What's with the Hats?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jmlee, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    It seems that, more often than not, when my wife and I go to a show or watch one on TV the bass player is sporting some sort of little hat. Sometimes it's a beret, sometimes it's a pork pie or some undersized fedora. Now I can understand that there's some follically challenged folks out there, but... In any case, my wife has made it clear that if I ever show up on stage with some "stupid little hat" on my head it's all over. So what's with the hats?
  2. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I've seen a lot of the pork pies lately, kind of a hipster thing I guess.

    It does add character if you can pull it off, but it doesn't work for everyone.
    We've all seen the guy wearing a hat that's obviously a contrived bid for attention, not part of his style.
    And I don't mean the ubiquitous ball cap that some guys probably wear to bed, 'cause you've never seen them without it.
    That's a different issue.

    Some people look dorky with hats, some look dorky without.
    One just has to realize which group they fit into.
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    My head used to get cold on stage.
  4. Lol, I e been told if I ever shave my facial hair off its all over... I can wear any stupid hat I want but I might not be able to stand next to my wife depending on that hat.. Not that I wear hats onstage. I think it's a way of making yourself look more artistic in some people's view.
  5. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    I keep seeing bass players with a fifth string on their bass. Ridiculous, most of them can't even play four strings all that great. The fifth string is obviously an affectation to make them look like a better player. :rollno: /sarcasm

    Hats, sunglasses, shorts, goatees, clip on tuners. There are sure a lot of social rules and no-no's for bass players.
    Mike A, Mvilmany, mbelue and 4 others like this.
  6. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    I wear a hat because I'm going bald and haven't fully come to terms with it. I'm told wearing hats can cause balding .... it's a vicious circle
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    We covered this before in "You look like a bass player"

    I am not saying use the search function, I am saying there is some sort of worldwide thing where bass players wear stupid hats. That thread is proof. I always wondered the same thing, I guess it stems from the fact that certain personalities are probably more apt to play certain instruments/fill certain roles.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Maybe you only see hats on bass players' heads because you specifically look for it? There are lots of hats on musicians in general, especially in the jazz and blues genres traditionally.

    I am one of those that wanted to try it but realize I do look like a dork, haven't found a hat that works on my head so far. I use a baseball cap if I have to because of the sun, but it comes off when I can do without it.
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I've worn a cap on stage ... forever (that's like 40+ years). I also have a full head of hair, as well as facial hair. What's it to ya? BTW, I've had people in the audience actually ask "Where's your hat?" when I've taken the stage without it.
  10. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    I think it is a hipster thing or cool thing in right now type of reasoning as well. Kind of like wearing sun glasses or certain bands who wear suits and ties on stage (unless it's a cover band and they are emulating someone). It does not bother me so much, people can do what they want, but I don't wear a hat on stage myself.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    When I but a wee lad my pop was an Army helicopter pilot and part of his uniform was always a ball cap in some loud color with his unit insignia patch sewn on the front. All I ever wanted to be was like my dad so any time he put his helmet bag down I'd get in there and steal his spare ball cap which I would wear until my mom got tired of telling me to take it off.

    I can't think of many days in my life I was outside and didn't have on some kind of ball cap. I'm in my mid 50's and still have a full head of hair so if chronic hat use leads to baldness I must be the exception which proves the rule.
  12. I've always loved hats. Men wore hats all the time until the '60s. I'm glad to see 'em make a comeback.
  13. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    I've noticed that as well. Bass players also often have weird shirts on.
  14. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    I've considered a miners light on my forehead but I think the glare might alienate the audience
  15. 4-stringB


    Jun 10, 2010
    I've only failed to have a goatee, all the others are standard issue for me.
  16. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I simply like wearing hats both at gigs and when I'm not at work. Kangols, diamond top stingy brims, porkpies. Heck, my souvenir from my trip to Chicago was a Goorin Brothers straw hat.

    I'm not going bald. Just the normal 40 year old growing forehead. :D And, I have a full beard. A little gray? Yes. Bald? No.

    My wife likes my hat and beard so no problems there.

    Some women like giant burly hairy guys and some women like man-boy stick figures. And, there is someone who likes every iteration in between. It's just a matter of finding the right one. :D
  17. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Yeah, because Slash wasn't known for his top hat.

    I don't think this "phenomena" is limited to bassists. Vocalists to horn players, to drummers to guitarists and pianists etc. It's indiscriminate. Do I see an awful lot of stingy-brim tribys onstage nowadays? Sure. But that shizz was going on strong in the 60's-70's on up. It's definitely not new. Someone just pointed it to your attention and now you notice.

    Replace "hat" with "beard" and you can have the same exact discussion.

    But to say it's "all over" based on a hat? Purleeeze.
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I don't know how frozen or north you are, but you should go to a hat shop. Easiest way to find a hat that works for your head. I have a giant melon so the "one size fits all" doesn't work for me.

    If you want to try it, find a place that has a lot of hats and people who know hats. They can easily let you know what size you need, and can make a hat that is too loose fit right.
  19. StereoPlayer


    Aug 29, 2010
    Can I quote you on this? Price less!
  20. brad houser

    brad houser

    Jan 4, 2008
    because *duh*- "people are not wearing enough hats"- Monty Python