I've just finished reading an excellent book called Foucalt's Pendulum. It's a long detailed story about history, the occult, various secret societies, and plots of world domination. In other words, typical bass player topics. Anyway, at one point a character was reminiscing about playing in a local brass band as a youth. Although he dreamed of glory and playing the trumpet, he was "stuck" playing something called the bombazon, which from its description sounded like a brass instrument akin to the tuba, and which seemed to function very much as the bass guitar does in modern music. During this flashback, the character moped about not being out in front with the trumpet, although he was fully capable to do so, instead being burdened in the background with the bombazon. His teacher then instructed him on the importance of his assigned instrument by saying, and I'm paraphrasing here, partially from memory and partially to apply this quote to the bass guitar: "The (bass) is the backbone of the orchestra, its conscience, its soul. An orchestra is like a flock: the instruments are the sheep, the conductor is the shepherd. But the (bass) is the snarling watchdog who guards the flock from straying. Wherever the shepherd wants the flock to go, he always looks first to his faithful watchdog, and the flock will instinctively follow his lead." Just thought some fellow bassists might enjoy another viewpoint on the importance of our instrument and the function it performs.