k wrote:

Honestly, if someone tried to smack you down in here for sharing that story, that person/people would be set upon by an angry mob, so I wouldn't worry about these things.


Cool oh yes....
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Patrick

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:04 am

.....

Shocked Shocked

I..why.....me....huh.....wow....bla....!
cheers
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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:21 pm

Hey!!
I've been following Tavo's story and I am really happy for him.
However, and PLEASE, dont take me wrong. Most of the comments were "nobody else deserved to meet Brian like you"

Sorry, but F#$K ME!! I've been a Brian for over 20 years (I am speaking my mind, but I think that some of you would agree), with a wonderful collection (even despite the collection).... so, does it mean that the rest of fans dont deserve to meet Brian??

As I said, no offense to Tavo nor anybody else, but... just try to understand what I mean
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Twenty Flight Rick

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PostSubject: Re: My 1st Encounter with Brian Setzer himself at Aqua Caliente casino   Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:18 pm

I get your point. I think those who express that sentiment do so because TV's done a lot to promote our guitar hero through his line of pedals and amps. You've done a lot through your vast archival work, and I will be happy for you when you meet him. I've gotten to shake his hand twice, but I don't feel I've deserved it any more than the next guy. However, those of us here, members of this board, are superfans, so it's cool when any one of us gets the opportunity. Hell we all deserve it! Very Happy
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