« Shoe on the Other Foot »

Well, to try out my new bass (the Music Man SUB bass), I had this little jam lined up with two dudes in La Mesa. About ten years back, I was all about making the audition rounds on drums, looking for some musical home. Never really found anything to latch onto. So now, a decade later, I am taking my tentative stabs at announcing myself as a bass player, and guitar player if the situation is right. So last night was the first absolutely outside bass playing for me, with no prior encounters with the others.

Huh. So I got there to this dude's house. He's late 30s or so, wife, kid, muscle car in the driveway, house in a state of remodel. There are Pearl Jam items, and one Platinum record given to him by Eddie Vedder, apparently Eddie and he were friends. Very nice guy. His buddy comes over, and he's a nice guy too, but he's wearing a KFMB shirt that says "Hannitized for your protection." There was a W '04 sticker somewhere in the garage. There was a Yardbirds sticker too. The rehearsal room was his garage, which was obviously where the totally rebuilt muscle car was transformed and housed. There were tools. It was a man's garage. The house was done up in lots of Xmas lights and decorations. His wife was nice. His kid was hyper. All's well in America.

But here I was, the America-hating Commie Liberal™ that I am, sporting my new bass, and equally new bass rig that never leaves the comfort of home. I don't know a lick of Yardbirds, Who, or Tom Petty or Dylan. I don't know any Beatles. I'm thinking, I need to get out of here, this is like deja vu from the drum audition days, but at least back then, I didn't have to know what chord we were on!

So we played some of their songs, which were predictably in the vein of the above artists. But I just don't latch onto that stuff. Never did. I have these other things I do, and the just aren't Dylan and Hendrix and any of the other classic rock giants. The stuff was just never in my blood. I could do it on drums easily enough, but on bass, it's hard to want to do it. I gave it a go, and even surprised myself at a few little bits that did make it fun, but it was just wierd playing cowboy chords like G, C, D, A, E, F, and B. Surreal. If I were their age, and had been doing this stuff all along, it might have been more fun, but it's just a foreign country.

I hung in there for a couple of hours then told them it wasn't what I was looking for. Parting ways is a lot easier when it is only with a bass rig instead of a drum set—it saves about 15 minutes of strained "conversation." I gave them a CD of mine and said, 'yeah, this is the world I come from. It's a bit different.'

I just don't think we would have lasted past the first political discussion.

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