Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Final Countdown

Afew weeks after getting back from Spain it was time for the PRS experience. By some lucky twist of fate my family got on the invite list for the Paul Reed Smith Guitars open house. Never heard of PRS? You have heard them, seriously, they were used in the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. I remembered the first year I went, only afew weeks after my conversation with Mama Hood; I was chatting with one of the female workers whom I told I was thinking about playing bass, she played bass and was hoping PRS would start making basses again soon.

Four years later I sat under the big white tent in Kent [I didn't intend for that to rhythm] clutching my ice coffee while making jokes of whether or not the tent would hold under the pounding rain; Paul made an announcement.


They were making basses again, and to show them off he put five basses on stage and let them at it. It was the most amazing musical performance I'll ever see in my life. Just five guys jamming and trying not to sound like crap. I was sold, the music was beyond words, and I could own a beautiful, locally made (with great wood!) by great people bass. [After going to the open house this year it looks like I'll never get one due to the fact I could only find one bass on the sales floor (though it did have a crowd around it) and the "Bass Orchestra" was actually a band transported from the 70s with fifteen people on stage, and WTF with the keyboard?!?!? Can't you at lease keep it in the bass clef?!?]

That christmas I spent the holiday in Charleston, it was awesome being someplace that had a music scene that isn't closeted in the bars. The bands on the public channels were freakishly good considering they were basement bands.      

When I got home Mom handed me $100 and Bass Players for Dummies. I devoured the book in hours and one thing became clear, I needed a guitar. I googled, budgeted and googled some more. To buy the model I wanted new I'd have to wait three months, until I plugged in "ibanez grs200l" one last time before going to bed Dec. 26th 2011. There it was a used cherry red grs200l at a guitar center in Colorado for $120. 

I jumped, and bounced for the next week waiting for it to come in. On Jan. 3rd me and my mom walked into the local guitar center while my mom reminded me of the thirty day return policy, after all I had never stuck to an instrument for very long.

We stand in front of the register for a good eight minutes before being acknowledged by the guy behind the counter. During this time we notice we are the only females in the store save the mother standing awkwardly in the corner as her minor son frolics around the drum section. When the manager finally asks what we want he laughs in my face for getting a southpaw guitar, and told me I should of gotten a "real bass". Due to the fact we were clearly clueless women we asked we asked them to polish it, tune it, and plug it in to make sure it works. Man did they love that, but they did what we asked [well they tuned it as if it right handed, yeah that only took me six months to figure out]. When we were walking to bass room I felt like a nervous wreck. what was I doing? I sucked at music, I was never going to become famous. Then he plugged it in, and I remembered, the thrill and rush. I wasn't doing this to become famous, I loved the sound and I wanted to be a bass player. 

I can't say I never looked back, I remember being shell shocked on the last day of that return policy. That was the day I ordered an amp.            

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