Milton Lake

This was a band for whom I did tech work for the guitarist and bassist. When their bassist up and quit** I was asked to join the group. I believe I played with them for about a year. They decided to go “on the road” and I chose “staying home” and pursuing my retail music career. As it turns out, their “tour” was very short-lived but in the meantime, I was alienated from the “inner circle” and missed mostly the guitarist, Sal Oristano who I recently learned had passed a few years ago.

**The original bassist of Milton Lake was Lance Hoppen. OK, so WHO is Lance Hoppen? Well, at first glance, a bass player from Brentwood, LI NY. He left Milton Lake to play with his “little group” which had a couple of songs of which you may be familiar:

Dance With Me

Still The One

I got to see Lance a few months ago when my son Nick and I went to go see John Jorgenson of The Hellescaster’s fame. John was also the lead guitarist for Elton John for many years. We saw them at a local venue, a great local venue, called Ram’s Head Tavern. When I went back stage, I was so surprised that Lance remembered me in that we hadn’t seen one another in almost exactly FORTY YEARS!

MAN, I really must have loved those double knit pants.

BTW, that’s the 2nd Generation of Dan Armstrong basses that were built and sold under the auspices of Ampeg so I am pretty sure it had Ampeg on the headstock, at least the truss rod cover. Those are original Dan Armstrong pickups and like all Dan Armstrongs, the G just never worked right. Oddly, the fundamental was KILLER for a 30.5″ scale. Only kept it for a few weeks and wished I still had it, but it wasn’t up to speed for pro gigging because of the weak G. AH… now that I look closer, you can see the Ampeg on the pick guard.

Behind me and not seen was my Original 1971 SVT, 300wrms all tube and BOTH 8×10 cabinets (most guys were wussies and would only pay for and carry ONE). Other gear I remember: Les Paul Standard through a Marshall 100 Stack (2x 4×12 cabs), B3 with Leslie, Fender Rhodes, Big Ludwig kit with 26″ bass drums, and the Rolled And Pleated Kustom 600 PA system.


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