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Spring is here - playing in parks


Eric Iverson

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Thank God spring has finally come. One thing I like to do is go play music in parks for relaxation. Of course, some parks are better than others.

 

I do find, however, that I can't go out to parks in the evening with my stage guitar, because there are always people who play a little guitar who want to borrow mine - and some of them are drunk! They even get mad at times when you tell them no they can't play your instrument!

 

At least when I bring the flute or mando, that doesn't happen!

 

Curious to other people's experiences!

 

PS I think it would be fun to take my coffeehouse band out to Washington Square Park and do a few tunes - since it's a time-honored tradition for musicians to play there. Sometimes a performance and often just jamming with whoever comes along! Sometimes the people who come along are actually talented!

 

 

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I remember when I was in high school, taking lessons from a guitar major at the local college (UMBC). During the spring & summer, we'd often have "class" on the hill. These often turned into nice jams with friends of his who walked by and either knew what we were going over, or just felt like playing along.

 

Wish I knew what he was up to- when I went to college, he had switched from music to medical science. Only saw him my first year there. Frank Vice- good guy!

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Curious to other people's experiences!

 

I used to be in a sort of band where I played either sax or acoustic bass guitar with these djembe players. We couldn't (or wouldn't) rehearse anywhere else so we'd meet in parks at night. I'd take my Bass EQ pedal, put it on full and run everything through a ghetto-blaster. It was cool, it sounded like a big Les Paul.

 

But yeah, I know what you mean about people wanting to borrow instruments. when I took the sax out, I was only bothered once, by some Eastern European sailor dude. And he was pretty nice about it.

 

But with the bass..? You'd have crowds of idiots trying to borrow my bass so they could play "Money". :P I wouldn't have minded so much if they'd played something a little more interesting. But that's the trouble with most guys that try to borrow your guitars. They're really inane.

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Playing in the park is one of my favorite things to do. We have an excellent park system here and you can find nice quiet places in the woods to play by yourself or more populated areas where you are sure to gather an audience of some kind.

 

One of my favorite place in the parks is "Squires Castle"

http://i.pbase.com/u46/4rixpix/upload/39899559.7894.jpg

which has really cool acoustics and is great for classical or steel string fingerpicking.

If it's chilly and rainy out (spring in N.E. Ohio!) you can even light a fire in one of the fireplaces:

http://k43.pbase.com/u43/4rixpix/large/27851452.5095.web.jpg

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Many years ago I used to play in acoustic duos and trios and we'd play in parks quite a bit. We even went across the river to Washington Square.

 

These days my band plays quite a bit of outdoor shows, some on stages simlilar to what Ellwood shows above. These are our bread and butter in summer time. Some of the stages are much nicer and larger. Some of the venues are spectacular, especially Sandy Hook National Park, where we play on the beach in NJ, at sunset with a view of lower Manhhattan to the northeast.

 

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OR Eric, remember I can make you a good deal on renting this: http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b48/ellwood1/stage.jpg

 

I wouldn't mind throwing something like that in my backyard. I could have some very cool parties. LOL! But... with the pool back there, somehow, someway, I'd probably get my ass jolted. LOL!

 

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LOL!! Yeah I know 55, was just kiddin' ya... I like those larger stages too! the one in the pic is actually smaller than the one I bought, I got the extensions for it last year,although the guys that run it around and set it up hate the extensions saying they are a pain in the butt for them LOL!! http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b48/ellwood1/portable-staging.jpg
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Opps... sorry.. I should have read further down!

 

Peace

 

Actually, if memory serves me correctly, that is the same as the one that Lee owns. He was saying that he just bought the extension to add to it.

 

I think he told us that he was getting it, to rent out.

 

Hey Lee, you should try to rent it to the City of Burlington, here in Ontario, for their "Sound of Music Festival". It runs for three days.

 

They host famous bands on a larger stage, but rent a smaller stage for the battle of the bands. It's all outdoors, at our lakeside park.

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That's a nice pic of Squire's castle Picker. Did you take that yourself? It looks like a postcard. I'm in Mentor, I go to Squire's and the rest of the Metro Parks a lot with my kids. What part of NE Ohio are you in?

 

I snagged that picture off the net. If I'd taken it, it would be out of focus... I'm in Mayfield, just a hop skip and a jump from you.

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