Djordje asked me to share this story with y’all after I sent it to him.
I stumbled upon Djordje’s slap bass site looking for god knows what. I noticed he has a ‘thing’ with Gypsy bass players. Apart from roots orientated stuff I play quite a bit of East Block stuff with my acoustic band, so I too have a big interest in those guys.
Which leads me to a funny story about a thing that once hapened to me.
I was playing at an art festival in Kassel, Germany with Mark Foggo, with whom I’ve been playing for a year or two. Europeans might know him, he’s an original Two Tone Ska man that still delivers his Ska/Punk mix all over the continent and has been doing so for the last 25 years.
After the gig we went for a walk backstage. Behind a big tent we caught up with a few gypsy’s that turned out to part of Taraf de Haïdouks. I knew they were on the bill as well and I hoped that I could see them play. I was to late, but we sat down to drink with them and they started to play. One guy was just sitting there, and as somebody walked by with a three string upright he beckoned the guy over an started to play the bass. It was then and there that I made a vow to myself to burn my double bass when I came home again (Foggo is a strictly electric bass gig). That guy was AMAZING! Easily he best upright bassplayer I have ever seen!
As none of the Taraf’s spoke anything other than Romanian, I asked the tour manager to give the bassplayer my compliments. He looked at me all funny, and said: ‘the bassplayer isn’t here, he’s in the hotel, he’s not feeling very well’. ??? It turned out that the guy that I saw playing the bass was ‘just’ the flute player!!! Unbelievable.
I think it was one of those once-in-a-million nights that gave me a good story too!
Some time after that I got to see the movie Chocalat in one of my rare romantic moments. In the movie there’s a scene where Johnny Depp is at a party where the Taraf are are playing in exactly the same setting as I have seen them in. Great movie :-)!