The Itch Demands Scratching Again


August 7, 2009 by esarsea


A couple years ago I sold all my bass gear – guitar, speaker cabinet, and rack mounted amplifier, tuner and power conditioner. I just didn’t have time for it, not to mention it was difficult to hook up with other musicians with my tastes in music and/or willing to deal with my limited availability for rehearsals.

Plus, I figured since I was in my 50’s now, it was time to grow up. After nearly 30 years of playing wannabe musician in assorted garage bands and the occasional tavern gig, I was done. I was (am) an amatuer at best. I had reached the point that listening to pro players like Eric Czar and others was disheartening rather than motivating. Although my love of the instrument remained and my passion for music ran deep, I left it behind – and patiently waited for the lingering sense of melancholy to slowly slip below the surface.

Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of early Gov’t Mule, in particular their Live at Roseland CD. I’ve always been a big fan of Mule, and their (late) bassist Allen Woody. I love power trio blues rock, and I love Allen Woody’s style of play and tone. Allen’s bass playing resonates in me in a way that is difficult to describe – similar to how Eric Czar’s work with Joe Bonamassa captivated me.

I was listening to Mule’s Live at Roseland for the umpteenth time the other day and realized I wasn’t done. My wife Mary-Anne was right. She had advised against selling my gear when I did.

Yesterday I ordered an Ibanez Artcore AGB200 bass guitar.

Here’s a couple clips from youtube that demonstrate the (very cool) tone of the AGB200. I’m looking forward to it’s arrival!

12 thoughts on “The Itch Demands Scratching Again

  1. bill says:

    I love Woody Allen!

    I have the same dilemna. Old enough to know I’ll never gig in a bus across the mid-west to screaming fans, but I kept most of my gear from the 70’s when I was riding in a broken-down van in Utah and Wyoming playing beer joints.

    I gave my Marshall box and Hi-Watt head to a best friend who needed it, but I kept my Pignose (original), an original Tom Scholz “Rockman,”a ’59 Les Paul Junior, a Fender Strat and a Fender “Muddy Waters” Telecaster. The Junior was 14 years old when I got it in a trade for a 1972 Gibson SG. It’s worth quite a bit more now.

    Now, it’s playing through my PC at home with headsphones and a $60 software/hardware unit called a “Gearbox.”

    • torqdog says:

      Sorry, I was in such a hurry this afternoon that I didn’t have time to read your post Bill. So you play guitar eh? Wouldn’t it be a whole lotta fun for these three old farts to get together and jam someday? Shake some cobwebs off those earlobes and do some rockin? I think it would be a total blast! Doesn’t matter what kind of noise we make, just so long as it’s not just that…… noise!

      Could be interesting.

      • billie789 says:

        Not a bad idea. I was trying to get ol Stuart to lay down some bass tracks once a while back and we could cycle a tape or disc back and forth adding tracks, but we didn’t have any common gear to accomplish it via email.

        I’m up for it, anytime. Just need to figure out how it could work.

  2. torqdog says:

    Welcome back Stu! When I read your excuses for selling your gear I said “WHAAAAATT?!!! “Time to grow up”, “wannabe musician”? What in the heck does that mean anyway?

    I still have my drum kit though I haven’t played in 7 years, due mostly to the untimely and unexpected heart attack that took my guitar buddy and best friend at the age of 48 as well as moving here to Carson City. I’m currently working on the Man-cave project and hope to have them set up by the end of the summer. Wanna jam?

    The Bass looks cool……. from what I can see, it seems to have the shape of a Les Paul or ES335. I’ll check out the vids later when time permits.

    Again, congrats and welcome back, fellow musician.

    • Stu says:

      Thanks – and I was thinking the same thing as you posted above….didn’t know you played drums (or I forgot). We’ve got our own power trio!

  3. torqdog says:

    “My wife Mary-Anne was right. She had advised against selling my gear when I did.”
    Stu, you should know by now that Wifey is ALWAYS right when it comes to these matters! ;-)
    Just listened to those clips and wow, what a neat sound. Punchy, plucky and you sure can hear the hollow body effects.

    I think we’ll understand it if you’re away from the blog for a while.

  4. Jane says:

    cool Stu. i didn’t read the whole thing then i was watching the clips and I was gonna say that’s not Stu! would be glad to hear you if you put some clips up. i was thinking the other day about that version of that clapton song you told me about once. i’d love to hear that sometime

  5. Stu says:

    Part II of the puzzle has been completed.

    I’ve been reading countless reviews on amplifiers and trying to pick out something decent while staying in budget. Previously I had scaled back from an 8×10 cabinet (8, 10″ speakers) to a 4×10 cabinet. This time around I wanted something a little easier to pack around without completely sacrificing tone. I ended up ordering an Ampeg BA115HP combo amp, 220 watts with 1, 15″ speaker. Neat little unit that has a chromatic tuner built right in.

    Although every place I checked wanted $450-$550 for these units, I found a brand new one through Amazon (of all places) for $389 with free shipping.

    Let’s Rock!

  6. torqdog says:

    Cool! Ampeg amps have always been one of my favs. Many of the Bass players I’ve played with pushed their sound through an Ampeg. Clean, yet it can get balsy too.

    You’re right…… Let’s ROCK!!!

  7. Stu says:

    Yeah, the big Ampeg set-ups like the 8×10 SVT’s have been the industry standard for years. Not sure I’ll get that classic Ampeg tone through this little combo, but it should get me by!

  8. Stu says:

    Bass arrived today! It’s gorgeous. Looks EXACTLY like this:

  9. […] in early August I posted The Itch Demands Scratching Again in which I talked about picking up the bass again. Some interesting things things have happended […]

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