A painful tale from a reader:
Inspired by stories of bass destruction in your blog, and especially Adam’s latest story, I felt an urge to share my own personal trauma.
A few months after I bought my first bass, I was on my way home from a gig as a young jazz player.
I parked the car parallel to the sidewalk, with the passenger side toward the road.
When I took the bass out of the passenger side, I realized that I left the engine running and the keys in the starter switch. As tired as I was, I leaned the bass against the car and went to the other side of the car to take the keys. I was not worried because it was the middle of the night, and the only car around was a police car far down the street. Because the bass was leaning on the car upright and only stuck into the road a bit, I also did not worry when I saw the police car start backing up in my direction.
When I sat in the driver’s seat and turned off the engine, I saw the policeman began driving backwards quickly, the way you can only do when it is the middle of the night and you are sure there is no one around. Before I knew what was happening, the police car came too close to the side of the road where I parked, and with great speed hit my new double bass and sent it flying in the air, and for a distance of about ten meters.
Without being able to think about anything I stormed out of the car yelling “What did you do?” and “Oh, God!” The face of the police man, who had gotten out of the car in the meantime, was white as a sheet and he only mumbled “What happened here?” a few times.
When I saw his panic, I was even more frightened, and I began to understand what happened and yell at him with greater force. It took him about half a minute to understand it was a huge instrument in a large black case, and not a relative, and then the tables were turned and he began yelling at me, releasing all the strain he was under in great relief.
I eventually sold the fragments shown in the picture fairly cheaply, and together with the insurance money from the Israeli police department, bought the bass I play to this very day.