Compassion, Comradery, and the NAMM Show

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I have great compassion for my parents. I am sure I was no easy child to raise as I was always so different from the norm.

In my early twenties I visited Egypt during a bicycle tour with a friend. We had started in Stockholm Sweden and made our way south through East Germany right after the wall came down. While in Egypt I meditated in the Great Pyramids of Giza. I got very ill immediately following meditating in the largest of the Giza pyramids. I didn’t leave my hotel room in Egypt for a week and finally decided I needed to get back to the USA for medical treatment ASAP. In line at the airport I remember feeling something move in my body, and within seconds, I stood up straight and was completely better. In a moment, I went from feeling deathly ill, to be completely healed. Following that experience I was able to feel energy around and through my body in a way I previously had no idea was even possible. This energy can be very blissful at times and was part of the meditation experiences I got addicted to that I mention in my, “The answer to the question, did Theo die,” Blog Post.

I mention this as an example of the types of experiences I was primarily interested in much of my early life.

My parents are very grounded in the physical world. As they love me, they wanted the type of success they understood for me, namely financial security and a successful career. When I was younger, though, success to me meant living like a Buddhist monk, or Jesus, or anyone who seemed to have a grasp on the inner workings of life and reality. I have moved more to the middle now (with my parents help) and also include a successful career among what defines success for me.

I remember snubbing my nose during history class in school. People seemed to be making the same mistakes over and over throughout history. I thought to myself, “what is the point of studying this if no-one ever learned anything”. Seeing a civilization move from war to a profound state of peace would define a successful civilization to me. What would such a country have to learn to do this? In short, I wanted to learn about cultures like Shambhala.

Today there is one such country, Bhutan. Buddhism is fully integrated into its government. They don’t measure their countries success by Gross National Product, but by Gross National Happiness. This is not a metaphor; they really do measure their countries success by Gross National Happiness, by how happy the people are.

I remember sitting my mother down one day before another trip to the Far East and stating, “Mom, I really do believe what Jesus said is true. Seek ye first the kingdom of god and all else will be added unto you.” And this is still believe this now. Even though my parents have not always understood my life path, they have always supported me 100%. If there was such a thing as parent grading, I know my parents would receive an A+. Even today their support is amazing and my heart is full of gratitude towards them.

 

NAMM

Tom, Mindy and I just returned from the NAMM show down in Anaheim, California. I was pleasantly surprised to feel the wonderfully supportive and open atmosphere in the saxophone industry. Even among the mouthpiece manufacturers there was a wonderful sense of comradery and support. Many people believe the definition of competition means, “when two or more fight for a single prize. And in good competition, one wins and the other is annihilated.” However the original Latin definition of compete actually means, “to come together,” or “to strive together.” I know it takes this kind of working together for long term success, and I am happy to say I felt it strongly among most who I met at NAMM. We had the distinct pleasure of connecting with:

  • Steve Goodson – Besides having extremely innovative ideas applied in his Orpheus saxophone and flute line and in a new mouthpiece he is working on, Steve also has a heart of gold. He was very forthcoming and helpful with our new products as well.
  • Remle (Beechler) – I finally got a chance to meet the wonderful Judy Beechler. She is Elmer Beechler’s daughter. We had talked a lot on the phone, but never met face to face. What a wonderful person.
  • Oleg – Oleg showed me his famous necks and unique new saxophone mouthpiece.
  • Bay – It was an absolute pleasure to meet the legendary Charles bay and his son Jonathan. They have three generations working in their shop now. They were also very supportive and gave us some wonderful tips as well.
  • Vandoren – Who showed off their wonderful new V16 line of mouthpieces. The consistency in them is really amazing and a delight to see. They also had some other cool new products…some of which we like so much we will carry them on our site soon.
  • Rick Izumi – A wonderful fellow with a great smile from Golden Sound Distributors.
  • Inaki Vildosola – He makes the very cool ff fortissimo ligatures.

  • ProTec – Eric and Andy are very helpful and have great ideas.
  • Jody Jazz – It was nice to shake hands with Jody Espina again! Check out his new website, it is very cool!
  • Michael Parlett – Michael hosts a radio show in LA. He was playing on a vintage Guardala Brecker II, but after trying our only Kali said, You know you’re not getting this back, right? And we didn’t!
  • James Carter – It was a treat to run into James again and hear his incredible playing on our new Parvati and Kali mouthpieces. His comment, “Theo, they are blowin’ all A’s”.
  • Marion Meadows – The great soprano player also had a smile while blowing the Kali prototype. We greatly enjoyed his company.

I cannot emphasize enough the absolute pleasure I feel after experiencing such comradery at NAMM!

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2 Responses to “Compassion, Comradery, and the NAMM Show”

  1. Matt Lilley Says:

    Theo,

    Thank you for sharing your life and NAMM experiences. You’re a true class act as you praise and are happy for others (even your competitors) and that is so rare in this world we live in! I’m ordering an AMMA very soon.

    Matt

  2. Proffesor Silvio Martin Klasmer Says:

    Dear Mr. Theo: first of all I have to say that my English is no perfect, but I believe that you understand me. I am a proffesor and performer of saxophone and clarinet, here in Repùblica Argentina. I love jazz, and I perform with my quartet in weddings, all tipe of events, etc, and also have a quantity of 40 pupils, particular and in groups at two institutes. My main axe is a tenor sax and clarinet, and my setup is a Selmer MVI 95XXX and a O.L. hard rubber 7 star., and an old Leblanc clarinet with a Kaspar muthpiece. I write this lines friendly is to connect with you to find the mode of test your famous wood mouthpieces. I hear them in clips played by a number of N.A. saxophonists and I was delightful with them. If you write to my e-mail I will very happy, and if I could test only a wood one in the wide of my O.L. I touch the sky with my hands! And too I will show to my students! Well , mr. Theo, I wait your mail, and I wish to you and your family a nice 2010! God bless you! Proffesor Silvio Martin Klasmer- Pje. Esquina 2675- (1408)- Capital Federal- Repùblica Argentina

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