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Part-way Through a Long Way Back

Link to Amazon.co.uk

One of the books I am currently reading is Long Way Back by Brendan Halpin, which grabbed me by the tagline:

When life deals you a blow, it’s time to tune up that bass

That seems custom designed to pull in bass players (like me) as readers. You can imagine, then, how disappointed I was when I got to page 140 this morning: Francis has just taken up bass (hurrah!) but here are some snippets from his conversation with his sister, Clare (the narrator):

C: “So if you’re not joining Angie’s band, why are you learning the bass?”

F: “I think it’s the easiest thing to learn. It’s the instrument they always give to the one who can’t play. Sid Vicious played bass! He could never play at all and he played bass! ….” [snip! I don’t want to retype the whole page!]

C: “Why do you think anybody’s going to want you to be their bassist?”

F: “Because nobody wants to play bass! It’s not a glamour instrument! Everybody wants to be the guitarist or the singer! So there have to be tons of bands forming that need bassists…”

It is a good job the book is otherwise insightful, funny, tragic and moving. I’m letting the slurs above pass on the grounds that it’s the voice of the characters and they’ve been through some pretty tough times by that point. Still, Mr Halpin better have put in a scene at the end where Francis comes back to his sister and says, “Aha! Now I know that bass is an incredibly cool and beautiful instrument and many bassists are fantastic, wonderful and musically-rounded people”.

Meanwhile, back in real life, I’m getting ready for another Deep to Deep bassists gathering on Saturday, where I’m quietly confident that the latter sentiment will be more fitting!

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