|Great Bass Tales, Page 2 | Page 1|
This Is Why I Wear Boots
Once, we played an old rodeo-type arena in Texas. It was small and fairly Spartan in it's layout. Because of this, the band had to share the restroom facilities with the public. During one halftime intermission, I rushed to the men's room to relieve the pressure of having drunk two large cups of coffee before the show. The urinal was actually one large communal trough which extended the entire length of a wall. As I was relieving myself of the pressure, I suddenly felt my right sock getting warm and wet. I looked down to see a six year old, who was not quite tall enough to reach over the trough, relieving himself on the side of the trough. The stream was bouncing off the side of the trough and into my shoe. With no time to change, I had to play the entire second set with a wet sock.
I remember seeing a rock concert when I was a teenager (and yes they had electricity back then) during which the bass player of a then well known band decided to try his hand at a little rock and roll gymnastics. "Glam" was all the rage then and he was decked out in BIG hair, sequined, mirrored, silver Spandex jumpsuit and seven inch platform heels. During their crowd-rousing last tune, the roadies stabilized his triple stack Marshall bass rig while our hero climbed up onto them via a rear mounted ladder. He rocked back and forth while precariously perched on the amp heads. For the go-out-with-a-bang ending, he leapt off the stack onto the stage, playing all the way down. Now bear in mind that the amp stack was a good seven feet in height and he jumped up pretty high as well before descending to earth. Apparently, the stage was a little slicker than he thought. One boot went left, the other went right. Our hero winced in pain briefly before collapsing face down in a heap of glitter. The spotlight went dark and, best I could make out, the roadies were carrying him offstage...
|The "Producer Switch"
I love Lee Sklar's (longtime L.A. studio bassist and bassist with James Taylor) famous story about the large toggle switch he had installed on the front of one of his old session basses. Lee had logged many sessions and had apparently encountered quite a number of self-important, but musically ill-informed producers who liked to instruct the rhythm section as to what to play, sound like, etc. When asked about the switch, Lee claimed that it was his "producer" switch. He explained that it wasn't actually hooked up to anything, but whenever one of these producers would approach Lee about altering the bass sound he was using for the session, Lee would flip the switch the other way and ask, "How's this?" Invariably the answer would be, "That's much better." and the producer would then leave him alone.
|The Bassist's 23rd Psalm (Author Unknown)
The Lord is my drummer- I shall not rush.
He maketh me lay out in tasteful places. He leadeth me beside cool meter changes. He restoreth my "one."
He leadeth me in the right repeats, For His name's sake.
Yea, though I read through the trickiest roadmaps I will fear no train wrecks, for You are with it. Your ride and Your snare, they comfort me.
You setteth up a solo for me in the presence of mine guitarists. You annointeth my lines with drive. My groove overflows.
Surely good feel and swing will follow me all the tunes of each set. And I will dwell in the pocket the whole gig long.
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