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Ginger Says – Oh, I have seen some sights lately. Bobbing heads, guitar straps the length of the average necklace and enough static stage presence to make Noel Gallagher look like Angus frigging bastard Young
By Ginger | June 8, 2000
The entries have been charging through my front door at a fair old rate of knots. Those slices of joy that reek of domineering young men that demand the chance to shine – to seas of fans around the many stretchmarks of the world. The newest Rock God to hit the magazine racks. The freshest face, the craziest character, the coolest haircut, the snazziest stage gear, the best moves, the wildest ambitions… the bass player that’s going to refill my dwindling supplies of patience in what has to be the ugliest, most character-free country of musicians on this planet, and that is including Pugnatia.
Ever been flat-hunting? You know that first couple of days when it seems like fun? Where the advice that “it won’t be easy” falls on deaf and optimistic ears? Imagine the exasperation of flat-hunting combined with the biggest hangover you ever had… and then give yourself the flu on top of that, and you are still nowhere near the sickness that fills my gut at how miserable the bass-playing entries have been so far.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Far be it from me to call anyone ugly. Or tell you that you look like your mother dressed you… fucking last week. I mean, by the looks of it you’d all get a chance to jam with Paul Weller, Travis or even Oasis. Happy? Put it this way, if there was a chance to join a troupe of green-haired midgets that speak fluent Greek, I wouldn’t have got the job. I’d be wrong, you understand? I wouldn’t be surprised when they said “oh no mate, you’re far too tall, with the wrong coloured hair, and your Greek stinks”, etc, etc. Do you see my point, or at least the looming spectre of the point that I’m about to make?
Now, there have been exceptions to the rule that all bass players must look like ‘bass players’ (you know, the guy that gets stuck at the back in pictures – Ken, that’s usually his name). There have been a few amazing characters… and they have nearly ALL BEEN FROM FUCKING A-M-E-R-I-C-A. Or Scandinavia. I mean, I’m English, and I’d like to think that we were pulling our weight as far as rockers go. Keef is from here and so is Jimmy Page, Sid Vicious and even Geri bloody Halliwell. We do have characters in this country, albeit the most reluctant characters ever to avoid standing out in a crowd. Oh, I have seen some sights lately. Bobbing heads, guitar straps the length of the average necklace and enough static stage presence to make Noel Gallagher look like Angus frigging bastard Young. I’m talking world domination and some of you are talking Bull and Gate, with a view to maybe headlining one day.
Call me heartless, shameless or just fucking bassist-less, but I didn’t get a single chance in life from trying to be average. Or ‘giving it a bit less because that’s what everyone else does’. Yes yes yes, I’m fully aware that not everyone wants to stand out in a crowd, or try out a few moves in front of an entertainment-starved audience, and that’s just fine and dandy-o-grande. OK? Good.
Now, I’m not going to buy a ticket to see a band that resembles a retirement home at bedtime, but just look at how well bands like Travis (great band, don’t get me wrong – great but very boring) are doing. It doesn’t take extreme people to make millions. There is a good, healthy market for humble, average-looking guys with that ‘earthy vibe’ that always sells in this country when ideas are scarce. Look at Cast, Ocean Colour Scene, Stereophonics, and the many, many bands that have neatly filled a gap when extrovert behaviour has been thin on the menu. Good luck to you all and I hope you have a good laugh at the business that is making you rich. Come on guys, this music isn’t designed to sell in the millions, which is why the bands are all pretty surprised at their success. And humble. And dressed in denim. Good guys do get paid after all. Especially in this country. Which is why we fill in the fucking lottery every week, and that’s why we dress to blend.
But my problem is this: where did it say on this web site that I was looking for ‘average-looking players with very limited stage presence and no decent clothes’? (Or indeed green-haired dwarves, of which there were more to choose from, I swear.) Is this what is seen as ‘having it’ these days? Has every band from America (that’s sold over a million, dresses in sports gear and the latest haircuts – i.e, that short one that takes about half an hour to get the ‘just woken up’ look going) really influenced our sense of style to the point that no one has any any more? Or is it the fact that Oasis made millions utilising the image of ‘dressing down so you don’t get into too much trouble when out on a Friday night’? Or is it even the ‘Travis are the latest thing and I want to look like them because I really believe the next new thing is going to look just like the last new thing for just this once in the whole of history’ syndrome?
Don’t get me wrong, I love you all. And when I get through having this baby I want to have lots more with all of you. But I’m struck dumb with disbelief that there is not ONE person from this country that is getting an audition for this band. I really wanted (or still want) a British bass player, but we have huge stages booked in Japan and if you aren’t dancing substantially more than your guitar stand you ain’t even in the running, mate.
Would you pay to see you?
Angus does what he does because it sells and people love it. Dregen doesn’t have to move more than the rest of his band. These people know that if you look good you get places. Image, man, image. What are we so fucking afraid of? Looking like a fool? Does Angus feel like a fool? He’s still up there rocking; still raking in the millions and getting the girls. Or does everyone want to be the guy in their local that used to be in a band? Who’s the fool here? You are only getting ONE chance at this. And if you get to 40 without doing anything… YOU. HAVE. BLOWN. IT. You can’t go back and sort out that haircut. You can’t pull on those tight leathers, the ones that the guys used to laugh at but you always got laid in. You can’t go and see the world in a tour bus, because someone young will have your job. AND THEY WILL FUCKING LOOK GOOD.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to use every day of your life like it’s your last. Make every hour count. And never, ever (ever ever ever ever ever) regret not getting something because you didn’t give it your best shot. Because that, ladies and gentlemen, will kill you just as sure as an Exocet missile to the back of the head. Except it will take longer and will be much more painful. Yes, the bass players that came bravely forward were not really hoping to get the job as the wildest man in the world and so they didn’t.
I also need a drummer. Please let me find him in Great Britain. Email us here and we’ll tell you where to send a video. And please remember to read the small print:
DRUMMER WANTED. MUST BE GREAT. DOUBLE BASS A PLUS. MUST BE A FULL-ON ROCK PIG. MUST BE SCARY. MUST HAVE LONG HAIR (AS IN LONG, NOT SHORT… BUT LONG). MUST WANT TO SEE THE WORLD. MUST WANT TO DRINK THE BARS OF THE WORLD UNDER THE TABLE. MUST WANT TO GET INTO LOTS OF TROUBLE AND NOT GIVE THE SLIGHTEST SHIT ABOUT WHAT ANYONE THINKS OF HIM. THINK BONHAM, THINK KEITH MOON. THEN STOP THINKING, YOU’RE A DRUMMER FOR GOD’S SAKE, AND YOU HAVE A TRADITION TO UPHOLD.
Looks are not important, so if you ain’t pretty you have a better chance of getting the gig. I swear there’s a promise of good times and more girls (or boys if that’s what floats your ice cream) than you can kick out of a tour bus. Parties and good times are included in the deal. This band will do exactly what it says on the packet.
So whaddya say? Does the meanest, ugliest, dumbest, biggest, wildest, toughest, craziest drummer in the world come from Britain? Or is it America? Again?