Posted on

Selmer Mark VI Vintage Saxophones

Selmer Mark VI Vintage Saxophones

I am working on a beautiful loop side key Selmer Mark VI tenor and it needs about half the pads changed. As I start I see that 3 or 4 pads have been changed a long time ago and the repairman took out the original Dome Metal Selmer Boosters and used the Hollywood Tone Booster instead. Now the sax has a few Hollywood and some Selmer Metal.

Replacing those 3 or 4 original boosters is costly and they are hard to find. Having been in the repair business for close to a 100 years it feels like I had a few of the original Selmer Boosters in my shop. (don’t call they were the last I had)

It is up to you when you take a great vintage saxophone to a repairman to let them know you want the original boosters replaced in the pads. They simply un-screw and screw into the new pad. Believe it or not it would have been faster for the repairman to re-use the original boosters that to put in the Hollywood Boosters.

Having the same booster helps balance the tone color of the sax, helps the response to be the same throughout the instruments and just looks right……

Keep the original Metal Dome Boosters as long as you can…

Posted on

New ABS Paris Master Model Clarinet

I just got the first shipment of the New ABS Paris Master Model Clarinet (PMM-ABS1) in and they are great.  They have a very quick response, great intonation and the tone of a very good wood clarinet.  This clarinet will last a young student form the start of they’re playing career to their High School Graduation and through College on most cases.

I have already played this clarinet on a couple of performances and I am very pleased with how it plays.


Parie Master Model

Posted on

Great Clients: Tommy Newsom

Great Clients: Tommy Newsom

Now I have been very fournate to have a lot of great clients in my life. But I think Tommy Newsom was the only guy that made me laugh just walking through the door. He always ask ‘what are you laughing at?” I never really answered but just had the big smile on my face. The man was just naturally funny.. even when he was being serious I had the smile. Tommy brought me a lot of great moments…….

Tommy Newsom, Saxophonist, Dies at 78

Published: May 1, 2007

Correction Appended

Tommy Newsom, the good-humored backup bandleader on “The Tonight Show” who earned fame as Johnny Carson’s comical punching bag — and respect among musicians as a composer, arranger and saxophone soloist — died on Saturday at his home in Portsmouth, Va. He was 78.


The Los Angeles Times, via Associated Press
Tommy Newsom in 1992.

The cause was cancer, his nephew Jim Newsom told The Associated Press.

Mr. Carson famously delighted in tossing barbs at his regular bandleader, Doc Severinsen, often concerning his flamboyant personality and garish attire. Mr. Newsom, who favored conservative brown suits, got lambasted for his tameness. Mr. Carson called him “the man from bland,” “Mr. Excitement” and the “comatose commander.”

He once compared Mr. Newsom to oatmeal, saying, “It won’t hurt you, but you don’t look forward to it.” He once even offered a line from a prospective obituary for Mr. Newsom: “He died of natural dullness.”

Mr. Newsom said in a 2005 interview with The Virginian-Pilot that he did not mind the harpoons, because Mr. Carson prefaced them by saying what a great musician he was. It was a widely shared view.

In addition to being assistant music director of the orchestra for “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” he published hundreds of arrangements and compositions. Among those who performed his works were Skitch Henderson, Woody Herman, Beverly Sills, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Byrd and John Denver.

He toured South America and the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman, and performed on records with artists like Buck Clayton, a trumpeter for Count Basie. His arrangements were cited in Emmy Awards for musical direction given to “Night of 100 Stars” in 1982 and “The 40th Annual Tony Awards Show” in 1986. He wrote and arranged symphonic pieces.

Beginning in 1992, Mr. Newsom did arrangements and compositions for the Diva Jazz Orchestra, a respected all-female band. Sherry Maricle, the band’s leader, said in an interview yesterday that he factored in the talent of each individual player, as well as the overall sound of the group. She lauded his “sense of swing.”

Thomas Penn Newsom was born in Portsmouth on Feb. 25, 1929. As a young boy, he stared longingly at saxophones’ shiny keys in pawnshop windows, and his parents bought him one when he was 8. He started performing with older musicians when he was 13 at the Elk’s Club and similar settings.

“It was a lust,” he said, referring to his infatuation with music as a teenager in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1992. “I had to do it.”

Mr. Newsom attended the Norfolk Division of the College of a William & Mary, a junior college that became Old Dominion University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in musical education from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he paid some of his tuition by playing in strip joints. He then played with Airmen of Note, an Air Force jazz ensemble during a four-year enlistment. He next earned a master’s degree at Columbia University

His professional break came when Goodman hired him to tour with his band. A member of Goodman’s band recommended him to Merv Griffin, and he won a spot on Mr. Griffin’s afternoon show. That led to “Tonight,” where he began on April 2, 1962. Mr. Carson took over as host six months later. The two retired together on May 22, 1992. Mr. Carson died in 2005.

Mr. Newsom is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia, and their daughter, Candy Newsom of Teaneck, N.J.

He insisted in interviews that he never minded not being the principal “Tonight” bandleader, nor did he mind Mr. Carson’s insults.

A few times, though, Mr. Newsom refused to let Mr. Carson have the last word. Once, he discarded his customary conservative garb and wore a screaming yellow suit, and Mr. Carson cracked, “Look at that big, dumb canary.”

“You’ll know what kind of bird I am when I fly over you,” Mr. Newsom replied.

Correction: May 2, 2007
An obituary yesterday about Tommy Newsom, the backup bandleader for “The Tonight Show” whom Johnny Carson used as a comical target, misstated part of the name of the Air Force jazz ensemble in which he played. It is the Airmen of Note, not Airman.




Posted on

How I met Eddie Harris.

How I met Eddie Harris.

How I met Eddie Harris

I was setting in my shop minding my own business when a guy came in… I thought I recognized him for somewhere but I jut could not place him. He said “I cannot play my high notes on my tenor and I need your help” well then I knew where I had seen him. It was on some of hi album covers and it was Eddie Harris. Now I am not the brightest person on the planet but I was definitely not going to they to tell Eddie Harris about how to play high notes.

He turned his back to me and put his saxophone together and started to play. Well it sounded just terrible. I had no idea what to say… then he turned around and his neck was at a right angle. He had closed it in his car door and it was bent to hell. He just started laughing and that was how I met him… He was yanking my chain before I met him. He always had something funny to say and kept me laughing. By the way he was playing a Mark VII Tenor and I had a new neck I gave him…

Posted on



23225 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505

This EL TORITO – TORRANCE Restaurant has great food and the people are very nice and friendly. The service is good and the place is beautiful inside.

For some reason they make some of the best ribs I have ever had… just at this restaurant. I discovered them when a couple of my friends and I ordered the combo platter and it has some rib on it…. Well they were so good the next time I went in I had the Rib Dinner. They melt in you mouth.. just great. They also have a good tostada salad that is very good if you are watching what you eat. I always watch what I eat .. I look at it… then put it in my mouth. But I do watch it……

Posted on

Stanley’s Restaurant

Stanley’s Restaurant
13817 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone:818-986-4623   Fax: 818-986-8543

Stanley’s has very good food and service. It is beautifully designed and very comfortable inside.
I have been going to Stanley’s for several years and it holds a lot of memories. It is the last place my friend Bernie Fleischer and I had lunch just a few days before he died. My friend Sam Riney, I think was the first person to mention Stanley’s and we often go there for lunch.
Again the food is great and that is important for a restaurant.

Posted on

Fitting the saxophone neck cork.

Fitting the saxophone neck cork. The main thing to remember when fitting a neck cork to the mouthpiece is simple. The neck is a cone with a taper and both the cork and mouthpiece are cylinders. So you must sand the cork more on the side toward the neck register key and less at the end the mouthpiece fits on….

We have all seen the necks where the mouthpiece only goes on so far the rest of the cork is big. Simply not sanded enough at the back end of the cork. The mouthpiece need to go all the way on the cork, not that you will always play it there but it is nice to have a little wiggle room just in case.

Check out my video on neck corks.

Posted on

Bamboo Cuisine Great Food

Bamboo Cuisine Great Food
14010 Ventura Blvd.,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(located between Murietta Ave. & Costello Ave.)
Tel: 818-788-0202 • Fax: 818-788-5802

Sunday – Thursday     11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Friday & Saturday     11:30 am – 11:00 pm

My friend Darryl who I talk about a lot took me and my friend Scott Page to this restaurant for a business lunch. Darryl knows his food and this place had a lot of great dishes. Man…. We had a Garlic Shrimp, a mixture of Scallops, vegetables and Shrimp, Fried Rice and more.

The service was a little slow but everyone was very nice. I am looking forward to going back soon.

Posted on

Why does my young clarinet section play flat?

Why does my young clarinet section play flat?

Beginning, grade school and junior high clarinets player are often flat because most of the manufactures of student clarinets make them with barrels that are simply too long. The young student that is just starting to produce a tone and have not developed an embouchure needs a shorter barrel. The long barrel can cause the student to develop some bad habits like biting or have the bottom lip to tight to get the pitch up creating a thin tone and hurting the response of the clarinet.

Most student clarinet come with a 65mm pr 66mm barrel these lengths of barrels usually require a stronger reed to get the pitch up and good (3 1.2 to 5 strength).


Young developing students cannot use these hard reeds so the barrels should be at least a 64mm and better yet a 63mm allowing the student to develop a more relaxed embouchure, have a better tone and use softer reeds.

Posted on

Good Neighbor Restaurant Studio City California

Good Neighbor Restaurant Studio City California

Good Neighbor Restaurant
or a few years my Sax Shop was located in the same shopping center so I ate at the Good Neighbor almost everyday.  It has gone through several owners since then but my good friends Bette & Rick Nowinski have owned it for a long time now.  They have done a great job fixing the restaurant up and expanding it to offer better service.

I till mostly have the same breakfast when I go there now since it is not that close to where I live.
Egg Beaters mixed with mushrooms and American Cheese lightly cooked, generally with burned French Fries, an English Muffin well done with extra butter and Ice Tea.  NOt healthy but it sure is good …..