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Alcatraz harp

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Apr 23, 2009 8:53 PM GMT

Hi All:

Just returned from a 6 day trip to San Francisco with my wife, daughters and 68 other members of the high school senior band (and 4 other chaperons, we ain't crazy enough to try that with just the two of us adults!)

It actually was going on 6 and a half days 'cause the train from SF to Seattle broke down a bunch of times and we had track work delays as well.

But...while in SF I got to tour Alcatraz twice with the 2 halves of the group. On the second time through the cell block tour I was able to look around a bit closer. One bunch of cells were setup with typical contents depicting different aspects of life 'on the rock'. They had a music hour each day and a couple cells had what I'm sure were vintage Marine Bands up on the shelf. Also, in the control room there were 2 vinatage microphones on stands. One was definately a Shure Green Bullet but I couldn't tell what the other was.

The gift shop at the end had Alcatraz harmonica's for sale so I bought one along with an Alcatraz tin drinking cup that makes a pretty good (and authentic looking) harp mute.

The harp is a pretty cheap key of 'C' knock off that, even with a quick re-gapping, was almost un-playable. Bottom cover says, "where music is a privilege". Somethng to think about.

Bunch of the kids bought one as well and they were honking and squawking away as we took the ferry back. Explained the workings of a harp to them and a couple of them were very intrigued. Might offer some followup sessions once we all recover from two nights on the train. (The wine and cheese tasting was good though! :)


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Comments (16)

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Apr 24, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
jawbone s Replied:

I bet there were more than a few heart felt waillin' blues played in there over the years!!

PS - what age were the kids - you must need a bit of recovery time now!!

Apr 25, 2009 2:59 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

no doubt that was a sobering trip. and jb, i have to agree, probably a lot of deep blues was played there!

Apr 25, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
jawbone s Replied:

Hey JBone - do you suppose we got them confused over here yet? Just noticed you gone all hi - falutin' on me with the capital "J" and "K" Just so everyone knows Jawbone K (south) is from Arkansas and jawbone s (north) is from Ontario, Canada.

Hey Moose - the first train trip I ever took, and first trip the the US was in 1965, I was 13 and with the Lindsay Kinsmen Band, we were playing at the New York Worlds Fair - Man, what an experience - that was about 45 years ago and I still have vivid memories

Apr 25, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

They were from grade 8 to grade 12. Really good bunch of kids. They are losing a lot to graduation this year. Next years band will be very different.

Apr 26, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

jb, i think there's enough difference esp with the photos, we're obviously seperate.

for everyone who doesn't know, jb north and i are siamese twins seperated at birth by a siamese doctor.


May 06, 2009 12:35 AM GMT
Madcat Replied:

Harmonica is the only instrument you can play while wearing handcuffs...

May 08, 2009 10:25 PM GMT
Rafa Replied:

I bet there a lot of harmonica-related stories in places like alcatraz

May 10, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
Kingley Replied:

"Harmonica is the only instrument you can play while wearing handcuffs..."

LOL!! Great line Peter! You should use it in a song! :)

May 14, 2009 6:33 AM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

yes, saw the vent hole...and the pock marks in the cement floor where they dropped the bombs from a hole in the ceiling trying to re-capture everyone.

Gotta rent the movie.

May 26, 2009 9:11 PM GMT
blogward Replied:

LOL at Madcat - Harmonica is the instrument you can keep playing even if they put you in handcuffs...

Jun 11, 2009 10:52 AM GMT
DraginInk Replied:

My nephew was showing me pictures of his trip to Alcatraz he took last weekend for his 1st wedding anniversary. A lot of well done photos but my eyes did light up when the controll room shots popped up and the mics jumped out at me ;-)

I also thought of the blues that must have poured out of that place when I was looking at shots of the cells.

Jun 12, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
BlueMoose Replied:

"Gee honey, next weekend is our 1st anniversary and I really think we should do something special to celebrate our love! How about a tour of Alcatraz! "



Jun 21, 2009 10:23 PM GMT
Reed Triller Replied:

""Gee honey, next weekend is our 1st anniversary and I really think we should do something special to celebrate our love! How about a tour of Alcatraz! " Um,,,,,,,,,take the self guided tour if it is just you and her.Much more,,,,,,,,,,fun -coff-

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