NBD: There's just no way this happened... I still can't believe it.
Well folks, here's a banger. You'll have to pardon the length; I believe this story warrants every last letter typed. I owe more thanks to people on TB than server space allows, and you'll see why shortly. I'll skip some minor details and cut to the important early points to begin with:
I knew from about the age of 10 that, of all of the instruments, the bass spoke the most to my soul. I'm sure most of you here know the feeling I'm talking about. Everyone was busy getting guitars and drums (probably thinking of them as the "cool" instruments, and wanting to shred). My first bass was an old Fender P-Bass starter kit that I purchased from my still-best friend. I played the thing in my parents bedroom with the instructional VHS until my fingers were politely blistered.
In the next couple/three years, had gone through a couple of basses, an Epiphone Tbird and Fender Hoppus Jazz. I loved punk in my early teen years. ;) I continued playing this bass for a couple of years until I wanted to dive into the guitar. I felt like I needed to know the basics of the instrument to really learn how the music I liked was shaped. How it worked. What made the sounds I was hearing. The P-bass sat in the closet for a couple of years, untouched.
Off to college.
By this point, I could play a few tunes on the guitar and was quickly picking up the banjo. I started following The Avett Brothers before anyone really knew who they were. The folk/bluegrass/rock mix (plus A+++ songwriting) really sold me on another instrumental adventure. This continued for months, until one faithful morning.
I will never, ever forget getting in my car after a very, er.... "successful" night with the whiskey my freshman fall semester at Auburn. I dropped my roommate off at his early class and his angel of a brown Labrador Retriever, Ellie, jumped in the front seat with me. For some reason, the bass on my car stereo EQ was maxed, still, from the night before (rap? :spit: )
I had recently bummed my girlfriend-at-the-time's brother's CD binder. I was starting to get into a little bit of the jam scene. The Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Phish, moe., you guys get the drift. I've never been as excited to hear such a new type of music that wasn't all perfection/studio based. My eyebrows stayed raised. I had become familiar with Phish, and quite comfortable with listening to them in the proper mindset (literal mindset, not substance altered mindset that many assume). I pulled into my parking spot at home with Ellie calmly by my side, and then it happened.
The next track started as I shifted to Park. It was "Prince Caspian", performed by Phish on 4/3/98. For those who don't know, this was a four show tour with a heavy funk theme. I, at the time, had no idea what I was hearing. "Caspian" is not one of the holy grails of Phish, just a couple of chords and a couple of lines of lyrics. This one, however, was magical.
With the bass still blasted from the previous night, I clearly could FEEL and follow bassist Mike Gordon's fingers. He rose above the mix. He punched my chest. He sang to me with his mouth closed the whole time. Every note was flawless, not to many, not too few. Every idea my brain wanted to hear, his fingers simultaneously matched. I remember crying. I don't cry.
That moment will NEVER leave me. It was a point in my life that had such weight and soul-wrenching power, that I can mark it as a definitive change in my life. How I look at things. How I hear things. The power of optimism. The fact that no matter how I feel, this emotion from this band or sound or bass or whatever it is, makes the day better.
I drove home first thing that Friday to go get my basses out of the closet. It was like Christmas. Over a two year period, I built custom cabs with my brother-in-law's aid and design. I traded in both of my small Fender combos for a MarkBass LMIII. After months of working an after school job, I bought my Ibanez SR505. All of this was an effort to get the sound and joy that Mike brought me that day into my bedroom.
Skip a few years of mindlessly listening, studying, practicing, knob-twiddling, and such, and we arrive in October 2012. Out of nowhere, my dad pulls out a tweed bass case from the closet for my birthday. Inside, a fretless Warwick Corvette that he had found a local pawnshop. Flawless. I'm not a huge fretless guy or Warwick homeboy, but it kinda shook me. Never had I thought that playing the bass was anything more that playing with a toy to my family, but that night, it struck me that my family (especially my dad) really saw how much it meant and currently means to me. It stuck with me hard.
Being a TB nerd like most of us, I check the classifieds numerous times a day. This was mostly for fueling GAS and entertainment. I told myself that hopefully by the time I had kids that I would love to own a Modulus. I had played a few, and heard my favorite one about 25 times spanning the entire CONUS region. I knew that Modulus's old slogan was perfectly true for me: "The sound in your head is this bass."
Fast forward to August 2013. I've learned a whole lot about the bass world and specifically Modulus. I don't even know the percentage, but from what I've been told here there are only a handful of 34" Quantums in the world. Mike Gordon and Phil Lesh account for roughly half of them. Then, I checked the classifieds, and saw one for sale: Modulus Q5, 34".
I drooled for about 48 hours, and sent a couple of PM's to Craig Privett (bassman8416) about it, and told him that I would do anything to grab it. "If I raise the money, and you still have it, it's mine!"
I was broke (thanks college). I discussed with my pops about liquidating everything I could spare to raise whatever I could to grab it. For a couple of weeks, old things of mine were flying out of the door. I had raised almost $1000 when I checked the thread and saw "SOLD!!!!!". I had just missed my once-in-a-lifetime chance at snagging a 34" Quantum 5. Part of me wanted to sit in a dark closet. The other told me to keep chuggin' along. Hell, I'd had that much money saved, so let's keep building a pile to have ready for when the right bass comes up! I didn't want to interfere in business that wasn't mine, so I never formally asked Craig to whom he sold it. I hinted, but never really pushed. I kept the Planet Bass archive photo on my desktop to remind me of my goals instead of quickly falling to GAS and dumping my funds somewhere else.
I realize this is dragging on..... stay with me. It'll be worth it.
By this time, the fund raising had taken a slight halt while I focused on my final set o' finals, as I graduated last Saturday. I figured I'd get a little money for graduation that I could throw in the Q5 pile. What I did not expect, was when my dad walked in a dropped a fat box on my stomach while I was lying down.
At first, I thought it was a bass, until the weight hit my stomach. It felt heavier than I imagined, so I quickly changed my mindset to a shotgun or something else. I opened it up to find a Zon box! I'm getting a ******* ZON!!!
........... it had a Modulus case inside :eyebrow:.......... with the above-mentioned 34" Chechen Modulus cradled inside.
I fell to my knees. I still, in the middle of typing this sentence, can't believe what has happened. Never in my wildest dreams did I even expect to play a 34" Q5, let alone own one. Until a family and kids take it's place, it's the first thing I'll grab when the house burns down. Far and away my most prized possession.
Business details aside, my pops has let me know what a crazy experience it was trying to buy the bass from Craig. With no pre-exisiting PayPal, no TB account, no eBay feedback, and no way to meet up with Craig to even shake his hand, I'm sure Craig was hesitant selling it to my dad to say the least. If I had been Craig, I wouldn't have even thought of selling to someone like that on the net. But he did. All because he wanted to be a part of something special. I am blessed to have the bass of my dreams, already.
All this is to say that I'm unbelievably blessed to have all of the wonderful relationships I have within my family and have formed through the interwebs on TalkBass. 99% of all of the help I have received in the bass world has come from nothing but the typings of you guys and gals, and even less than that is the number of folks I've actually had the pleasure of meeting.
So thanks to everyone here for making my musical dream come true. And a HUGE, WOLLOPING LOW-B OF A THANK YOU to Mr. Craig Privett for letting my dad be a part of something so special. Thanks to my Grandparents, my parents, my brother, sister, and brother-in-law. The experience of sharing with them on that day was something I'll never forget. I've never felt as close to my dad in my life. Without Craig's extensive help, my brother-in-law and my dad would've never been able to make it happen (dad needed a little help... he couldn't even put the EADG string order question to register for the forum! :smug::D)
As soon as I get her back from the ATL Bass Gallery, I'll update pictures and join the Mob. Be polite, be helpful, don't be afraid to ask questions (use the search function first ;))! This is a testament to the people on here who watch out for each other with nothing to base it on other than text. It's what makes this place WAY different from any other forum I've ever been a part of.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy holidays! May all of you continue to play and push your low end skills. There's nothing better in the world that combining that with friendship and good tidings. IMHO, of course!
Cheers to the max!
-Travis H :bassist:
Great story! Great bass! Great family!! Merry Christmas! :bassist:
Congratulations! Awesome family you have. And a decent bass. ;)
Great story. WDE!
Thanks guys! :)
You can actually see in the photo where my dad searched, printed, and highlighted EVERY SINGLE forum post that I had written containing the word "Modulus" in it.
Unbelievable, that guy.
Nevermind the bass. Hang on to that family, no matter what!
Wow Travis...I am kind of speechless. TBers, Travis and I have been messaging back and forth for months about Modulus basses, etc...he is a few hours away, although we have never met. I remember when that 34" Modulus came up for grabs and remember all of us Mod Squad drooling over it. I seriously almost pulled the trigger on it.
Anyway, fast forward...I told Travis anytime he wanted to come up and play my Modulus jut to let me know and he could even gig with it if he wanted. So now I get to see this all come full circle and glad you finally snagged it.
Let me know next time you are in Bham so we can hang out and play our Mods!
GO GET YOUR MODULUS NUMBER!!!!
Awesome! Congratulations on your graduation and Merry Christmas!
HNBD...and GO WAR EAGLE !!!!!!!!
That is awesome! Thanks for sharing and a big cheers to your pops!!
Awesome father (and mother)!
I'd say enjoy the bass but after reading your post...well....I know you will :bassist:
Great story and your folks are amazing..and a great Holidays Season for you and your parents...:hyper:
Congrats Travis! You have a great set of parents there! Enjoy that bass!
That was an awesome story, man...
Congratulations on the new bass, the graduation and your wonderful family!
Way to go, Dad!
What a story.. I love these... it's like bass in the soul - latent.. to be dicscovered and born again!
It's almost like there is a bass god.
Mind you... it's christmas day/eve and ik'm a bit tippy.!
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Congratulations! Awesome story, you have a wonderful Dad, and a fantastic bass!
Great story, you are blessed to have such a loving family!
Congratulations on your graduation and your new bass.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
What an awesome story but uh travis....roll tide :p
Awesome story. Merry Christmas everyone!
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