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Can you believe it?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor [DB]' started by Cecilia, May 10, 2003.

  1. It was a kind of special concert as it was the last in the season after our orchestra went bankrupt and the first as the newly organized philharmonic. The concert was one to look forward to – Brahms #1, La Forza Del Destino and Beethoven PC #2 with our conductor as soloist.

    As I prepared in the backstage area, I was approached by our union spokesman. He was shadowed by a gentleman who appeared to be somewhat noteworthy as he said hello to several of the musicians in the back stage area. The union spokesman approached me saying, “I need to find a bassist...hey! What do you think…Oh, how are you doing?” He went on to tell me that his friend was once a bassist with another orchestra at the time our current conductor was conducting there. He thought it would be a great “gag” to have this guy play the Brahms with the symphony and to see the look on the conductor’s face when he glanced at the bass section.

    I thought they had both lost their minds or were just joking with me when I realized they were indeed serious. Upon discussing this further and further I realized the man actually wanted to use my bass and my bow to perform the entire Brahms first symphony. I excused myself from the discussion to say I would have to get permission from the principal. I went up to the principal, put my arm around him and said, “There’s some jerk in the back stage area who wants to play the Brahms with us.” Our principal was incredulous. He said, “You’re joking, right? This is a gag!” I said, “No, there’s really some jerk back there who is trying to get me to lend him my bass to play the Brahms.” He said, “What, does he think we didn’t rehearse this thing?” I said, “Yeah, apparently.” So, I gently told the guy that the principal bassist was apprehensive and when the guy continued to work on me, I said, “But I want to play the Brahms!” and I put him on another guy who promptly told him to get off.
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I don't get the humour.
  3. Maybe this belongs in a different thread except I couldn't find one called "things that should never happen." This actually happened to me and although I've played in bar situations where some drunk staggered up to the bandstand to say he'd been a roadie for ZZ Top and wanted to play a song with us, I've never in 20 years had anyone do the same thing at a symphony concert. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    It always amazes me that some folks have the hair to ask to sit in... Maybe because it's something that I'd never do, even in a bar setting... A symphonic setting?? That is truly unbelieveable! First off, thinking that a person could just flop in, regardless of reading skills... Secondly, because someone who has worked so hard to achieve that level of skill would know what kind of preparation goes into a symphonic performance, and should know better than to ask in the first place... Dense!

  5. Thank you for that post! I told this story to a violinist in the orchestra. I said if it were Edgar Meyer I'd be honored that he would play my bass - but she said it wouldn't happen because he's a professional and knows it's out of line to do such a thing. So true!
  6. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Been playing bass for over 40 years now and have never seen anyonw want to sit in on a concert.

    There has been a time or two when I would have like to have seen the music after the concert but sit in w/o any rehersal time. NEVER
  7. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Cecilia, why don't you tell us about that performance at King Soopers in Colorado Springs, somebody told me about establishing a new guiness record but they didn't know how to explain, I tried to call Mike Fittzmaurice but I haven't gotten a hold of him yet. I am very curious, it seemed to be a very peculiar situation.
  8. The new record was set by the guest conductor, Tom Jensen, who conducted non-stop for 24 hours. I didn't participate in the performance but it did get a lot of publicity. Don't know if they raised any money. It was peculiar and I'm not sure it will really help the cause, but desparate times...