by John Jordan PART 2 OF 2 – read part 1 here
Over a year later, I was celebrating my birthday with people from work, and when presented with candles to blow out, I wished for the return of the bari. The next day, Bix Berger, Me Mom’s trumpet player, called me to report a Buescher bari in the French newsweekly classifieds, and at a low price. I called the number he gave me, and was able to confirm over the phone that it was my missing horn.
My keys and phone book were still inside, and I would wager it had not been played since the theft. The couple selling it claimed to have gotten it from his brother, who had paid $350 for it. They were moving back to France and were selling it rather than paying the freight to bring it to France. I gave them $350 for it. I probably could have made a case and walked out with it for nothing, but I felt it was a small price to pay to recover such a treasured item.
Gus van Go, formerly of Me Mom & Morgentaler but in Smitty’s at the time, was walking off the stage at Foufounes, missed the stairs, and did a faceplant into the bari many months later. It was bent at a horrible angle but the magical repair gnomes managed to straighten her out again.
When I went through a period of instability in the early 2000s due to a bipolar diagnosis, I feared for the safety of the bari in my possession. Lorraine Muller, my Kingpins bandmate and longtime friend, and recipient of my Yamaha tenor, had always been making noises about the bari, so I transferred it to her possession.
I am glad knowing it is in good hands, is being used and appreciated, and is finding an audience I can no longer give it. I definitely will call on Lorraine to let me play it again one day. Issa, thanks for the kindness, and for all the happy memories.