The submission date has now passed for the gig story raffle for the Upton bass pickup, and we’ve gotten a bunch of great gig stories as a result! I’ll put the remaining ones out this week and announce a winner (picked randomly from the stories entered) at the end of the week. This is the first of many Upton pickup raffles, so if you missed the entry date for the last one you can hop on board for next month’s raffle (not gig stories next month… I’ll let you know the new raffle topic soon).
Today’s gig story comes from double bassist Luis Baars:
When I was a senior in high school I was invited to play in the Area All-State Orchestra in Batavia, NY. The drive to the rehearsal/concert location was almost an hour away. Since we had several students in our high school playing in the orchestra, the school had arranged for one of those short yellow buses to take us back and forth to the rehearsals and the concert itself.
The first rehearsal day came and per usual the usual bass transportation stories we had a hard time getting the bass into the bus and into a suitable transportable position. We ended up having the bass lying on it’s side in the grimy middle isle.
I wasn’t pleased with this situation so I decided to drive myself on the 2nd day. It took a little while, but I finally convinced my music director and parents that this would be the best option. The 2nd rehearsal and the concert went flawlessly and I decided to get out as quickly as possible since a winter storm was coming in.
The only reason why I was allowed to drive was because I promised both my music director and parents that I would drive carefully. Of course, being a teenager, I was driving too fast for the conditions outside. I hit some black ice, ran into two guardrails, and ended up in the left lane of the highway facing the wrong direction. After making sure no traffic was coming, I got out of the car and got on the other side of the guard rail to wait for help (this was before cell phones). As I stood there watching, the very next car that came down the highway proceeded to do the same exact thing I did and ended up crashing into my car.
Five minutes later the state trooper was there. Five minutes after that, my parents were there. Ten minutes after that, the short bus drove by with all my friends looking at me, their mouths agape.
The car was totaled; I didn’t own another car until 4 years later. Thankfully, the bass survived without a scratch.