The Inquirer: Loss, Growth, and Joy

Just as I sat down to write this month’s column, I learned of the passing of Richard Ruse.
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Just as I sat down to write this month’s column, I learned of the passing of Richard Ruse. Richard had been one of the bass community’s most universally beloved figures. A prodigious pro player, Richard also served in a huge variety of marketing and management roles throughout the bass industry, most recently at Trickfish Amplification.

It’s a tremendous loss, and I’m not here to eulogize him (nor would I be qualified), but it is of course a source of reflection on the fragility of life, the powerful impact we make on each other, and how brief a time we have to ensure we wield that power with grace, humility, humor, and positivity—all qualities Richard possessed in abundance.

L–R: Ryan Owens, David Yates, Richard Ruse, and Michael Pope

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I, too, have been recently confronted with loss in my life. I have ailing close relatives, an ailing romance, and the daily indignities that too often fuel my negative inner-voice. It’s this voice that prevents me from fully engaging in each opportunity, whether in love, life, or career. Even worse, the voice is hungry for commiseration and is contagious, and soon enough, those in our orbit begin to suffer its symptoms. A negative feedback loop emerges that threatens to swallow a social circle, band, or relationship into itself.

There is always hope, though. Each of us, no matter how well our rationalizations coddle our acceptance of our own bad behavior, can take comfort knowing that growth is possible, and its rewards are as abundant as the opposite is hurtful.

Richard was not a close friend, but he was always a source of great joy when we’d bump into each other at various events. I can think of no better honor to his legacy than living by his example. In these trying times, we could all use a little joy, so let’s all be each other’s Richards, hmm?

Bass Player Senior Contributing Editor Jonathan Herrera is the magazine’s former Editor-in-Chief. An accomplished player, Jonathan is now a full-time musician and producer. His latest endeavor is Bay Area recording studio Airship Laboratories. Catch up with him at jonherrera.comand at


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