A month ago I wrote about the moment when the crew of an SR-71 were king of the hill. Now the Blackbird was pretty much king of the hill for all its life, but that was a special, smile inducing moment, and I asked if anyone else had had such a moment.
One of the responses I received was from a friend of mine in Venezuela, the musician and guitar restorer extraordinaire, Alexander Luthier. It induced a smile on my face and I thought it might do the same to you. So in lieu of my usual babble, here’s Alex’s story.
And about feeling “like a boss”: One of my best moments was during a music rehearsal at my University. I only had few months of bass-playing experience, but I tried to compensate that by studying hard my parts.
A very big concert was being planned in my campus, and a famous singer was invited to perform onstage. She closed her act with her most famous song, and our music teachers did a sumptuous arrangement that involved not only her own band, but the university’s band where I played, AND our 43-voices choir. We were about 57 people onstage, plus one trembling bassist.
During the rehearsal I was so nervous being the rookie among those veterans that I just opted to keep my eyes on the score and play my parts without caring of what could be happening elsewhere. Halfway during the song, the singer looked at me, gave me a quick thumbs-up, and kept singing. WTF?
When the song ended, I noticed there were embarassed faces everywhere. Obviously, something had gone terribly wrong. I was freaked out! I was so scared with the idea of blowing it that I played without listening to anyone else but me. Did I played it so bad?
In that moment, the singer said out loud: “Let’s give it for our bassist, who was the only one who didn’t get lost!!” And a loud clapping followed, directed to me.
-Insert “I have no idea of what’s going on” face here-
What happened was that her band wasn’t aware of the new arrangement, and got confused midsong. The choir conductor wasn’t prepared for a rehearsal with a full band, so he also missed his cue. And my band was even more confused, since both conductors were entirely off their marks.
The only ones who didn’t got lost were the singer and me! I was so immersed reading my score I didn’t listened to the general chaos that was going on. But she kept singing using my notes, and when the conductors realized that, they both locked in with me. The artist’s musicians noticed that and started following my bass until the end of the song.
So there I was, a rookie among musical giants, directing almost 60 people with my bass without knowing it. When I realized what happened, the stage fright evaporated and my smile was soooo big I could have lit the entire theatre.
Nice one, Alex.
Wishing you all the best for keeping you head down and following the score this weekend.
Wow. If Jesus had played bass, he’d have turned this story into a parable. Thanks for the lesson, Nigel & Alex!
You never know Sherry, maybe there’s a missing page of the bible floating about somewhere!
I love it! What a great story. Not to mention a lesson in the value of doing your own thing to the best of your ability no matter what “the world” is doing. Thanks for my morning smile. 🙂
Glad you liked it … just don’t go telling too many people that I put a smile on your face in the morning!!
I’m going to blush now…
Oh, cool story! And what an appropriate last name for someone who restores guitars. I’m curious – is it the name he was born with, or did he give it to himself?
It is a good name, isn’t it? And I’m going to leave you guessing about it’s authenticity!
Have a great weekend 🙂
Wonderful story. Keeping your head when all around you have lost theirs. Good for you, Alexander! What an inspiration. And that’s my cue – going back to her WIP to keep her head down. 🙂
Yes, you’re right, it’s a good reminder. Hope that wip is going well 🙂
Thank you for the kind words! And that name is the one of my Worldpress blog.
Oddly enough, one of the most respected luthiers in the U.S. is Lutiao Mottola, whose name means just that! (Lutiao = luthier in Italian)
Well it was a great story and worth sharing. Thanks.
Looks like Lutiao Mottola took his name too!
Why am I not getting notifications of your posts in time? I’m sorry, Nigel, I keep missing the debut of your posts.
This is a great story, Alexander. You saved the day! Talk about being a rockstar for an evening. That must have been something. A fantastic story and a good lesson for us all.
Humm. No idea why you’re not receiving emails. I have 3 people signed up via wordpress and a few more via feedburner. Do you know which service sends you the emails?
It is a great story. I’m glad you enjoyed it,
I assume it’s through WordPress since that’s now I found you. But I’m going to sign up again because this is getting silly, I’m missing out on your posts!
I see your name in the feedburner list, so if it doesn’t arrive let me know.
Weirdly, Feedburner decided to send out one of my old posts today. No idea why, it was nothing to do with me.