The Curse of the Bass Player

[Possum John->] forwarded this to me, and I thought it worth a reprint:


In the beginning there was a bass.

It was a Fender, probably a Precision, but it
could have been a Jazz – nobody knows. Anyway, it was very old
…definitely pre- C.B.S.

And God looked down upon it and saw that it was
good. He saw that it was
very good in fact, and couldn’t be improved on at
all (though men
would later try.)

And so He let it be and He created a man to play
the bass. and lo
the man looked upon the bass, which was a
beautiful ‘sunburst’ red,
and he loved it. He played upon the open E string
and the note
rang through the earth and reverberated
throughout the firmaments
(thus reverb came to be.)

And it was good. And God heard that it was good
and He smiled at his

Then in the course of time, the man came to slap
upon the bass. And lo
it was funky. And God heard this funkiness and He
said, “Go man, go.”

And it was good. And more time passed, and,
having little else to
do, the man came to practice upon the bass.

And lo, the man came to have upon him a great set
of chops. And he
did play faster and faster until the notes rippled
like a breeze
through the heavens.

And God heard this sound which sounded something
like the wind, which
He had created earlier. It also sounded something
like the movement
of furniture, which He hadn’t even created yet,
and He was not so

And He spoke to the man, saying “Don’t do that!”
Now the man heard the
voice of God, but he was so excited about his new
ability that he
slapped upon the bass a blizzard of funky notes.
And the heavens
shook with the sound, and the Angels ran about in
confusion. (Some of
the Angels started to dance, but that’s another

And God heard this – how could He miss it – and
lo He became
Bugged. And He spoke to the man, and He said,
“Listen man, if I
wanted Jimi Hendrix I would have created the
guitar. Stick to the
bass parts.”

And the man heard the voice of God, and he knew
not to mess with it.

But now he had upon him a passion for playing
fast and high.

The man took the frets off of the bass which God
had created.

And the man did slide his fingers upon the
fretless fingerboard and play
melodies high upon’ the neck.

And, in his excitement, the man did forget the
commandment of the
Lord, and he played a frenzy of high melodies and
blindingly fast licks.

And the heavens rocked with the assault and the
earth shook, rattled
and rolled.

Now God’s wrath was great. And His voice was
thunder as He spoke to the
man. And He said, “O.K. for you, pal. You have not
heeded My word. Lo, I
shall create a soprano saxophone and it shall
play higher than you
can even think of.” “And from out of the chaos I
shall bring forth
the drums. And they shall play so many notes
thine head shall ache,
and I shall make you to always stand next to the

“You think you’re loud? I shall create a stack of
Marshall guitar amps
to make thine ears bleed. And I shall send down
upon the earth other
instruments, and lo, they shall all be able to
play higher and faster
than the bass.” “And for all the days of man, your
curse shall be
this: that all the other musicians shall look to
you, the bass player,
for the low notes.

And if you play too high or fast all the other
musicians shall say “Wow”
but really they shall hate it. And they shall
tell you you’re
ready for your solo career, and find other bass
players for their
bands. And for all your days if you want to play
your fancy licks you
shall have to sneak them in like a thief in the
night.” “And if you
finally do get to play a solo, everyone shall
leave the bandstand and go
to the bar for a drink.”

And it was so.