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Once upon a bass...

In late 1978 we moved from northern Idaho to the Black Hills in South Dakota. It was quite a happy place for me. The possibilities were endless, in running I made the pre-Olympic trials, I had just discovered Rock & Roll and radio, and I got to paint and draw to my heart's content. In Idaho, I had played violin in the school's orchestra but my father hated when I practiced so I didn't. However, now with my new found love of Rock & Roll, I wanted to be in the school band. There was no orchestra, but the teacher, Jan Conn said, "Oh the violin is just like the bass only backwards." They had a dusty old upright bass in the back, and I must have looked pretty funny with my little hands racing to reach the notes. I was hooked, but I needed to get a bass I could take home and practice. I asked my parents and my father said, "I forbid you to play bass, girls don't play bass". I was devastated but I wouldn't give up, I saved all my babysitting money and bought a used bass that didn't have the volume or tone knobs. I made square knobs out of wood and made them look like dice. I could practice all the time because I didn't have an amp and with the door closed my parents were none the wiser. I played along to all my favorite songs on the radio. I was asked to join a band so now I needed an amp, and my parents were like no way can you join a band and we will never drive you to the gigs. I saved up and bought the amp anyway. My first concert with the new band, my dad would still not drive me. Well alright then I will just walk with my gear. We moved a lot, I went to 4 different high schools in three different states. I had nothing stable in my life except my bass and my records. While in high school I somehow got to play the UNM Jazz Festival in Albuquerque and won an outstanding soloist award normally reserved for anything but bass, I might have been their youngest winner.


I kept getting thrown out of bands because I played too many notes. Finally one band would have me, Tandem Felix in Albuquerque. We played the El Rey Theatre and recorded one album.