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Europe Trip Highlights

Posted by nechville on Friday, May 27, 2011

Greetings, I'm in Europe recapping my trip. Upon arrival, I rented a car in Amsterdam, and drove a short way to Jaap and Hilde Margry's in EIndhoven for a nice visit and jet lag recovery with  really healthy food.. Oliver Waitze hosted my workshop at his New Acoustic Store in Solingen Germany the next day, He took delivery on a banjo and picked up accesories, Had a nice dinner  and jamt. Veit Doehler's Banjoree in Hagen Germany was a blast. Lluis Gomez played all the time while I fixed  and demonstrated  banjos. People seemed amazed as I would go from having a classic open-back to having a tenor open-back. I even installed nylon strings on a Triple T pot for Chris Sands to try his classical banjo stuff on. I think I freaked him out, but it seemed perceptibly better than his own banjo. I had a mega banjo workshop that lasted about 4 hours. There now several new Nechville fans in Germany,  Lluis and I had great times .We performed together with Viet, and then with Sharon and Jean-Marie during the Banjoree concert. Sunday we spent the rest of the day packing, playing and walked down the road for a great pizza.  Monday; I did fret work on the classic and took Lluis to airport and found a car repair place to fix a resonator that cracked  during my flight.  Then I returned it to Oliver's shop and  made it back to Eindhoven a bit late and Jaap was starting to get nervous about the gig that night at the bar. It was just a big jam but it worked out great. Tuesday  I just drove and worked on e mails at Steve Louvat's house, I picked up chicken breast and cooked dinner for him and Coralee. Then Steve and I walked around his quaint little village. I am  uploading occasional pictures to facebook; The next day we met several Belgian Nechville Players including Laurent Eckout, Fabrice  Andre Simone, and Steve Louvat for dinner and a nice bar jam in Namur.

After driving to Holland, I called on one of my customers and tried to re-sell him a banjo he earlier canceled, then I used his phone to call Liz Meyer from EWOB, they live near airport, and they let me stay the night. My plan to fly to a jam in Basel that night was spoiled when I  missed my EZ jet flight.  I decided to grab a Paris bound train to hook up with Jean-Marie Redon.

I had a day in Paris that was one for the Nechville story archives. Being unable to reach Jean Marie, I lugged my banjos and suitcase around the train station and through the streets seeking a place to stay, I finally settled on a 45€ cheap hotel.  7 floors I dragged my luggage up.  I went back down to complain about no TV and no electricity. I was tired that night, and in the morning I descended to charge my droid and I finally reached Jean Marie who suggested  I take a cab from my hotel to the place they were doing a childrens play, but I discovered a train that went directly to the station near them; so I took that to save  money. I spent extra time at the hotel packing up my stuff efficiently and used a banjo strap to bind my double banjo case to the top of my rolling gym bag. It was quite top heavy as you can imagine. but easier than carrying the stuff to the train staion and into the subways. It went well for a while and I was starting to feel like a master traveler until my rolling banjo storehouse toppled over on the escalator and broke a peg off my banjo neck. I decided to start carrying the bags separately because the little rolling bag could not withstand the weight of 2 banjos and all the other stuff. Going through the gate with my stuff was impossible too. The doors would slam shut on me as I was struggling to pull both bags through, and I needed to get passers by to help push my stuff through when they entered. After finally getting to my stop, I tried following the exit sign only to find that my ticket would not let me get out of the subway, I was trapped so I had to climb over the gate and hang the banjos gently down on the other side by the stap, the same with my rolling bag, Then I jumped over. I continued in a direction that led me down a long walkway leading away from the station, My monkey arms were getting longer and longer, and I finally turned around to go back and try the other exit, of course you can't just re enter the subway so I had to break back in after breaking out. Finally after jumping the gate for a third time, I emerged in front of the station and looked for my cell phone that had the address I was seeking, so I could take a cab. Then I suddenly visualized my phone still plugged into the wall behind the chair in the cheap hotel. Luckily I had Jean Marie's phone number so I asked someone to use their phone and he came to pick me up. During Sharon's  childrens play that day, é performances, , I went outside and fixed Sharon's bosses banjo, It was a mess, and I used every tool in my box including some that I made out of bits of wood I found lying around. But her boss was a real nice guy and he was thrilled with his new banjo, We celebrated after the show with a glass of whiskey. We finished that day at Sharon's and had a nice chicken dinner and a little jamming, The next day was workshop day for Action Banjo students, They has a big group lesson with about 13 students in the morning, and there was a big pot luck lunch with all kinds of food and drink, After Lunch a bunch more banjo players in the afternoon for my workshop. I gave my first workshop almost entirely in French! They actually ubnderstood me I still cant follow most conversations, but I can manage to say most things I want to say. I can't wait to talk to Sylvia! Everyone enjoyed the workshop and after we went for a beer, The girl in the class bought a banjo from me after I took 2 banjos apart and build her a custom banjo in the bar.


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