Lowdown: June 2013
Fri, 17 May 2013

MUCH AS I REGARD THE TASK OF WRITING OF THIS COLUMN AS AN INCREDIBLE HONOR, I admit it can sometimes be rough. I mean, one can ramble on about the state of bass and what it all means for only so long, right? So, for inspiration this time around, I turned to my two-year-old daughter, herself something of a bass expert, given how much of her life she’s spent watching Daddy schlep gear and pull his hair out writing and editing stories about all things bass. Here was our exchange, verbatim.

“Maddy, what should I write about?”

“To Mommy?”

“No, about bass.”

[Furrows brow in deep thought] “About how much you love to play it?”

“Thanks, babe. Eat your peas.”

Indeed. I owe the kid big. It’s not just that she’s offered her editorial expertise gratis (though by doing so, she’s just earned an extra strawberry). My gratitude goes far deeper, and for reasons she can’t yet—but I imagine many of you certainly can—understand. Last night, I had an especially brutal rehearsal with a band that’s experiencing the kind of drama better suited to daytime television than any worthwhile recreational activity. And tomorrow I’ll drive for six hours to pull a marathon set at a casino gig with said band—one that pays well, if not for the exorbitant tax it takes on my soul, playing long hours for an audience that cares far less about your music than they do about their pipedream of hitting it big on the penny slots.

I know I’ve never told my daughter that I love playing bass. She just knows. Nailing that tricky lick? Sure, that feels good. Filling a room with luscious low end? Yeah, pretty sweet. Loving your craft so much that you telepathically communicate that joy to a child? Trump. This weekend, as I hit traffic snarls, play peacemaker to bickering bandmates, and watch glazed masses of unlucky folk piss away their pension checks, I know what I’ll be thinking. Thanks, kid.

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