Over the border there was a little incident...
It was a gruelling time. We'd had a great run of dates in France and this was to be our first trip to Spain with the Righteous Mind, so anticipation was running high. It was a tight schedule, the dirty dozen - twelve gigs in twelve days and some monster drives to boot. But we're made of stern stuff, done it all before blah blah etc. And then I got sick. Nasty sick. The opening salvo in what was to be a very unpleasant few weeks of internal torment at the hands of merciless flu bugs. My head was swimming and my guts were churning but the show must go on - hell, I've no boss to ring in sick to.
The adrenaline of playing live can get you through a lot and I'd had similar in the past, so I neck some wine and get on with it. Now, the stand I was using to keep my upright bass upright was proving to be badly-designed and awkward to use. In fact I'd made a mental note to get a new one back in London. Those that have seen the band live will know that during the set I change between electric and double bass depending on the song, so a feller needs a good solid stand he can rely on. Anyway, it was after one of these exchanges - hastily done, in a fluey condition and onto a wobbly stand - that I notice the expressions on the audience's faces suddenly changing. They looked shocked, as though something awful had just happened behind me on stage...
I turn around slowly and see this mess on the floor -
I finish the set in a state of shock, despair and nausea - not a combo I'd recommend. After the show I survey the damage in between swigs of whiskey. I'm not a parent so can only imagine that it must be like seeing your child with a broken limb. It was awful, gruesome in fact. My comrades console me with more whiskey and lead me off to my sick bed where I dream tortured dreams of decapitated infants dancing around me.
The moral of the story being NEVER USE CHEAP STANDS.
And never get ill.
So what to do? The break at least was a clean one so I was hopeful of a repair. I got in touch with a friend of mine, Taz. He knows a thing or two about wood and is up for a challenge. I pack the patient off to him and wait a fretful wait...
It was touch and go. The headstock was in bad shape as well as the neck, split in several places. I take up smoking and increase my whiskey drinking.
And then the good news arrives. A week later and just in time for Easter my bass returns - it's a resurrection! Neck and body joyfully reunited and I'm free to give up cigarettes and alcoholism.
An excellent job which actually left it stronger than ever and with a deeper tone. A million thanks to Taz and we'll happily both be seeing you on the road for more rocking soon.