Mustang Sally

I have been wanting to notify everyone of a situation affecting my blog. I mentioned a while back that I was having some technical, electronic problem with my camera. It was still working, but the selective shutter and exposure options were somehow compromised and worked intermittently at best. I was, at times, stirred up enough to be tempted to perform some percussive maintenance on it, you know, whack it with a hammer to “get it going again.” Sometimes that works, like in The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo whams his fist against a bulkhead in the Millenium Falcon, which gets the engines going after a faltering start.

Early last week I completed an order of a half dozen #4 Cheney Bass Flies and a half dozen #6 and #8 Puffer Trout Flies. Both of these flies are historic patterns dating from the 1800’s. The customer happens to own an antique brass-faced Hardy Perfect reel with A. N. Cheney’s name engraved on it, hence his interest in these two particular patterns. The accounts of Cheney’s connections to these flies is recorded in Favorite Flies and Their Histories, 1892, by Mary Orvis Marbury, pp. 349-350, and 402. Eventually I’ll do that post, combining photos of these patterns along with Cheney’s old Hardy reel owned by my customer. In the meantime I’m ordering a new camera.

Here is what happened to throw a wrench in the works: When I was getting ready to photograph the flies, I placed my Canon G9 camera on the edge of a TV tray (that’s my high-tech studio set-up photo image platform), and walked away. THUD! I turned around and the camera was on the hardwood floor. I picked it up and set it back on the TV tray, really thinking nothing of it. I mean, it only fell a little over two feet. Then I went about doing something else for a few minutes. When I turned the camera on, the lens extended, but I had no image on the view screen. Then it beeped like never before, next I got this message on the screen: “Lens error. Restart camera.” Which I did. Multiple times, to no avail. The lens would not retract when I turned it on and off. I took the battery in and out a few times. I even tried a little percussive maintenance to get it going again, to no avail. So apparently my camera is history.

Mustang Sally – a great song written and recorded in 1965 by Mack Rice. Course, we all know Mustang Sally gained greater popularity in 1966 in the single release by Wilson Pickett and on his album, The Wicked Pickett. Besides being a fly tier, I’m also a musician and I’m into music trivia. Here’s more interesting info from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_Sally_%28song%29

Here is a great black and white, 1960’s TV video version of Wilson Pickett performing Mustang Sally live:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfuHgzu1Cjg

It’s authentic and live alright, one of the horns is occasionally a tad out of tune, and there’s even a short trumpet mistake note at the end. Why Mustang Sally? Well, I wanted to write something to let everyone know why there has not been any new photo posts here recently, and why there won’t be for a little while longer yet. Though I do have some archived photos. Now I get to the point.

Combining the recent post about my renewed interest in playing and upgrading my drum set; I went to a local bar last Sunday evening, called The Crippled Bear. They have a covered outdoor pavilion and have bands every Sunday night, all summer long, until the end of September. A local classic rock band called Flipside was playing. I had seen them a month ago at the same place and enjoyed them very much. I knew some of the members from local 1960’s bands when I started playing in a band with my brother, Larry, in junior and senior high school. A connection here between fly tying and playing drums is that I started doing both at about the same time in my life, 1964, in the summer after my fifth grade year. I knew the drummer in Flipside, one of them anyway, since I later found out this band uses four or five different drummers; on this night it was Mike Mummey. After not seeing him for thirty-four years I had to tell him who I was after I said, “Hi, Mike,” and after his courteous reply with no reaction of recognition to me, I then asked, “You don’t remember me do you?”

“No.” He replied. When I announced my name, it was a typical hearty handshake and greeting that one would expect after years of not seeing one another. At the end of a brief conversation, he asked, “You wanna play?”

I answered, “Yeah, if you don’t mind, that’d be kinda cool!” We made arrangements for me to do Mustang Sally, since he sings the lead on that and could front the band on the vocal. There were a few of my friends there, but I didn’t tell anyone in advance. They called me up in the middle of the third set, at which point in the evening most of the patrons were, shall we say, really enjoying themselves. It was great! Mike counted us off, and Mustang Sally came to life. Took me a verse to get into the groove and settle into a relaxed mode of playing, but it was wonderful to play in front of a crowd again! The acoustic guitarist, Rock Anello, took me under his wing and cued me to the breaks, they more or less follow The Commitments version on that aspect, which was a good thing since I never performed that song in my life. Though as a drummer, back in the day, all I ever did to learn a song was to keep listening to it. The performance comes when you sit down at the drum set. There were no horns, but the keyboard player used the digitized note settings to fill them in. With double lead guitars, a hot lead guitar solo was inserted in the middle of the song for an entire verse. The dance floor was full, the band was good, and it was really fun! After the break, Shane Wittman, the keyboard / guitarist / lead vocalist / bandleader told me I did a good job and would be welcome to sit in anytime. Most likely I’ll be looking up their playing schedule and take them up on it.