After publishing my first book Road Warrior Without and Expense Account last month, I’m hard at work editing my next book, which will feature scores of crazy gig stories and will (probably) be titled “My Car Caught Fire and Exploded!”
This amusing little story was told to me by a bassist as we were waiting for a gig to begin last month. Hope you enjoy it!
Here Comes the Bride – careful what you ask for!
A colleague of mine got a call to play a wedding recently with a rather strange request. The bride wanted “Here Comes the Bride” played at the ceremony….but she specifically requested that the double bass play the melody!
“Uh, okay…” my colleague replied. “So you must have… played the bass in high school, then?”
“No,” said the bride.
It’s not that we bassists can’t play Here Comes the Bride, of course. But why the bass? It’s like having the tuba play revelry or taps at a military ceremony. Kind of cool but kind of… well…. unusual.
Practicing the part
Not wanting to screw up the melody and make a mockery out of this bride’s wedding, my colleague practiced the music thoroughly. How exactly does one want this melody to sound on the bass? Jazzy? Straight? Pizzicato? Arco?
He eventually decided to play it in a very straight ahead, almost march-like fashion.
Bridal Bow Bumps
This gig happened in a very cramped little chapel, and as my colleague set up for the ceremony, he noticed that he was practically standing in the aisle, right in the way of the wedding party’s procession. He scooted and scrunched back as far has he could, trying to minimize his intrusiveness.
Soon, the ceremony began, and my colleague began his rendition of Here Comes the Bride.
“Ba, buh, buh-buh….”
As the bride approached, it became clear (to the bassist, at least) that there was scant clearance between bride and bass. This was going to be tight!
The bride began to pass.
The bassist pulled a down bow, and managed to bow right into the bride’s posterior as she walked past, stopping the bass mid-phrase.
“Ba, buh, huh *WHACK*!”
Mortified, the bassist managed to start back up, finishing up the processional.
Moral of the story?
If you really want the bass player to play the melody for your “big day,” so be it…. just watch your butt as you pass him!