Roy Janik (zinereem) wrote,
Roy Janik

that flaming ukulele in the sky.

It's possible I ordered a ukulele.

It's possible that it will be arriving next week.

It's also possible that I will be taking lessons from Pops Bayless, of Shorty Long, and formerly of Asylum Street Spankers fame.

The ukulele in question is available with several options. I got it in "uke calyptus green", as shown in the picture. I also got it with a built in pickup and preamp. Excessive, perhaps, but that should save the pain of trying to mike it should the need arise. I was good and didn't opt for the rosewood fretboard or the volume and tone control knobs.

Yesterday, though, they called me and said that due to a mixup with a previous order, they happened to have the ukulele I wanted already built, but with the nice fretboard and knobs. They knocked 70 dollars off of the price, and gave it to me for 50 bucks more than my original order. So despite my efforts to be good, the thing is maxed out anyways

I did some research on finding a teacher, and came across a few messageboards where it was rumored that Pops Bayless gave lessons. Did some research on him. Shorty Long is his band, and they do novelty music, such as songs like "Hey Mr. Hitler" and "Flaming Ukulele in the Sky". He also used to be in the Spankers. So I nervously sent him an e-mail last night, which promptly bounced. This left either calling him or talking to him in person as my only options, both nerve-wracking. I checked the website to see when Shorty Long was playing again, and found to my surprise that they were playing in a few hours at the Longbranch Inn.

So I went. Found Dave, who I'd invited along, and sat down while they set up. Then Sean Orr (fiddler from Pubcrawler) appeared out of nowhere. Turns out he was in the Western Swing band that had just finished playing. He hung out for a while. Shorty Long was fantastic, funny, and crazy. Mysterious John, vocalist and kazoo player was an interesting fellow. After the show I bought a CD and chatted with Pops.

"Would you be willing to teach ukulele lessons?"
"Sure. That's what I do."
"It doesn't matter that I'm a rank beginner, does it?"
"I can teach anyone to play the ukulele."

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