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Alexander Lopez, Guitar hero

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.



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