One of the many bass discussion groups I contribute to on the net is www.thedudepit.com – a site set up by Steve ‘dude’ Barr, who runs the Vintage Bass Trading Co. partly as a place for discussing gear, but also as just a hang out on line. As with most forums like this, it’s the ‘off topic’ section that attracts the most posts, and is where people actually get to know eachother (that and the chat room) – the off topic section at The Dude Pit is titled ‘Al’s Nudie Bar’ but fortunately actually rarely features any nudity; it’s more just an indication of where Dude’s head is at… :o)
Anyway, the amazing thing about the dudepit is the sense of community that has built up there – there are guys on there who are going way out of their way to help people out, supporting eachother through bereavement, gear theft, house fires, storm damage, and the in the latest case, through one of the guys being hospitalised seriously with no medical insurance. Now, as we know, in the horrible medical scenario that is the US, people without medical insurance get hit with hefty bills. In the case of Ray Duke – the pitter in question – who’s a pro musician making a living in bar bands, function bands etc. the bill came to $26,000!!!! WTF???? How on earth does that happen????? Anyway, there’s a thread about Ray’s situation in The Pit, where people able to pledge money to help the guy out. I’ve chatted to Ray a few times in the chat room there, and he’s a great guy (not that that should really have much bearing on whether he gets help or not but anyway…) – if you feel like pitching in, however much, I’m sure it’ll be hugely appreciated to help out with his bills. As a fellow pro bassist, and one who were I living in the US would probably also be without medical insurance, I have a great deal of sympathy with Ray, and just hope that somehow we can help him out, and in so doing, help the bass world out. Being a pro musician gets harder and harder the more crass the industry gets, and a knock like this can finish a guy off.
In other news, had a great fun gig last night with Tess Garraway – this time, Seb Rochford joined Joss, Tess and I for the show, which was another creative improv night. We hit some real highs in the set, and gelled with Seb straight away. ‘Twas another tiny crowd, and methinks Tess and the venue are going to have to get the promo sorted out fast if this kind of vibe is going to continue…
And then today, we took the aged feline off the vets for his regular check-up (given that he’s 18 it’s a VERY regular checkup) – we already knew that he has chronic renal insufficiency, but with his diet and some meds we’d had it under control. However, his blood test today showed that the urea levels in his blood are way high, so they kept him in and put him on a saline drip. This was rather harrowing, cos the poor little guy doesn’t like the vets at the best of times, so to be put in a cage there and for us to leave him was seriously freaking him out. We went back and visited him this afternoon, which was nice, but he’s not well at all, and the long term prognosis is not good. Please say a prayer for the little guy, should you feel so inclined.
here he is –
Soundtrack – right now, Denison Witmer, ‘Philadelphia Songs’, before that John Lester, ‘Big Dreams And The Bottom Line'; Kerry Getz, ‘Little Victory'; Nik Kershaw, ’15 Minutes'; The Choir, ‘Wided Eyed Wonder’.by