The other day someone asked me what was the dumbest, craziest, and most asinine statement anyone has ever made to me in my music career. It didn’t take me long at all to come up with this one. A long while ago I actually auditioned for one of those “wedding bands.” I was invited to do so, and the money they were talking about making seemed tempting at the time. However, I just could never get into the wedding band mentality for playing music. They take a simple 4 chord song and make it seem like it is the most major thing in the world to play. Well, for this one group I was at my very first rehearsal and the band wanted to play this classic song by the Jacksons entitled “Shake your body down to the ground.” The song is pretty much the “same groove” for bass “all the way through the song. The only real difference is at the beginning where there is a small bass pattern that counts like this: “One… Two… One, Two, Three, Four…” For those of you who cannot catch it or hear it, this part actually comes in at the 6 second time mark of the song (on the video it comes in at :06). So, just like the “actual record” I played the bass line “exact.” The main guy who was in charge of the band told me “You shouldn’t do that.” Confused with a weird expression on my face, I simply asked him “Why not?” His answer made history with me, and for the rest of my life I will never forget what he said. He simply told me “It might confuse the dancers.” Upon hearing this, I just stared straight ahead at him (even though for some reason it felt to me like I was just staring straight into space). I could not believe he actually said that to me. Here is the actual tune itself for you to hear. Does this part confuse you in any way? Remember, the part I played comes in at the .06 second mark of this video:
After what felt like a lifetime of silence, I finally spoke to him and said, “You know what? This band is obviously way too sophisticated for me, and I don’t think i am good enough to encompass this type of mentality. All of this is way above my head.” I gathered my guitar and headed for the door. He told me “Rehearsal is not finished yet. You can’t leave.” I told him that a full earthly catastrophe could not keep me in this building another second. I left and his mind still couldn’t comprehend what just happened. The next time rehearsal came, he called me and asked why I wasn’t there. I told him that I couldn’t drive straight and I didn’t want to confuse the police trying to get there.
Truth be told, there were probably crazier things said to me, but for some reason this statement “really stuck out in my mind.” For me, it doesn’t make a difference how much money I am being paid. I have to be happy playing, and crazy logic will set me off at a “moment’s notice.” Thank you for allowing me to share the dumbest statement of my musical career, and as always i wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Gary US Bonds (“I danced until a quarter to 3”) and Brett Jolly in concert