“Don’t take no nerve to do something ain’t nothing else you can do.”
I wish those were my words but they are from John Ford’s 1939 film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” I’ll confess that this phrase has been in my head almost continually most of my adult life. Root hog, or die between the devil and the deep blue sea squeezing in between a rock and a hard place being up the creek without a bear in the woods.
I’m not unique or anything. This must be how most people feel. Life is a struggle. Most of us do our best to overcome dire and desperate situations. My life hasn’t been exceptionally hard but I’ve had a few situations where my survival wasn’t assured and I’ve managed to survive long enough to complain about some of the specifics.
I think I can speak for all of us and say in confidence that if you survive long enough, some things get easier, others, harder. We all get the same amount of ice…the rich in the summer, the poor in the winter. That’s how things roll.
I’m mentioning this because I just bought my first bass amp in decades. I think the last time I bought any bass gear was the last time the Ringos were a trio which was 20 years ago. I started with the Ringos in ’88 as a bass player but I’ve been playing six string– as god intended–since 1990 except for a handful of shows in the late ’90s.
I’m the bass player again because necessity has required it. That I’ve decided to get an amp specifically for bass playing is a departure that seems like requires reflection.
I admit to feeling emotion about guitar amps and have been known to love discussing them in a lengthy and detailed manner for longer than is healthy or interesting. For me, however, bass guitar gear is as utilitarian and unemotional as a new pair of socks. What is most important at any given time? Necessity, I’m a bass player right now so I’m finally getting a bass rig together.
When Corey Wyatt started playing drums with the Ringos about a year ago, our plan was to be a quartet with me and Heath Roach each playing guitar like we’ve done for the past 25 or so years. It didn’t work out that way. Bass players have always been scarce. Everybody wants to be the guitar hero including me. However, the time is now and the day is come for the Ringos to come out into the light and bestow our rock and roll music upon all who want to come along for the ride.
For us to bring our message of peace and love and loud rock and roll music to the world, I needed to play bass since none other were available. Now we are a trio and we’re battling the devil nightly to wrest control of this three piece beast. Most shows, we’re mostly coming out on the winning side.
There’s something about a trio that’s different. I’ve played mostly in quartets and larger groups. Doing a single or double is pretty easy. A trio, however, seems like walking a tight rope, one little slip and they’re playing march of the clowns while the crew is scraping you off the concrete. I think we’re getting pretty good at it and it’s pretty swell.
Despite our seeming mastery of the power trio, I’m still asking the question of who or what the Ringos are today? I don’t know. We’re rocking, exploring the universe on sails of pure energy, melody, and sheer high decibel rebel yell unrestrained wall of sound music.
As the song says, its revival and I’m born again.
Peace and love y’all,