Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Long-awaited, highly-anticipated end to my musical career (Part I)


I seem to be going on a bit of a run here where I end up shedding some part of my old life each week. Last time, I was regaling you with the tale of how I parted ways with my old college dorm room television. This week it was two bass guitars, an amp and some assorted musical accessories. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where I do 800 words on donating my old “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” hat to Purple Heart and what that means to me spiritually.   
                But first, the musical stuff. Many heartstrings were tugged on last week when I put my old TV out to pasture. The exact opposite was the case with the instruments. That makes no sense because I never really loved that TV. The musical gear and I had a lot of fun together over the years. It was a big part of several years of my life in a way that TV could only have dreamed of and yet, as I watched it all gradually leave my parent’s yard sale on Saturday, I felt nothing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying and failing to sell that stuff at yard sales for going on two years now, whereas the TV I just sort of forgot about until very recently. More likely, the lack of emotional resonance caused by the official end of my musical career (such as it was) was due to the absence of a Gerard Way soundtrack. 

               So the yard sale. 
               I was hoping to get rid of my lefty Fender Jazz Bass, a Fender amp and all of the assorted bags and cables that you’d need to operate them in one big bundle. That wasn’t meant to be as the first offer I’ve gotten in two years for any of it was from a guy who just wanted the bass. After some mild haggling, we settled on a price. The man assured me he runs a sanctuary for musical equipment and that my bass would be in good hands. He took the bass and about half of the gear, leaving the amp and the cables. A few hours later, someone came by and made an offer for the rest of it. Again, some mild “Pawn Stars” inspired haggling ensued, we settled on a price and soon it too was gone.  
                Then my dad remembered I had left a broken bass guitar in the basement for years and that we ought to try to get rid of that too. It was in decent shape, it just needed some soldering around the input area or so I’ve been told. Anyway, he dragged it out of the basement, put it out and within hours: gone.
                It was good. I wasn’t using any of that gear and hopefully it’s all now in good homes with people who will use it for its intended purpose. I was never much of a musician anyway. I had no real passion for it. I took lessons but my bass teacher quickly deduced I wasn’t there to learn techniques and so we just spend an hour with him showing me how to play popular songs off the radio.
                That raises the question, “Why did I even have the bass?” My response? Survival.
                Way, way back during the summer before freshman year of high school, my two best friends joined the school band. When freshman year formally started, they had dozens and dozens of brand new friends and exactly zero time for me. Now, there were some unresolved interpersonal issues (a failed grade school relationship) that undoubtedly contributed to the situation in a slight way, but I always felt the driving factor was that they had a new crowd and thus I was yesterday’s news.
                I pretty much drifted aimlessly through freshman year of high school like a plastic bag in a Katy Perry song. Sophomore year, I finally settled in, found some new friends and rekindled with some old ones. Everything was going along great and then something terrible happened. All of my friends joined the track team. I wasn’t about to let my complete and utter lack in interest in physical activity land me back on the scrap heap again, so I did the unthinkable: I joined the goddamn track team. Then, like three months later I was asked to leave said team because I was a complete locker room cancer whose apathy was dragging the whole team down. True story, the season after I got the boot, the team became a veritable force of nature in southeastern Pennsylvanian high school running, winning incalculable medals and accolades. But by the time I was kicked off the team, it didn’t matter. I felt safe and established within my group of friends and I wasn’t worried about getting dumped again.

              I assure you, we'll get to the musical stuff soon. But not right now.

End of part 1.  

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