BobbyMojave replied to topic 'TOTW 9/6/2019 - Guitar to Clawhammer - Pastures of Plenty & Nelly Gray' 70 days
The sun, so beautiful but relentless. I luckily have a little recording studio/house/jampad where I've crash landed here. I have to thank the angels for that! I was driving my 1979 Chevy LUV through the midnight desert, blasting my friends old-time string band on high volume. I had 3 new friends I'd met playing banjo on the streets of Tucson, two were in a struggle with their sudden pregnancies and one father who was distraught was with them.
They were good people, early 20's, making common mistakes travelers who are not as fortunate from musical motivation as I make. Life seems like it is ripe for the taking, the road endless, if you dont know where you're going. I had a soft spot in my heart for good people I can help, and they needed to get to California to find some resources. I had some old friends who were in San Diego living the good life on the beach, I was already thinkin of swinging by to get some banjo fundraising done and see the ocean and smiling faces.
So we left at about 10pm, to avoid the heat. I let the two ride in my camper shell, another in the front. Spirits were high. Their frustrated moods had turned around, they paid for gas, we were on top of the world. Flying down interstate 8 at a strong 65 mph, the truck seemed like it was running great. Modern cars flying by us like we were standing still, I increased the speed to 70-75. These guys must have been going 90+, so 60-65 is a dangerous speed to drive at.
My after-market engine pressure gauge did not have a backlight, but i would use my flashlight to check it periodically, and pressure was getting higher. I'm starting to get a little nervous, and backed the speed to 55. Too little to late, but simultaneously just enough, right in time. The engine started making a soft scraping noise, bad bad news, but right then the sign appeared as if sent from the angels, 8 miles to Yuma. After over 100 miles of driving, this was a godsend. We saw the shining Loves truckstop sign, as the scraping got worse and worse, and pulled off just in time.
We arrived in the parking lot and I checked the oil. It read no oil, bad news, and decided to spend the night there. I put the spare quart I had in there, now it is barely registering. Bought some more and put it in the next morning, and engine soundex just fine, so we took off down the road. Once I hit 55, the scraping noise set in, and now its a serious problem. We slowed down to 45, put on emergency lights, and it suddenly got louder, and *SNAP* rattle-rattle-rattle. Pulled off, and the engine dies, and will not start.
I Immediately called a tow truck, and he picked us up and took us to a shop. They hooked it up to a jumper cable and it started right up, but with that loud rattling. He tells me its a main bearing that has broke. He likes the truck, but instead of helping me, he's blatantly trying to talk me out of it. He tells me "noone in the United States can fix that truck, but you can just leave it here. I'll help you get a new truck, you need a new truck." He said back in the day those cars sold like candy, and he loved them, now he wants me to leave it there, I'm not that thick.
So we push the truck out of the lot, onto the street, and take to Facebook to appeal for help. First step is find a place to keep it safe, so we aren't parked on the street dead-in-the-water. My new friends were very willing to help me out, and within minutes a friend of a friend offered to help. We towed the truck to in front of his grandma's house, a couple blocks away. My friends took off and jumped a freight train, while I took to the streets of Yuma to play more banjo, and it worked yet again.
My friend's grandmother's house was a temporary situation, and i knew my time was limited there. I found a starbucks wherr they didn't kick me out because I explained my situation, people were very happy to see a banjo player and noone complained for the three days i spent there morning and evening. There was a car show, where I met a fellow banjo player who recommend this website for banjo tips and tricks and community, great time. After walking back to Starbucks, a man pulled his truck over and asked if I could play that thing, and I said "all day!". He didnt even listen but gave me his card, and told me to come by his place and he had a recording studio. I felt the angels looking out for me again!
So here I am, foothills of Yuma, AZ, have my car parked in his backyard nice and safe, we are recording music and that is a new level of playing i have been meaning too get to. There are no busses, and the nearest grocery store is 1.8 miles away, so I have found a little bubble to exsist in. Cranking banjo tunes and rock and roll, I also play acoustic and electric guitar, in their respective styles. So i have plenty of time and experience to crank out an album or two, or three! Its getting hot, the sun is oppressive here, and the shade is your only friend in these climates.
So here we are! Hope you enjoyed this most recent tale of adventure that is mt life, more to come!!2 comments
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Jim Yates replied to topic 'thinking of getting a guitar.i have been playing my banjo for some 48 years' 1 hr
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Playing Since: 2012
Experience Level: Purty Good
BobbyMojave has made 4 recent additions to Banjo Hangout
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Occupation: Banjo player/Musician
Banjo, Electric guitar (in the styles of Jimi Hendrix), Acoustic guitar (Bluegrass, Piedmont, 3 & 4 finger Fingerpicking, rhythm/backup, a little flavor of dixieland jazz played by Johnny St Cyr), and i wrote a ukulele song that I really like.
Banjo players, pretty much all of them. Uncle Dave Macon is stellar. 1920's and early 30's records. Dixieland jazz. Blind Willie McTell. So many people i can't name them all. Jimi Hendrix is one of my, if not my, favorites and yes he did play banjo ;) . I like Don Reno, especially on the lost soundtrack album "songs for my many", which features a breakdown that was his response to Foggy Mountain Breakdown and is freggin smoking, my favorite banjo track. Listen to it on youtube!
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Last Visit 11/13/2019
I am a traveling musician. I play music anywhere and everywhere i go. I am bringing the banjo to the people directly, carry it everywhere I go and anything is an excuse to play. I dont really like being in the rain, because i dont want the banjo wet. Banjo is my life so I'm glad i found this incredible resource and community.