Tag Archives: gypsy jazz

Going Overseas

My father used to call Europe “overseas”. He also called the frig the “icebox”. This past weekend we went overseas with our icebox. Amazing how little things change. We took a ferry across the Strait of Juan de Fuca (the sea) in our camper van, carrying with us a cooler, which is in fact a box full of ice. We were not in Europe but in this case Europe came to us, or to Langley, Washington that is.

Among the assembled talent were numerous European musicians doing their bit to keep the spirit of the “gypsy jazz” genre alive. Although it is a sad state of affairs that here in “America” (north) we can only muster a few hundred diehard fans to come and see the best festival of its kind outside of Europe, perhaps that is a blessing in disguise. Tickets are plentiful, and the venues are small enough to actually see the performers well enough to talk to them. Try that in a giant arena at the next rock festival you go to. Despite the fact that in 10 years since I first attended Djangofest NW the ticket price has risen from $20 to $65, the price of a rock concert has gone up beyond all comprehension.

McCartney charges $180 now for the privilege of watching him from a half mile away on a giant screen. In their heyday the Beatles charged about $10 a seat. Nostalgia is not worth $170. I’d like to see all the old billionaire rock stars go on tour and charge nothing as a payback for the fortunes they’ve made off the millions of fans over the years. I’d also like to hear an intelligent debate from politicians. And while we’re at it, I’d like to find some really well preserved old typewriters for sale.

Well – some dreams do come true if only partly – you will see here that I had part of my wish this past weekend. While out for a walk we passed a store in Port Angeles that had the machines shown below in the window, not for sale but only on display. This saved me the agony of not being able to buy them had they been for sale, as it might have been hard to choose which to leave behind. Right around the corner from there was a favourite pub of ours where we quaffed some excellent micro-brewed beer while I felt a pleasant contentment to have bagged some good pictures.

ticket prices then and now

Harris No. 4

Smith Premier 10

Oliver 9

Royal 5


Filed under Guitars, Photography, Typewriters, VW Vans