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Thread: The Bassist

  1. #1
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    Jan 2012

    The Bassist

    At twelve years old she sat in the living room, eager with the twinkle of excitement in her eyes like it was Christmas day. It was in fact her birthday. Her long brown straight hair covered her Brazilian face. Her slight frame was the product of another slim soon to be rock Goddess. Her name was Love. She knew it was pretentious of her parents to gift her with that name, although she didn't know what pretentious meant at that time. She got bullied for it by angry kids, but her personality was beyond her years and in tune to the moment and negativity bounced off her.

    Her father gave her a large present. Love took it and really didn't know what to expect. Her father was a tall musician with hair reaching past his shoulders, her mother was a singer and Love looked a smaller version of her. Music was in the family's roots. Soon enough the present was open and Love held a bass guitar. She leaped onto her mother and father and kissed them repeatedly. From the age of four all she wanted to do was play bass, inspired from her favorite Brazilian bands, and now she had the tool in her hands - now she was ready.

    Love was barefoot in her room, her skinny legs exposed with only a long white t-shirt covering her upper half. The bass guitar was in her hands and she was practicing rhythms. She had a gifted mind for creativity; she could learn a few cords, just a note even and from that she could create an entire piece of music. Her older brothers were next door with their girlfriends. They had interests which involved becoming lawyers and bankers, they didn't follow in the musical footsteps of their parents, it was Love who inherited that part of the gene. The bass blared through the walls and it annoyed them a little because the music was playing for six hours straight now. But they left Love to it, the smiles on their tanned handsome faces spoke love for their younger sister.

    By now, Love was prancing around in her room playing a piece she constructed. She always had this fantastic ability to dance amazingly; her legs reached her chest and her head moved from side to side so coyly it seemed sexier than a striptease. Her family wondered what possessed her to dance so maturely at such a young age, but they realized as Love eventually did, she had talent.

    Love was seventeen. The room was full of bassist's waiting to be auditioned. Love was ready, she had the piece she was going to play locked in her mind. As a late teenager, her face had blossomed into a attractive young woman. Her body was a trademark slim and the predictable rock boots on her feet. There was no cliche to it though, Love loved everything about rock, how she dressed, how she spoke and how she smiled. Her raspy voice was warm, every bit of it Brazilian.

    She stood in front of the band and she wasn't even nervous. She didn't really care about them, all she cared about was her bass guitar and her perfectly constructed pieces. The band (a three piece looking for a fourth as their previous basset left them due to issues with money) sat at the desk. All Brazilian in their late twenties and early thirties. Brazil knew them as their biggest rock band and their cool faces showed no signs of success gone to ones head. Instead they were curiously embracing Love's presence. Love on the other hand was curious as to why she was there in the first place; she was a nobody having had stints in nobody bands during her teens. As she sound checked her guitar, she thought surely they would want to audition established bassists, but later became to understand they were blown away with her demo tape.

    She started her audition and like a switch was intoxicated with passion, dancing with her guitar and playing toe tapping rhythms. None of it was over-the-top or trying too hard for the occasion, she relaxed and her rhythms switched from out of control speed to slow harmonies, and then to the killer solo. Her thin arms held the guitar as she began to hop on the spot. The band looked at each other and knew Love was it. Not only could she do the bassist's job, but she was a character, she was unique and would bring another dimension to the band. Perhaps as much as the lead singer, the lead singer thought as he sat un-pretentiously in the center of the three. They agreed Love wasn't going to be a band member happy to play the 'passenger' role on the trip, she had a character to offer. And they hired her on the spot.

    At twenty five, Love was all woman. Her long hair had become shorter, a perfect crop at the neck. Her long frame became longer. The band were in a famous studio in Brazil, it was darkly lit. They began a take of a track, it was a brooding song about lost friendship which started off slowly and gradually built up to an obvious, but ferocious climax. Love had become maturer with her performance on bass; the notes played with more care and slower rhythms than the quick fire wham-bam stuff usually donned by 'just starting outers.' The skinny jeans she wore were spray tight to her leg's, the sexy boots rested over them. More hops and moves to her dancing were a part of her routines, her dancing had developed with her age as her bass playing.

    Eight albums in (five which included Love) and the band a worldwide dominance. Love was known as one of the best bass players in the business, and being the only woman in a male band only added more attention to her. This was the buzz which circled around before one of the bands biggest events to date; headlining on the home turf in South America, Festival Lollapalooza. The band stepped out onto the stage and waved to their audience. Love put on her guitar with the ear to ear coy smile she became famous and loved for. Then the show began. About a half hour into it Love's movements were becoming deep and heavy, at one point she was on the floor as if she was having sex. And soon enough when the really heavy tracks were played, the famous head banger was out. She banged her head like a real rockster, the hair flying everywhere...

    ... it was clear by this time, who the real star of the band was - not the singer or his number two. It was the quiet bass player. It was Love.

    She was thirty. Her house was a mansion in North of Brazil and she was having tea with her family. Love grew her hair longer again, it suited who she really was, even though her face was timelessly beautiful, the 'short and serious' phase was passed. Her brothers and parents were in the lounge as Love walked in with tea. They were all proud of the baby of the family, becoming a star and becoming a millionaire. Love's mother (who still looked the spitting older image of Love, just aging now) put her arm around her daughter and they looked like two lifetime friends. Love was happy how far she had come, playing bass and now being able to give back to her family was the best feeling, a part from playing bass! But she got a phone call from the lead singer of the band which was about to change everything.

    She had never cried so much, ever. The news of the band members deciding to end the band depressed her so much she didn't leave her bedroom for days - her tears was for her bass. She had worked hard to get to where she was and she couldn't have done it without the band, now it was all over. She was in her thirties, still so young with gallons left in the tank - that was one of her best qualities, forever young inside and out. But what mystified her was why the band came to an end. There was no real why.

    Eventually that 'why' was revealed when the bands manager called her. Love answered her mobile (still in bed, soon to be approaching day six) and he told her the truth the other three ended the band because they were jealous of Love getting all the attention. They hated the fact the bass player was the star. When the phone call ended Love realized she learnt a big lesson in trust and that the smiles she was closets too didn't speak their exteriors - she was living with the enemy the entire time.

    Did all this stop Love? No. The guitar was in her hand, she was in her thirties and the start of a whole new chapter. Her new band mates were around her in a dingy throwaway shed - the way Love liked it, raw from the ground up. This was her band, her creation. She turned down the opportunity to play bass for practically every major outfit in the world in need of bass players. People thought she was crazy. But Love, standing in her high heels now, skinny jeans and short leather jacket, knew what she was doing. This time she was doing it her way, ready to go on the journey all over again. She tuned in her wires, then the band practiced a song and Love started dancing, approaching a haunting solo.

  2. #2
    Registered User DATo's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Well, OK, to start with I am not into this type of music, but then, this forum isn't about music is it? It is about writing, and I flatter myself to think that maybe I do know just a little bit about that. You wrote this character in such a manner that I could actually see her dancing with that long-necked bass and could hear the slap-downs and runs to rival Leland Sklar's own, perfectly matching the rhythm of her body. It is also a story of determination and the dedication Love held for her art. You not only captured the visual and audible in your story but you also captured the essence of the spirit of rock and the spirit of a human being. As is the case with many performers Love matures with time and her music matures with her. She emerges from the fire of the band's dissolution like a rising Phoenix and at the end of the story stands alone, and victorious.

    Your character reminded me a bit of Lindsey Stirling, the violinist who also incorporates dancing in her performances. Don't know if you've seen this but you might like it if you haven't. .... a pretty good example, I think, of what you were getting at in your story. (The violinist).

    You might want to reconsider this line ...
    Eight albums in (five which included Love) and the band a worldwide dominance..

    I might suggest ...
    After recording eight albums, five of which included Love, the band had achieved worldwide fame.

    Nice job !!!

  3. #3
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    Jan 2012
    Hi Dato,

    Thank you for your reply and I am glad you found this story interesting, even though you aren't into this music. But as you say, this site is all about the writing.

    I have never heard of Lindsay Stringer. This story was actually based/inspired on a bass player Paz Lenchantin, she is Brazilian I believe and played bass for various outfits including The Pixies. As you can tell I do love this music.

    I write my short stories in the form of exercise; I just get the idea in my head out of paper and post, always trying to develop my writing and get better each time. Practise and experimentation. I knew what I initially wanted say with this story, but the plot and ending changed a lot. In the end I think I found the best story and am quite happy with it.

    Thank you for the grammar suggestion. I admit my wording and sentences aren't the best.

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