It Was A Gas! Final Column

Final Column

This is my final column because all the appropriate material has now been published. Nearly 50 anecdotes were published in 13 different monthly issues of this fine paper and I am sad that I can’t continue. However, I hope you now realize that experiencing 50+ years with a jazz band is more than just blowing into a mouthpiece and pushing valves up and down.

Natural Gas Jazz Band
At the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival in Davenport Iowa, 1988. From Left: John Hartman, Pete Deetken, Phil Crumley, Bob Murphy, & Al McDearmon. (Photo Courtesy Phil Crumley.)


In last month’s column about the Saga of the San Felipe Taxi, some confusion exists as to the author of the piece. It was soprano saxophonist Bob Murphy, not Phil Crumley, who experienced and wrote about this crazy episode.

Red Wood Coast

She Said What?

There is one last memorable incident that I would like to include before signing off. We were playing before a crowded dance floor when a couple danced up very close to the front of the stage. The dancers turned so that the female of the pair was facing the band. She then exclaimed very loudly, “I am not wearing any underpants.” I was somewhat taken aback by this revelation and could only muster up a stupid reply that was something like, “ I – ah-um-well – um-er- way to go.”

Over & Out

It has been a real pleasure putting these columns together and reminiscing while researching the material. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Newsman Lester Holt’s quote represents the final thought that I wish to leave with you, “Take care of yourself … and each other.”

Bye now,


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