The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52162   Message #797429
Posted By: Rick Fielding
05-Oct-02 - 12:18 PM
Thread Name: Joe Venuti's (in)Famous Practical Joke!
Subject: Joe Venuti's (in)Famous Practical Joke!
Joe Venuti, the great jazz/blues fiddler's name came up in another thread (well OK, it was ME who brought it up) and it reminded me of this famous musician's story. It still makes me laugh to this day, although it really WAS mean, and Joe payed for it big-time. I'll just cut and paste from this website:

"Everyone knows that Bass players
always work, even bad ones; and particularly on New Years Eve. Joe
Venuti, knowing this, decided to play yet another grandiose practical
joke. He called every bass player in the Los Angeles Musician's Union
book, to book them for a gig on one New years Eve!!

He told each and every one of them to meet him on the corner of
Hollywood and Vine a few hours before!

They all did!! Can you imagine the horror?? That New Years Eve, every
bass player in LA was out of work! I heard that Joe had to pay a huge fine
for that practical joke!!"*********************************

He did indeed pay a huge fine, and apparently it took him years. Somewhere there is a picture (taken by Joe himself) of the gathering of bass players but I've never seen it.

Actually there is another famous Venuti story about him giving Roy Rogers' horse trigger an erection(!!) but I'll let someone else find that one.