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Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 547
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 2:57 pm:   Edit Post

I yelled a a man (a stranger) who grabbed my bass between sets. He did not ask, he just started plucking it as if he owned it.

Was I out of line?
Intermediate Member
Username: jedisan

Post Number: 123
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:02 pm:   Edit Post

WTF? No way were you out of line. I would have probably smacked him. How the heck someone thinks that they can pickup someone else's instrument and start playing without asking, is way beyond me. Yep, I really would have smacked him.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 499
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:19 pm:   Edit Post

I would have yelled at him. I once had a drunk unzip my gig bag and start playing my David King fretless 5 while I was sitting right there eating dinner. Pretty much everyone at the table came down on him hard. OTOH, I've even been eating dinner at a gig and someone at an adjacent table reached over and started to help himself to my food off my plate. WTF?
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1363
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 4:48 pm:   Edit Post

FJJ, You were completely within proper decorum and within your rights. Some people have no class and no manners (and probably no clue).
Username: dluxe

Post Number: 66
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 4:59 pm:   Edit Post

Not out of line at all. I had a guy come up to me years ago and ask to play my Steinberger L2. We were going to play Mustang Sally so I let him. It was nice hearing the band from the board. Not too many people ask to sit in when you play the old boat oar.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 741
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 7:41 pm:   Edit Post

A reprimand was not at all out of line . he had it coming big time !
In many venues that have security personnel he might even be ask to leave or be removed .
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 65
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post

If the police were not summonded to such an event, everything turned out all right in my opinion. I cut children a lot of slack, as they are more important than my basses. If they get a hold of one of my basses, I consider that my fault. Everyone else, however, is on their own. A reprimand for having one of my basses in your hands that I did not hand you is bare minimum you'll get (Alembic Club gatherings would definitely be an exception, but still nice to ask there, too).

Interesting - I almost always bring a Steinberger with me, if playing at a venue alcohol is served at. I very seldom play it. My current one is serial number 639, I believe, and most everything just washes off it with a damp rag. I played many a biker bar in my youth. Never had a lick of trouble at those places. Trouble usually came from drunk, frustrated salarymen (and their good group of drunk friends) who were probably not going to get laid that night. Ah, the good, old daze! It ain't easy being a red-necked liberal.
Intermediate Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 166
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 1:23 am:   Edit Post

You definately were not out of line.
I was wondering how this person got on stage?
Maybe you should have asked him if you could go to his house and borrow his wife for a plucking.

I was playing one evening at a night club that had
no stage so all the punters had easy access to my gear.
One drunk sheila stumbled around and stomped on my bass
breaking the tone switch on the front pick up of my series I.
In effect I could not adjust the tone range on the front pick up for months with all the trouble
trying to get a replacement and even then the resistors were
not the same (discontinued)
In essence I have a somewhat "Frankenstein" bass although
the damage is unseen. I still know it is not the same as out of the factory.
I was angry on the night and still have some unresolved disconcerting contempt towards her.
Hopefully she had a whoppper of a hangover.

Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 679
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 1:50 am:   Edit Post

You were completely within your rights to yell at him. This kind of thing is a sore topic for me. Just the other week I had the same thing happen. During a break between sets I took my S2 backstage with me and put it in its case. After a few minutes someone who had a few comes backstage and asks if they could just take a peak, so I open the case thinking he just wanted a glimpse. Next thing I know hes grabbing it....I hate to say to people look but dont touch, but thats what I ended up saying. I really don't want someone I dont know jack about touching anything expensive I own.

I even had the husband of a woman who sang in one of my bands do that to my SCSD. I walked into practice and set my case down without opening it up, and go to get something to drink, next thing I know from the other room I hear this guy (who I really didnt know very well) playing my bass through my rig....arggghhh.
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 672
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 5:12 am:   Edit Post

If a mutherfucker picks up my bass.....thats when i pickup the nearest Bar Stool!
Advanced Member
Username: bassfingers

Post Number: 277
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 5:56 am:   Edit Post

I commend you on your restraint for only yelling.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 742
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 6:11 am:   Edit Post

In the realizaton that there are so many of these individuals that "do not know how to act in respect" then perhaps we just need to hang signs on our instruments " do not touch ". I used to play in a band where we always had someone on "stage watch "( sometimes a bouncer ) to prevent such occurrences I leave My Fender Bass's parked on a stand on a stage but sometimes not the Alembics , they go back in a case behind my rig and as a result everyone (band mates )gets irritated by me by what they call my "OCD" , _____LOL ______!
Username: the_jester

Post Number: 72
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 8:32 am:   Edit Post


I think you must try to scan the situation.

The last thing I'll ever do is yell at somebody when they are holding my bass without my permission.

Like Samuel L. Jackson would say: "be like the 'Fonz' and stay cool..." because at that point in time, your bass is "somewhat" a hostage.

So, be cool/stay cool and do what is best to keep the situation from escalating. Do what you can, to make sure your bass is returned without damage.

Then after your bass is safe, and in you care -- speak with kindness and dismiss the situation with a lesson for yourself.

"Then yell at the manager(s) who hired the security."

Peace and Love,


(Message edited by the_jester on February 19, 2010)
Advanced Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 285
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, don't startle them, they are possibly drunk. Look around for bandmates (backup), then firmly go and tell them to put the bass down. If they refuse, grab it and be ready for whatever. It's a short hop to them to try running out the door with it as well.

I would have a talk with the band in practice and create a rule that no one is allowed to touch any instrument but the band at a gig. Same as the wives/girlfriends at the gig, no touchy, no feely. Any pro musician who might want to play your instruments knows this rule, and you would not want a non-pro touching it anyway.

I once had a mom go up to my mint Mockingbird years ago and let her daughter touch it. Kid ended up knocking it off the stand and putting a small dent in the neck. It ain't worth the risk.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 743
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010 - 8:12 pm:   Edit Post

You are right Hal, A reprimand after your bass is safe and secure !
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1865
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 3:36 am:   Edit Post

Or maybe some tongue-in-cheek on-stage pre-warning notices.

Jazzyvee :-)
Senior Member
Username: funkyjazzjunky

Post Number: 550
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 6:06 am:   Edit Post

I did ask for my bass back and did not yell until he mada a smart aleck remark about how he wanted to try a 6 string and how he would be glad to give me guitar lessons since bassist are all "frustrated guitarists" while reaching for the bass again.
Advanced Member
Username: pas

Post Number: 231
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 6:23 am:   Edit Post

He was crusin' for a brusin'...
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 437
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 8:28 am:   Edit Post

brusin' nothin'
A comment like that would be worthy of a royal beat down!

Funky - you were perfectly in the right to yell and I hope you threw in some maniacal laughs, twitches and bug eyes so that he fully understood how shaky the ground was that he was treading upon.
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 70
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Jazzyvee!
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 758
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post

I lock my case. Better to remove temptation, than to deal with morons.
Intermediate Member
Username: bigbass

Post Number: 139
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post

This falls under the guise of "lack of respect" to the tenth power. There are enough issues with the making of MUSIC without having to deal with an other's ego.
Intermediate Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 159
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post

A friend just forwarded me this Dave Garibaldi letter which addresses a somewhat similar situation.

"Here's the email Dave Garibaldi sent...the gentleman's name is Don Harris and he's an Albuquerque city councilor.


David Garibaldi here. I'm the drummer with the Tower of Power, and we met Saturday evening at The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce gathering. Ever since our meeting I was troubled by what transpired, so I thought I'd drop you a line and express my thoughts to you.

Just to recount the events surrounding our meeting...

Prior to our show, you and your son came into our dressing room without asking and introduced yourselves to me, our guitarist Jerry Cortez, and trumpet player Mic Gillette. You wanted your son to meet us, which we were more than happy to do. We spoke for a few minutes and you mentioned that you were a lawyer and a politician and that you played saxophone at one time, had studied music and when you began to play after graduating, you said music wasn't a very good life.

You expressed this to some folks who have been very successful musicians all their lives. I'm 63 years old and have been playing the drums since the age of 10, and a working musician since the age of 17. As a boy, my dream was to travel the world playing the drums...I'm living my dream. My work is well documented and my reputation speaks for itself.

After the show I again saw you and your son backstage, and you showed me a pair of drum sticks that you had taken off of my drum set. I was pretty surprised and said that your taking them wasn't a good idea. I didn't want to make a scene and allowed your son to keep said something about not knowing what the "protocol" was. Then, in the dressing room in front of most of the band members, you asked me why that wasn't ok...I replied "because you didn't ask".

Again, I didn't want to make a scene and embarrass you in front of your son and said he could keep them, but in retrospect, I should have asked for the sticks back and said what I'm saying now. Our dressing room is our sanctuary before shows where we can relax and focus on our performance, so I wasn't expecting to have to deal with you in that way.

That "protocol" you mentioned isn't really's my property, and you had no right whatsoever to my property. You're a lawyer and should know this. Obviously, the rules don't apply to you. The dressing room was our private area, and you had no right to be there without permission. Again, I guess you thought because you're a city council member, you can go where you want, and take what you want. Sorry. You took my property without my permission, and thought it was ok. Your now son thinks it's ok too. Where did you get this idea that you could take what's mine without asking?

You came into our dressing room without an invitation, ate our food without asking, and also took my drumsticks without my permission as a prize for your son. Yes, it only a pair of drumsticks, but sir, they're my drumsticks and they mean something to me...they represent my life and all I've worked for.

I hope we don't meet're what's wrong with politicians today. You represent yourself and your own interests and definitely showed how little respect you have for what I do. You're not welcome at our shows. We've been doing this for 42 years, and are serious about our craft. We're also serious about the impression we leave behind.

Your bio says you studied the saxophone with the late Jackie of the greats. I'm a fan of his and often listen to his recordings. You studied with someone who understood the tradition of the instrument and respected it. Based on your behavior, I wouldn't include him on your bio...if he knew what you were up to, he probably wouldn't approve of it.

It was an embarrassing moment, totally unacceptable and I have no recourse but to write you, and to Cc your colleagues on the city council, so they'll know what kind of person they're working with, if they don't already. If I knew any media people there in Albuquerque, I'd be including them here as well.

Aside from this, it was a tremendous event, staffed and attended by some very nice compliments to a very professional Joe Bufalino and his crew for making us feel welcome.


David Garibaldi
Drummer - Tower of Power"
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 485
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 10:33 am:   Edit Post

Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 986
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post

Right on!
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 501
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 2:03 pm:   Edit Post

Don Harris does seem to be a person of less than complete integrity if you look him up online. He mischaracterizes his opponents in some nice smear campaigns, whereby contributing to scientific foundations gets conflated into supporting radical atheist agendas.
Username: mike13

Post Number: 75
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

He sounds like a complete as--h---
Username: poor_nigel

Post Number: 74
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 6:13 pm:   Edit Post

David Garibaldi - Wow, that brings back memories. Tower of Power played at our 1970 prom at Grace M. Davis HS in Modesto, CA, or was it in 71? Great band, great drummer! Lots of great bands played in Modesto back then, picking up one-nighters on their way to big shows in SF, Sacramento, and LA. As for jerks - No matter where you go, there they are . . . . Politicians??? Don't get me started!
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 658
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 7:44 pm:   Edit Post

"....contributing to scientific foundations gets conflated into supporting radical atheist agendas."
As a radical atheist, I'd like to state that we have no agenda - we're not that organized :-)
Beyond that, as someone whose job used to include trying to prevent just this sort of episode (and, thus, included dealing with just such festering pussbags as Don Harris & Vann-Di's "friend"), allow me to state that Mr. Garibaldi's letter is restrained, articulate, and to the point - I wish he'd sent it to the Albuquerque press as an open letter! And, had either incident occurred on a stage I was responsible for, either offender would have been forcibly removed!


(Message edited by cozmik_cowboy on February 22, 2010)
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post

Walk into your favorite auto tech's workspace, start rummaging through that big, red steel chest of drawers that says 'SnapOn', and see what happens. Be REALLY careful . . they have a lifetime warranty, and SnapOn doesn't much care how they were broken!

Same way with my bass.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 755
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post

That is a perfect comparison .

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