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ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 1012
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:51 am:   Edit Post

I recently took over as the "House Bassist" at a local open mic. The previous bassist moved away, and there was an opening so I took it.

Last week, there was a guy that wanted to play, a younger guy for that matter. All fine and good, except that he's more of a metal/modern rock guy, with a chain that goes from his wallet to somewhere on his pants, and a huge belt buckle ...

I'm using my Lakland 4-94 and my Fender Jazz ('73) on this evening .. he keeps coming up and wanting to play, telling me "oh, I used to have this, that, but had to sell it to move to here from Florida ... my bass is at our practice space, and I can't bring it because I don't have a car ...." I reluctantly let him use my Fender Jazz ...

He's halfway through a song before I see him jettison the chain and belt buckle (to his credit). Fortunately, no damage is done to my Jazz.

Fast forward to this week ... I take my Entwistle Series II.

He comes up and asks, "is that the only bass you brought with you?" My reply? "Yes." He slinks away, knowing that he'll never get his hands on it. I wasn't trying to be a jerk, but jeez, if you're going to an open mic, bring an instrument at least. And the argument that he's on a bike doesn't wash - he can buy a cheap gig bag that will work fine.

Anyway, he doesn't play.

My guess is next week he'll show up with a bass.

BTW, everyone told me how great my bass sounded.
senmen
Senior Member
Username: senmen

Post Number: 1087
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 3:09 am:   Edit Post

Great story Alan!
The statement of that guy if that is the only bass you brought with you is just blasphemy.... :-)
Greetz
Oliver (Spyderman)
stoney
Senior Member
Username: stoney

Post Number: 503
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 6:06 am:   Edit Post

When I get called to be the house bassist, I always take a beater-bass.
eligilam
Senior Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 406
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post

So...was he any good?
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 1013
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 4:23 pm:   Edit Post

He's OK, but he definitely isn't versatile. He did the usual slap wankery, but he strikes me as more of a metal guy. I could be wrong, though.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1482
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 7:05 pm:   Edit Post

I went to a Denver Music Awards ceremony and had my Starfire with me. At the end of the night there was a big jam and it turned out I was one of the few people who brought a bass. I went up to the stage and plugged in and right as the music started, this metal guy literally grabbed it out of my hands. I guess he was in a band with the drummer and felt that it was his right to grab any bass because he had to play with the drummer and he was especially all worked up because the guys up front were rappers and he had to show them how superior rap was to metal. I was so dumbfounded that I stood there staring at him from about 18" away. At the end of the jam, I took my bass back from him and he didn't even look at me, but ran off. Not even a thanks, man. I've never heard music played at such cross purposes before, if you can call it music. It was aural disrespect. I would have been happy to provide a groove for the rappers, but I never got a chance. It's the last time I'll bring a bass to something like that.
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 230
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 6:24 am:   Edit Post

I might get perceived sometimes as a nasty man for this, but with time I've grown up on an attitude of not giving my instruments -or any equipment- to anyone, and being wary of giving them to my friends, unless I am pretty much sure on how careful they will be with them. I've said "no" more than once on shared stages, and got the looks, but nowadays I prefer to keep the integrity and care of what I've fought hard for, than having to care about someone that might not care about me. Is this how I wanted it? Not at all, in fact is quite the contrary of what I have always wanted to believe in, but it has been a hard learned lesson, and it is people like that guy Edwin said who taught it. Worst thing is they don't (probably never will) have an idea on how their acting really affects them and their environment. "They would not listen, they're not listening still, perhaps they never will..."
5a_quilt_top
Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 89
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 8:41 am:   Edit Post

Ditto for me.

Every time I've loaned gear, even to friends, something has been tweaked, or worse, damaged.

This is also not how I'd like to behave, but unfortunate past circumstances have dictated this policy.

To be fair, I do not ask to borrow gear from others and am also very reluctant to play an instrument owned by someone else - even if offered to me by the owner.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3386
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 9:49 am:   Edit Post

Ditto for me too.
I have refrained from playing anyone else's guitar or bass and very rarely, countable on one hand, allowed anyone to play mine especially not before a gig. I have seen a the guitarist of support act pick up and use the guitar of the main act at a function and broke a string without telling the guitar owner. Fortunately I knew the owner of the guitar and got a message to him before his set started.

There are a couple of guys I would consider allowing to try out my instruments and those situations would be outside of a gig or jam context.

Jazzyvee
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1485
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post

I've got to say that I've gone the opposite way as well. Right after I got my Shorty, I played a festival (stop reading, Pierre-Yves, if this makes you nervous!) and I was recording the whole thing as well as playing several times, so I leant the Shorty to quite a few of the bass players, most of whom I knew pretty well. Everyone was super respectful and really enjoyed it, as did the audience. It was great to hear the bass from out front through a large outdoor PA.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3387
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post

Good story Edwin, I wish I was brave enough to do that as I would like to hear my bass from out front through a large PA so I know what kind of sound i'm pushing out when I'm playing.

jazzyvee
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1437
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post

I'll mail you my bands gig dates :-)
moonliner
Intermediate Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 114
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 7:07 pm:   Edit Post

I was playing a gig with an old blues guitarist in Seattle years ago and at that time I was playing a Steinberger. A guy who had played bass with the guitarist in the past came up and wanted to sit in. Since Steinberger's are somewhat bullet proof and I kind of knew the guy I let him sit in. As I watched he broke one string, then another...... and another. The guitar player kept looking between me and he other bass player in disbelief until the song ended and he just handed me the bass with 3 broken strings hanging from it. Nice. I was kind of used to breaking strings on that bass and since it was the end of the night I let it slide as it was actually funny in a surreal kind of way. He didn't ask to sit in any more, not that I would have let him!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1488
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 7:25 pm:   Edit Post

I did the reverse of that. I was playing an outdoor gig at UC Santa Cruz ca. 1981 and broke a string. I then borrowed another bass, broke a string on that and it cut my finger, so I also bled all over it. I borrowed a third bass and broke a string on it and then the bandaid broke loose, so it suffered a blood bath as well. I used to break strings a lot, but now it hardly ever happens. Better strings these days? Maybe.
moonliner
Intermediate Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 116
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, March 22, 2013 - 7:35 pm:   Edit Post

The things we do for our art!
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 231
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 8:00 am:   Edit Post

What is really comforting is that, despite all the mishaps and awkwardnesses, there are always situations such as Edwin's that makes us not giving up on hope entirely. I suppose if I gather a bunch of musician friends who I know well as good people who also take good care of their instruments, maybe it would happen like that to me too (but not yet so far) :-)
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 104
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 8:26 am:   Edit Post

There's something to be said for getting a good vibe from the person expecting to play your instrument as well. I would find it impossible to let anyone go near a 10K instrument, but I wouldn't be bringing something like that to an open mic night either. However, my 1997 (pre-mass production) Warwick is a superb instrument and I would have no problem letting someone else play it as long as they were professional about it. Any less and I wouldn't hesitate to decline.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1490
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post

I have to say that a festival situation is very different from open mic. All the bands at the festivals I've played at have reached a certain level of competence, so it's pretty much ensured that all of the bass players will be of a reasonable caliber.
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 945
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 4:09 pm:   Edit Post

Joe Lynn Turner wanted to play my Distillate one night, we were the house band at a club and he was in town for Summerfest.

I declined the offer - mostly because he was too cool to come and ask me. His roadie (who looked like Hulk Hogan) came up to me In between sets to ask me if Joe could play it - then as we were getting ready to go back on stage, I pulled my Distillate out of her case and he says "so this is the bass?"

I didn't feel comfortable with the whole situation and couldn't allow my baby to be touched by anyone else that night.
alembickoa
Intermediate Member
Username: alembickoa

Post Number: 132
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post

Well, having done a few laps around the track riding the house bassist horse, I especially adhere harder and faster to a rule I am already super glued to...bring your own ax. Period. If I know you, there is a possibility that I might come unglued from my stone tablet. Same rule for my Alembic goes for my Mexi-Jazz. It's just not a wise thing to do. Circumstances are different every time the question is put forth, but the gravity does not change.
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 495
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 6:12 pm:   Edit Post

I always use my fretless Alembic. There are no fret markers on the finger board and only a faint gold dot at position 5, 7 and 12. I have never come across anyone brave enough to borrow it.
slawie
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1492
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 6:24 pm:   Edit Post

Well, that sounds like a challenge! I'd be happy to borrow it at the next jam!
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 496
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 7:52 pm:   Edit Post

A challenge indeed. Consider my gauntlet being thrown at your feet!

slawie

edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1493
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 8:09 pm:   Edit Post

And yet, I shall be victorious!

[film still removed]

Of course, this might be more easily managed if there weren't quite so much distance between us.

(Message edited by adriaan on March 24, 2013)
that_sustain
Intermediate Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 128
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post

I'd never take my Alembic bass to an open jam...at least not in Columbus. There's always some really drunk guy that just has to have his way with everything, with his friends having to pull him away from whatever he so desires.

Didn't Abbie Hoffman get bopped in the head by Pete Townsend for a similar situation?
moonliner
Intermediate Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 117
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 1:01 am:   Edit Post

Edwin, that's just about what my Steinberger looked like after the guy was done with it!
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 3025
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 4:12 am:   Edit Post

Moderator's note:

Apologies to Edwin for spoiling his repartee, but the picture of King Arthur and the recently dismembered Black Knight will not be to everyone's taste.

Adriaan
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1855
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 5:41 am:   Edit Post

Since owning them I have only taken my Alembics to open mics without issue. The only time I have been asked was at gigs where I politely replied "No" or an instance of the drunk who didn't bother to ask and was summarily thrown out of the bar.

One place around here that used to have regular open mics resolved the no instrument by owning a Squire Jazz Bass and Stratocaster. I also am friends with a local house band and they carry a Squire Jazz Bass for the same reason. Guitarist are on their own for some reason.

Keith
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1974
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post

Back when I used to do 'walk-ins', I take the bigredbass and I'd let anybody play it that was reasonable, not hard in Nashville, lots of great players who realize what they're holding; you very well may be playing next to a guy with a primo vintage guitar that's even more expensive.

On the other hand, bars are @#$%holes regardless, and I have said NO quite easily on a few occasions as required. Said hapless churls, I wouldn't have even let them play a Squire !

J o e y
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2014
Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

I don't take any of my Alembics out to jams. Besides looking like a pompous ass when refusing to let anyone else play it, there are way too many opportunities for damage. When I go to jams, I take my Warwick Corvette $$ or, if I know there'll be folks who need a bass, I bring one of my Kramer Dukes - aluminum neck and impossible to damage.
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 294
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 7:08 am:   Edit Post

Hey!! Another Kramer Duke owner here!. Now those are becoming rare beasts, arenīt they? Besides, real comfy to carry around (specially when flying on airplanes), Steinberger-like style, almost in an awkward way, without the pain of finding and using double-ball strings (Well, I had the bass and the guitar, and one day those double ball strings became almost impossible to find, so I sold both... and then someone came with the add-on idea for using normal strings on those...). Nice sound too! (Mine gets a stingray-like tone). Nice when you donīt want to risk carrying your Alembic around. NOW, I would like to also have a Nobby Meidel Warwick, oh yes... :-)
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2014
Posted on Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post

Great to meet another Duke surviv..uh..owner! I have both a fretted and a fretless Duke for some reason. They really are great go-to basses for jam sessions and (non-gigging) travel. Very discreet as well - most everyone assumes I'm carrying a pool cue so if the jam sucks, I can leave without calling undue attention to one of the (usually) few bassists on hand. They are also quite utilitarian in a bar environment - you can use it as a club to fend off drunks and/or morons can spill beer on it and you'll still have an intact neck and be in tune. I don't think that was Kramer's intention, but it is a unique aspect of the instrument.

The sound's not bad, but both of mine were experimented on by previous owners. I've tried to get them back to nominal over the years, but as they sit they're still sufficient for a jam or open mic.

The Warwick Nobby is pretty damn cool and certainly shows off the design chops of Warwick's past. However, if I were in the market for a headless instrument, I'd probably go with one of the newer NS Design basses - they use either regular strings or ball-ends. My NS Design OmniBass electric upright is a fantastic beast.
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 295
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post

Speaking of Dukeīs stories: On a beautiful wedding party I was playing some years ago at a paradisiac beach setting (private, VERY rich wedding party at Margarita Island, one of the treasures of the Caribbean), with a very nice sounding PA, me being part of a nice show that was hired for the event... I had to perform the most ridiculous on-stage "dance" with a Duke bass: Right feet over the monitor, very hard-rock style, to act as a fence against one drunken crowd member who was trying to sneak under the boom arm of my microphone stand to get to the singerīs spot. Right armīs elbow (while playing, thank you very much) poking another guy who was desperately trying to reach MY microphone to "sing chorus". Kramer Duke bassīs "tip" or "nonexistent head" used as a spear (with a nicely rhythmic movement according to a nice 70s funk/disco set) against the ribs of ANOTHER drunk guy, who claimed loudly to be a cousin of the groom, and who intended to tell everyone aloud how proud he was of his cousin (amidst our set, mind you) through the singerīs microphone... only that her microphone was a HEADSET MIC!. So there I was, trying to fend my singer from being "inadvertantly" harassed by a drunk partygoer, and to guard my microphone from some other "spontaneous" at the party, and from whatever that might happen with the one who was trying to sneak under my microphoneīs boom stand. All of this while playing, singing background vocals, and making a little move with the music. Yes, the Duke was quite useful then, and I thanked all divinities for not having my Alembic with me right there :-)

Fortunately, after the show we were offered with such a nice banquet, that it was speedily forgiven... but certainly not forgotten :-)
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1952
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 5:32 am:   Edit Post

Back in the days when I played in a wedding band we always kept an old banged up mic and stand off to the side for the "spontaneous". Never plugged it in, just ran the cable to the backside of stage. It worked well most of the time.

Keith
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2674
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post

I've got a yellow Duke as well (and an old Steinberger). I was carrying the Duke regularly as a backup when I was playing a lot of four. Mostly doing five string these days, so I'm looking for a Zon VB on the used market.

In the meantime, I keep thinking about making an Alembic-quality body for the Duke neck and hardware. I'm just not that good to do it well enough. I can build a pretty book shelf, but guitar bodies seem more challenging.
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2014
Posted on Monday, January 20, 2014 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post

Yet another one of the bassist's undocumented roles in the band. Reminds me of Adam Clayton standing in front of Bono at an Arizona concert performing "Pride (In The Name of Love)".

The Duke does make for a righteous riot bass. Great story!

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