Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Bottom Line

Have you ever really thought about the music we've listened to over the years? Sure, we know the lyrics by heart, we know the tune, and the artists, as we've heard the same songs for decades now. But have we really ever heard the songs, and not merely listened to them?

This whole thought came from an inspiration I received while working the other day. I was the only one working in the house at the time, and I was in a back room. I had found an old Zenith Console Stereo buried under a pile of stuff. It took a while to clean it off, but what I had found was a well preserved music machine. I fired it up, and to my surprise, it worked quite well. We had found about 75 45 rpm singles a few days beforehand, and looking through them I found a Beatles recording from the mid-70's. Hearing that song again brought back memories of listening to tinny transistor radio speakers, cheap stereo sets, and even televisions playing the same tune. But there was something different here, it was the bass line Paul McCartney was laying down. The higher quality sound system had picked up the bass and brought it into the song where it belonged. It was magical! Here I was with this 30 or 40 year old machine, being reintroduced to a song I thought I knew so well!

I was enthralled by McCartney's ability. Instead of just thumping the strings, he wove an intricate line of rhythm into a familiar tune. His talent at this left me amazed!
So that's the reason for this post; I salute the unsung hero's of the Rock and Roll world...the bass players! They play with a skill and talent that largely goes unrecognized. They are merely second fiddle to the singer, and lead guitarist, yet to listen to them, they could carry the show on their own!

Looking into a few more tunes, I found another player with a skill that left me in awe. Sarah Lee (yes that's her real name) is a female bass player that you might have seen in the B-52's "Love Shack" video. (She was the woman in the bath tub). Listening to her riffs in that song with my new found appreciation of music, I was blown away at how she filled the song out with her ability, and thinking how flat it would have been without her skills. What awesome talent!

And so here's to you bass players everywhere. Keeping the music alive with your talent, and giving me a whole new appreciation of real musicianship!