A Gig Story. Sort Of.
For most of the 1980s, I worked in a number of bands. Not as a musician, but the graphics/promo material person and unintentional lights guy. Though I played guitar, I know the difference between ‘Should be on a stage’ and ‘Shouldn’t be’.
At this point in the saga, our bass player and one of my best friends, Mike, has started living an hour away in Kansas City. Studying to be an engineer....After five or six years of band brotherhood, he doesn’t want to leave us hanging so he makes these long drives. We know he can’t keep doing this and his days with us are coming to an end....He stays at my place for local gigs.
This weekend is busy....We have a Friday/Saturday night bar gig and a Sunday afternoon fair gig at the local Armory.
Leaving my place Saturday for the night’s show, we put our stuff into my car, which is parked on the street. We get to the bar and start taking stuff out only to find his bass is not there. He had set it down while loading and forgot it....I hauled a** back and nothing.(I lived in the outskirts of the city. Across the street was just open fields, no heavy traffic)
Got to the bar. We contacted a friend who owned an instrument shop, got him to open up and borrowed one from the used gear section....Worked the weekend’s remaining gigs and returned the loaner.
Before leaving town, Mike put an add in the newspaper’s Lost And Found with my contact info and left me twenty bucks reward money, for the finder.
A day or two latter, a guy calls and says he has it. Asks me for details on the item. I say a ,Rickenbacker 4001 bass. Tobacco sunburst finish/ white pickguard in a black hardshell case. He tells me he’s not into music, and asks what is a bass?...I say a four string guitar. He asks about the other contents of the case. I said I don’t know, it’s a friend’s and explain the whole situation to him and about the weekend gigs. He says OK.
The next day, I drive to his place which is a few blocks away....Can’t tell you the relief of seeing the thing again.(I watched Mike play a blonde copy for years and was with him when another band’s player told him he wanted to sell it)...After some chatting about how he drove up and found it sitting by the curb, I go to give him the twenty dollars, but he refuses. Says he just wanted to get it back to it’s rightful owner....I explain this is a very expensive instrument, please take it. He wouldn’t. I say Thank you, pleasure to have met you and leave.
Next weekend, Mike’s back at the practice house. I deliver his baby back to him. Give him his twenty bucks back and told him about the good Samaritan who found it.