Luthier and bassist Alan Riley passed away a couple of days ago; a sudden massive heart attack. Alan ran The Bass Shop in Cabarita, and was one of only a very few luthiers in this town. His shop - a quiet, dark and somewhat mysterious place - was always jam packed with basses in all states of repair. Alan was the first guy I spoke to when I was deciding to learn DB; he sat me down, made me very welcome and gave me a lot of very useful and sage advice, not all of which I heeded at the time! He was a kind, generous and - I always thought - rather stately character, with a mischievous sense of humour. He was always ready to help with setup and repairs at short notice, often at no charge, and I'm sure he helped many bassists out of a tight spot. I'll certainly miss pushing that narrow white door open unannounced, and spending an hour in the company of Alan, his blue curl of cigarette smoke and the forty or more double basses in his workshop.