Stan Getz Community

Remembering Stan...

My name is Irving (Bob) Mesher. I am 85 years of age and a childhood friend of Stan. I lived at 1449 Minford Pl. and Stan lived at 1453 Minford Pl. in the South Bronx. At the age of 14, I was part of a neighborhood trio. Stan at that time was fooling around with a harmonica. He was interested in joining our group and wanted to play drums. I told him we already had a drummer but in need of a sax player. He got his parents to buy him a sax and when he received it, he immediately came over to my home, opened the case for the very first time, figured out how to put the reed on the ligature and started playing Begine The Beguine without ever playing a note on any saxophone. I noticed that the sax was a C Melody Sax and was obsolete even in 1939. He convinced his parents to trade in the sax and I advised them to get Stan an Alto Sax. He started taking lessons from Al Avon in the Bronx. After a few months, his teacher said he could teach him no more. Stan completed all the lesson books and was playing better then his teacher. He was admitted to the school band at Herman Ridder J.H.S in the Bronx where he was allowed to play different instruments at various rehearsals including Timpani, Bass Fiddle or any instrument he desired after the band master realized Stan's talent. We both then graduated and attended James Monroe H.S. in the Bronx where Stan played in all the school orchestras. At the age of 16 he left school to join the Dick Rogers band. After a short stint with Rogers, Jack Teagarten took Stan under his wings and that was about the time Stan skyrocketed into fame. When we had the neighborhood band as kids, Stan's father printed some business cards for us which I have in my possesion. While in High School we had photo taken of the band when Stan was 16 which I also have in my possession. Anyone interested in having a copy of the collectors item business cards and High School photo can contact me at ving@ptd.net and I will gladly forward the items to them. So...whatever you may have heard, I was the responsible person to steer Getz to the Sax instead of drums. Who knows, maybe would have become a famous drummer...

Views: 74

Comment by RUBIANO Gérard on February 5, 2010 at 6:11pm
What a fabulous story ! Thank you Sir to tell us this beautiful story !

Best regards!

Gérard
Comment by Antonio Galasso on March 4, 2010 at 1:23pm
I am 66 years of age. My English is very poor, but what I have to say is very simply: in my opinion, Stan Getz was the greatest jazzman of his time. I am happy that Irving steered Stan to Sax. Antonio

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