16 October 2009

Nate and Bass

This is a picture of Nate playing bass.

I wanted to mention this because Nate liked playing bass and was really really good at it. I auditioned with No Holds Barred on guitar once (wasn't good enough though...which was true) and I remember I had asked Nate if he had ever had any other bass. He said in a normal voice, "Nope" and then a really silly voice he half shouted, "She's my one and only!"

Robert told me about how Nate liked that Sting only had one bass ever and that the only other bass he would play was an exact replica of his first bass. This is kind of comforting to me now because I don't ever have to wonder which bass Nate would use. That same old Ibanez with a couple of stickers and a rubber thumb with a purple fingernail for a knob.

I can also remember Nate's ability on bass. He never ever bragged about it, but he was one of the best bassists I knew. He would've been well within his rights to brag about it. But the only people who talked about how great Nate was on bass were other people. I never thought about it before but I guess that shows how modest he was. His ability is more than just technical skill.

See...I started playing bass for other bands in college and I discovered two things. First off, what Nate had wasn't a practiced skill one could acquire. It was talent. He was good at playing fast and accurate and putting a bit of himself into it. Now what made this amazing is that he didn't mind having his talent and ability take a backseat. A lot of the songs I have of Nate playing he is just being a bassist. Doing a very simple something in the background. And when I think about these songs....that's what they needed. Some people I've played with wanted their talent to be the spotlight even if it would've damaged the song. I can tell that wasn't the way Nate approached things.

It's weird listening to those records because I always focus on the bass and if there are background vocals I struggle to hear his voice. I just thank God we have the records. A little piece of Nate for us all.

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