Sunday, 20 November 2011

Where'd you get that awesome bass?

One of my neighbors is a very gifted bass player named Steve Watts. He's got a lot of interesting anecdotes about people he's played with, but he doesn't blog (to my knowledge), so I'm going to take the liberty of recounting one of them here. Some time back, he was referred to do a gig with a female singer-songwriter he'd never heard of. (I would include her name here, but that would possibly ruin the punchline.)

So, she gets in touch a few days before the gig to arrange a rehearsal. She gives him her address, which is in Holland Park (an area associated with mega-stars of various descriptions), which he finds odd, given that he's never heard of her. Not many up-and-coming, but still obscure, artists live in that sort of hood. He asks about parking, because he'll probably have to drive, given the difficulties of carrying an upright bass on public transport. She tells him not to worry about bringing an upright, because she has one at home. This is also a bit of unexpected information.

On the appointed day, he turns up at an amazing home in Holland Park, meets the singer, and they head into the rehearsal studio. In the corner is a beautiful and obviously very expensive upright bass. He says, "Do you mind if I ask the story behind this bass?" She says, "It belongs to my husband," and then shouts up the stairs, "Harry, come say hello!" Footsteps are heard on wooden stairs, and then in walks the man himself...

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