Friday, July 17, 2009

Dick Longale Party


There is now a blog about Guitarist/Teacher Dick Longale - if you have any memories...
( of course you do ) perhaps you'd like to share.....
We are going to have a Dick Longale party Wednesday night Audust 12th at Bernuzio's Uptown Music, 122 East Avenue tel. (585) 473-6140  starting at 7p.m. HIs partner in crime on the bandstand for many years in the 60's  singer/ bassist Jeanne Brooks will be here from down south. We may even have some salvaged recordings that she made of them rehearsing. Pass the word if you would. John will be serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in honor of our fine man. There will be stories and playing...

17 comments:

  1. The last time I saw Dick was shortly before he passed. I brought my newly born daughter, Rose there. I don't think Dick had ever seen a baby. He asked in his curmudgeonly way, "What is it?" I replied, "She's my little girl Dick, she is two weeks old." At that he stammered, "Two weeks....how can a person be two weeks? I have bread in my refrigerator older than that!"

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  2. I have many memories of Dick, like when another student told him she had gotten a kitten but was unsure of whether it was a male or a female. Dick responded "little fuzzy nuts, man".

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  3. I remember another time a student asked how he ranked his love of guitar among his other interests. He said first was women, then airplanes then the guitar. This is the same Dick Longale who, when asked what genre he played, blues, jazz, etc., he replied "I play the guitar". He was humble.

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  4. I have so many great memories of Dick. Of course taking Dick to Potsdam with Steve Greene to visit the cemetery where his mother and aunt and uncle were buried. He told stories about being raised by his aunt and uncle, and going on the road after they died. I brought ice cream sandwiches to many lessons - I think the one thing he appreciated more was when my wife Mary Jo made him homemade white bread. Every time after that when she came along to visit he would burst into "Here she is, Miss America". My favorite story was when Dick met Django - does anyone have any other details? The version I remember went something like this: It was probably 1945 because the Allies had the Nazis on the run and had liberated most of Paris, though there were still some Germans at the outskirts of town. In any case, Dick and his 2 friends were among the first GI's to get leave for some R&R. Dick talked them into looking for Django's club, Le Roulotte (a gypsy caravan -sp?). They searched through the streets of Paris, but with no French they had to rely on the soldier who spoke Italian to try to ask people where Django was. Finally they turned a corner, and there it was. Dick said he was so nervous...they went into the bar and were able to communicate that they were looking for Django. The bartender picked up the phone, called, and said he'd be right over. Now Dick was really nervous! They waited anxiously, then a shadow fell over the table, and there he was! Dick's first impression was that he was quite tall, though perhaps it was because of his awe of him. Django sat down and talked with them for a while, until Dick worked up the nerve to ask if he would play something. Django said yes, and stood up to walk to the stage. The club went silent. Her played several tunes, and returned to the table with his guitar. Dick asked if he could play it, and Django handed him the guitar. Dick said, "Do you remember this one?" and played a few notes of "Sweet Georgia Brown" until Django grabbed the guitar and said "No, it goes like this" and played the tune. Django invited the GI's back to his home for a bit, and then they left. The next part of the story gets a little risque involving what the soldiers did with the rest of their R&R, so I'll end it there. The one other memory of Django that Dick had I've never seen described - he said that while Django was sitting at the table talking with them he would take toothpicks out of his shirt pocket and bend them between 2 fingers until they broke.

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  5. The first time I met Dick was when I just got out of Viet Nam and I joined a group called Music Union and two of the guitar players Dan Smith, and Dan Twentymon rented a room from Dick when he had a house on Alexander Street. Dick on top of being one of the best guitar players I ever heard was a unique character. He would spend many nights with us just showing Danny and Thom songs and I would be along with my bass. Loved his wit, would be working on song arraigments with us and would talk us through it most of the time without playing and then when he would play (if frustrated he would play a few measures of the Bananza theme) and then would let loose with the head of a standard and would never play it the same way twice but would improvise different chordal structures each time. I often thought that he kept us around all night just to go out to get him donuts and coffee. Dick never liked to go outside. At one time he tried to put together a guitar symphony with his students and used me on bass and also used a drummer. We were going to play it at Red Creek but, Dick was such a perfectionist that it never made it out of his studio. I secretly taped a portion of it and have called a friend up in California who might still have it. If it can be found I will bring it to the get together. Dick left me with many great memories.

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  6. I got lucky when I met Dick. He showed me all the fat jazz chords and how to harmonize melody with bass movement. When you get done you have a complete sound with one guitar. That's the way Dick liked it. Danny 20mon.

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  7. Thanks Steve for starting this blog. What a great idea :)
    I was lucky enough to have Dick in my life for a short while as his student. He was an amazing character, full of humor & music. I was introduced to him by his friend , Bob Stutz (of Harmonicat fame) I was in a band (called Wired) with Bob's son Will.
    Between amazing & very memorable lessons, Will and I would sometimes go over and help Dick around the house. One day we were helping him hang pictures and he had us turn the nail hammering into "name that tune" ! So there we were tapping out classis tunes with a hammer and nail all over his walls.
    Re: the story about Django , I was told that he was AWOL.

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  8. I heard Dick was one of 3 GI's that got to go on leave after drawing straws - but AWOL is more intriguing : )

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  9. Great event tonight Steve ! Congratulations to all those who helped make it a success.

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  10. Thanks Everyone for a really nice gathering . I'm sure Dick is tickled about how loved he is here !

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  11. Thanks for an very interesting evening. Special thanks to Deborah Mangone for emailing my sister about the party, otherwise I wouldn't have known. I very much enjoyed the Dick Longale stories and the great music.

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  12. It truly was a great night. It is remarkable how many musicians Dick has touched and how impactful he was on them. I have listened to the CD Steve made several times and it reminded me of Dick's formidable talent. I hope more tapes emerge they get digitized, I can't get enough.

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  13. Thanks for starting this blog, Steve.... great to read the comments and reminisce. I washed millions of dishes while listening to him give lessons :) When it came time for MY lesson, he'd complain that my fingertips were 'soggy' and ordered me into the living room to "unlax" and watch some TV. We had a wonderful friendship and a LOT of laughs. I'll share more when I have the time. So thrilled to have found this blog through a friend of mine. Rachel TRANSL8RR@gmail.com

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  14. Just saw the Freetime with the Website. Wish I attended this event . Reading the threads and what memories. I enjoyed Dick's humor as much as his gift of playing. Passing thoughts. He would show a progression and scale patterns to play over. Dick played tasty licks that would build up and then stop, . . . Look around the room, look at me and say “ there goes another one” then he would look back at his guitar and go back into playing. The first couple of times he threw me then I was looking forward to the next one that went by. The collection of model planes were great. I took lessons with Dick when I was a kid. ( 18) I wanted to play with taste having the guitar say what was in my head. Dick was the contributing factor on this on going journey. One other memory: Dick invited me to a Jazz get together with some of his students. As I sat in with the group, there was conversations on Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery, ( really did not know who they were back then) So I commented on Jimi Hendrix being one of most influential guitarist in the rock world. Nobody commented and 10 seconds of silence felt like an hour. Dick piped in saying positive things about Hendrix, something like “ yea, good guitar player” which was enough for me to feel like I contributed. Oh yea, Woodchopper’s ball and Laural and Hardy riff. Great guy, Great teacher, was very fortunate that he was in my world.

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  15. Just wanted you to know that my mom, Jeannie Brooks, passed away on Feb.17th 2015. Please feel free to sign her memorial book online at: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/democratandchronicle/jeanne-decroce-condolences/174186581?#sthash.VDbOMRNx.dpbs Thank you and God Bless, Lu

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  16. Does anybody know how to contact someone in dick's family or any type of foundation concerning his work. Came into possession of one of his posters apparently was signed by all of his students at that time. Would like to try and get it into good hands. I can be contacted at harryjoemama@yahoo.com

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  17. Hi Everyone,
    My name is Kurt Barney. My father George Barney (Deceased) was Dick's half-brother. My sisters and brother now older have found ourselves discussing our family and relatives. Dick was one who we had only met a few times. My father was very proud of Dick and his accomplishments. His happiest moments were whe we would sit around and look through photo albums and those that had pics of Dick when he was in the army. I am planning on making the party August 12th and meet many of you who knew him. If anyone would like to contact me it would be an absolute pleasure to talk to you. My name is Kurt Barney at kgbarney616@hotmail.com or phone # 315-212-3260

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