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MMD > Archives > August 1998 > 1998.08.27 > 06Prev  Next

MMD'ers Meet in San Francisco
By Joyce Brite

Thanks, Larry Lobel, for your wonderful report of our meeting in
San Francisco.  Gee, I'm blushing fourteen shades of red from all your
generous words.  Likewise, I enjoyed meeting you, and I'm glad that
you were able to make it to my sister's sale.  (How is that sharpened
punch working?)  Sorry it took me so long to respond, but I had so
much catching up to do at work and at home after being gone for
several days.

It was a short but fun trip to San Francisco.  My sisters and I had
a good visit, and did a lot of things.  Instead of recounting
everything we did, I'll concentrate on the mechanical music aspects.

Larry wasn't the only MMD'er whom I saw in San Francisco.  Our
esteemed editor, Robbie Rhodes, and the South Frisco Jazz Band (SFJB)
were playing at the Sonoma County DixieJazz Festival at Rohnert Park.
I had the pleasure of seeing Robbie and his lovely wife Carole again,
and listening to SFJB perform from a front row seat.  :-)  A travel-
tired but smiling Robbie arrived ("Robbie, where are you?" Vince
wondered aloud) to entertain the audience with his magical fingers.
If you ever get the opportunity to see SFJB perform, you won't be
disappointed.  They are so much fun to listen to.  Try keeping your
feet still!  <big smile of contentment>

My only regret is that I wasn't able to stay longer at the jazz
festival and hear more of the South Frisco Jazz Band and spend more
time with Robbie and Carole.  I especially regret missing Robbie's
25-minute solo performance in "Pianorama" on Sunday.  :-(  However,
my sisters, my nephew, and I did get to share a bite to eat with Robbie
before he had to head off to his next set.  To reiterate, the South
Frisco Jazz Band is a superb band, and well worth going out of your way
to hear.  (P.S.  to Robbie, I appreciated Bryan showing me his Caliccio

During my stay, my sisters and I also visited the San Francisco Music
Box store on Pier 39.  The store has several new Reuge music boxes
displayed in the window, priced from $699-1500.  Sorry, I didn't check
the model numbers, but I did take pictures.

The store also has a fairly new Seeburg Nickelodeon.  I deposited
a quarter and it played "Easy Winners" by Scott Joplin which was a
delight.  The next song it played was "Top of the World" by the
Carpenters.  Good song when Karen Carpenter sings it, not so good
on the Seeburg.  Every time the machine started up, it instantly
grabbed everyone's attention and customers walked over to inspect it.
People seemed rather surprised that a musical box could be this _big_.
I must concede that it is a rather large machine for such a small
store, and it dominates everything when it plays.

We also visited the Musee Mecanique at the Cliff House, where the
machines are crowded together amidst narrow aisles.  I took pictures
and wrote down as many names as I could: Seeburg K nickelodeon (which
survived the fire at the original Cliff House), Wurlitzer B orches-
trion, Regina music box, Seeburg orchestrion, and 1896 Autopiano to
name a few.  Some machines have short, descriptive histories posted on
the machines, however, a number of machines do not have brand names or
models designated which is unfortunate.  The mechanical music machines
are interspersed with old game/amusement machines and video games (Hey!
I got high score on Galaga!)

Prior to our departure on Sunday, we visited the huge flea market at
the Cow Palace.  I only saw two piano rolls: Christmas rolls offered
by a dealer specializing in Christmas items.  One was a 1926 Ampico
Christmas roll for which the dealer was asking $110!  I told him,
"Sorry, I don't own an Ampico."

It was an pleasurable trip.  I've visited my sister in San Francisco
several times and have always enjoyed it.  The area has so much to
offer and I savor each opportunity to go back.

Joyce Brite
Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange

(Message sent Thu 27 Aug 1998, 03:01:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Francisco, Meet, MMD'ers, San

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