So, back when I were a lad, at Christmas-time, my Parents gifted to me very first bass guitar - a black “Hohner Rockwood”, with white scratch plate.
At this time my sisters and I were constantly glued to MTV, and ”Between Angels & Insects” had not long been out, and as a teenager, and complete novice at playing the instrument, I became fascinated by the bassist and his guitar…in fact I became fairly obsessed by the fact he had a 5 string bass, and it looked dead sexy…..moreover I couldn’t contain my sanity when I saw him fling it around his shoulder!!!
I had also joined my first proper band…We were called STAG , and I developed this really cool notion that if I pimped out my new bass with black scratchplate, it would look awesome….and then, the question of flinging over my shoulder, because in my teenage stupidity, I believed that this would be the pinnacle of my band reputation….the other guys n gals would be blown away!
So, brand new black scratchplate, and locking catches for my strap…I was ready to try out my “POWERMOVE”…..although not with my parents and sisters around….and my initial indoor trial made me quickly realise that this would have to be an outdoor experiment.
On a bright sunny morning a week or so later, I found myself at home all alone. The rest of the fam had gone out for the day.
Feeling pretty confident and also excited, I ventured into the garden, carrying my pride and joy bass guitar, looking all black and shiny with chunky locks on a chunky leather strap…..
here we go…..
BIG SWING……AROUND SHE GOES…..
as the bass passed about 130deg, almost at the apogee/apex, the screws holding the front locking catch ripped out of the body, and as I was still propelling the bass around the pivot point, it then proceeded to freely launch itself like a ballistic bass guitar, over the hedge and out of sight into next doors garden.
I stood for a while in silence, I think mainly to listen out for any loud thuds, or manic screaming (the instant image of someone being impaled by a bass guitar sprang to mind as it gently soared over the neighbours hedge.
Instead, I heard an altogether different sound - quite an unexpected sound…intriguing, but equally alarming….
I gingerly knocked upon the door of the elderly neighbours, and tried my best to explain that a piece of my equipment had “popped off” it’s mounting, and accidentally flew over the hedge, and would they mind awfully if I could nip over and retrieve said item. Bless them they allowed me through their house, and led me outside into their garden.
In front of me was a magnificent pond, complete with lily pads, flowering plants, concrete statues and some petrified fish cowering along the edges, and drifting in the middle of this pond was my lovely bass guitar.
The elderly neighbours turned and looked at me with a strange state of confusion….I think in their heads they were taken by surprise by the particular tool that I had lost, and what kind of procedure was I undertaking in the garden.
I never had the guts to explain this to them, and left in a hurry with the hope that they may possibly forget about it providing I lay low, and crucially, they don’t have any contact with my parents or sisters…that way they might just forget about it…
my bass on the other hand was pretty f-d.
The ‘lectrics were drenched, so I stripped them out, dried them out, along with the guitar body and shoved them under the bed for a day or so…I was really worried that my parents might find it or ask me to play some bass for them, but thankfully they never did, and up until now they are still blissfully unaware…assuming that my sisters haven’t ratted me out!
one day they might read this post and twig….until that day, I rest in peace, reassured in the knowledge that swinging a bass guitar (even a cheap one) around in any kind of forceable way is not good for the instrument or one’s wallet.
When the corrosion, damp and smell rendered my bass unplayable, I upgraded to a student Yamaha.
Please take my story on board….
If you like bass guitars and enjoy playing them, do not attempt this manoeuvre.
On the other hand if having a damp rotting smelly rusty bass guitar floats your boat, then this is a great way to start!
By some idiot in Cornwall