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What is the STRANGEST "compliment" you've ever gotten?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by JoZac21, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Twice this week, from two different people, I've been told that I sound like an, and I quote, "old black man" on bass... (I'm a short, chubby, nerdy, white guy...)

    Now, I know this is meant to be a compliment, strangely... but it's hard to ignore the quasi-racist stereotyping entailed in such a comment... I typically give an uncomfortable chuckle as a response...

    What are some compliments you've received that seem weird/bizarre to you? Back-handed compliments count as well... let's hear 'em!
  2. Qsound


    Nov 7, 2011
    That is a very high compliment meaning you must be a grooving machine!!!
  3. cjmodulus


    Jul 15, 2010
    I was testing a Geddy lee jazz a while back and when I started slapping a groove some guy who was walking by said 'yeah man, you're playin' that groovy porno bass.'
    I took it as a compliment.
    My favorite so far though is an old drunk guy who said 'oh man, you're playing... It's like an orgasm.' it was both weird and extremely flattering...
  4. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I hold my own in the groove department (I think/hope)... but don't you think it's a little more than a bit odd that the idea of "sounding black", when it comes to bass, is almost universally considered "a very high compliment"?

    I mean, yeah... the large large majority of the bass players I admire and emulate are black (mostly Paul Jackson and Nate Watts), but this still makes me feel a little... uncomfortable(?).

    Am I alone in this?
  5. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    I've gotten that before. Some dude in GC thought the same thing until he turned the corner and saw me thumping on an old Gibson.
  6. I've been told that I play blues and funk, both lead and bass roles, "like an old black man."

    _By_ young and old _black people_.

    That one _really_ puts my upper-middle-class white guilt into play. I mean, in the age of instant access to a good portion of all the music ever recorded, and access to great blues jams, it should be no surprise that anyone with a good ear and respect for a style of music would be able to master it. There are just too many counter-examples to think that it has even the tiniest bit to do with skin color.

    Am I appropriating and exploiting those styles? Some people, both black and white, claim so.

    But I also feel that they mean it as a complement. They're saying that, in some small way, "That bassist is 'one of us'". I don't think any of this racial, political stuff really comes into people's minds when they say that, and I don't feel that anyone is trying to disrespect black people when they say that.

    I could do a mental twisty all-day long trying to figure out whether I should even acknowledge that kind of compliment. But usually I just say "Thank you very much" and go about my business.

    As regards one of the other above posts, I've also been told that a lead I played "almost made me orgasm". Usually by an uncomfortably young (meaning anywhere under 30), uncomfortably cute woman who I have no business hearing that from. It makes me feel like a pedophile to hear that.
  7. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I don't think I've ever had my bass playing compared to sex, but yeah... those are the kinds of weird compliments I'm talking about...
  8. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    I'm not sure about the meaning of the word "old" in that comment (maybe it means "experienced" which is good), but the rest of that comment is the best compliment any nerdy white guy could receive! (And I can say that because I am a nerdy white guy!)
    punchdrunk likes this.
  9. dannoman


    Feb 3, 2004
    Strangest has to be a show i played several years ago and this girl started kicking the wall and actually tore off a piece of the sheet rock and threw it at me and hit me in the head. after the show she came up to me and said that she was the one who hit me with that, i said yeah i know, i saw you throw it. ***??? her reply was You were really good and i wanted to get your attention to tell you that...
  10. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Cartman: Okay, Token, give me a sweet bass line.
    Token: I don't know how to play the bass.
    Cartman: Token, how many times do we have to go through this? You're black. You can play bass.
    Token: I'm getting sick of your stereotypes.
    Cartman: Get as sick as you want, just give me a goddamn bass line!
    Token: [Plays the bass expertly] Oh, goddammit.
  11. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The "you play like an old black man" comment often comes from black musicians for me as well, perhaps because I often wind up playing mostly with black musicians... somehow this makes me feel weirder... I know that it's meant to mean "we accept you as one of us", but yeah, it just feels strange... like. "you may be white, but you sound black, so we accept you"... I don't know, I may not be expressing myself well...

    Despite being of Easter European Jewish/Italian background, I was raised on a lot of what is refered to as "black music" (Motown, Funk, etc.). I don't think I'm exploiting... I'm simply playing the kind of music I like, in the way I like...

    The music I tend to like is typically played by black musicians... for whatever reason, I relate to it more... so I think I'm being honest...
  12. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    In her defense, it seems to have worked...

    South Park FTW.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    This thread reminds me of the youtube video of George Carlin talking about white guys playing the blues.....

  14. jordak


    Apr 7, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Most often, it's comparisons to either Matisyahu, or Billy Gibbons.
    Maybe it's because of my nose?
  15. Money... Pretty weird to me!
  16. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    As much as I absolutely love George Carlin, this is just wrong in the opposite direction... I don't play the blues, but what's wrong w. white people playing the blues? I haven't had the hardest life ever, but I also did have it easy, who's to say that I shouldn't be playing a particular type of music? Miles Davis walked out of Julliard during a class when a teacher said that the blues is played by poor black people from the south... Miles came from a wealthy family, yet played the blues, so he told the teacher off and walked out...

    I love and miss you, but Mr. Carlin... NO.

  17. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    As a drummer I've been told that I have some white chocolate in me.
  18. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    It was meant in the spirit of humor since this thread is in the humor category. George tried and tried and tried to get us humans to take a step away from ourselves and view the human race from a distance to see how silly and ridiculous we humans can be. Being a white guy, I cracked up royally when he asked "what do white people have to be blue about anyway? Banana Republic ran out of khakis? The espresso machine is jammed? Hootie and the Blowfish are breaking up?????" I love that! I love how, in another video, he talks about how important it is to some of us to walk around with sneakers that have blinking lights in the soles. Or how we have "really swell" presidential elections every four years that some of us seem to get overly excited about.

    We humans are indeed a silly bunch. It is amazing what we humans take seriously. I love laughing at ourselves.
  19. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Point taken... I will admit, it is funny, even though I disagree w. his ultimate point... I love the "openly gay" bit towards the end" lol...
  20. JoZac21


    Nov 30, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Bump... I still want to hear other weird compliments!