This is a "reprint" of a blog entry that Bob wrote several years ago that I recently came across. It was posted on a previous version of our site, and I thought it would be nice to put it back in rotation in memory of Bob.
Miss you, Dad! - Mark
You probably recall the moment when you first got an upright bass... You'll distinctly remember when you were administered the Official Upright Bass Owner Pledge: Raise your right hand and repeat after me:
"I (state your name), heretofore affirm that I will own a Station Wagon, Truck, Van, or similarly oversized vehicle for the rest of my life."
The types of cars people have managed to stuff their basses into is a popular topic on most all the bass boards, and it can get pretty crazy. It's not something I dwell on, being a SUV owner, but must admit I was impressed when son Mark deftly slid his carved bass into his VW Jetta - it was quite a trick! I'm not up to being a bass contortionist, and even he traded his sporty Jetta for a VW SUV last month.
My Dad's '62 Ford Falcon station wagon competently transported the bass when I gigged in high school, and in college, my girlfriend's (soon to be wife) huge '54 Ford swallowed the bass without complaint. I think my favorite college-era story is when Scott, the other bass major at Rowan University (Glassboro State College in 1968), took me cross country and on the ferry across the Delaware River to Pennsylvania to my first lesson with Neil Courtney (Philadelphia Orchestra; damn, I wish I'd paid better attention back then!). Good thing the weather was good, because his bass was stuck straight up in the back seat of his Corvair convertible! I wish I had a photo.
A parade of bass-capable cars followed... a '61 Ford Falcon (folding front seat!) coupe, a big fat '64 Plymouth POS with pushbutton automatic (my first and last lesson in replacing a blown engine), my beloved, long-lived '70 Opel station wagon (my first new car: just $65.24/mo for 36 months!), a rattletrap '68 VW bus (who needs heat on the way back from a NYE gig?? My fingers are still numb), '78 Ford Fairmont station wagon, '81 Ford E100 van... and the list goes on.
I know players continue to try to skirt the Bass Prime Directive, as I get calls to find out if the Gollihur Bass Case is water resistant (material, yes, but zippers and seams, no) so they can put their bass on the roof rack even when rain is predicted.
Today's non-truck SUV choices in the automotive world have shrunken, with station wagons (businesslike sedan in the front, big booty in the back, kind of a Mullet Car) becoming nearly extinct. Often, the mini SUVs replacing them really don't have enough space behind the rear seats to enable URB transport. How about mini minivan? I think the Nissan Cube is cute, but it would probably fail the URB Test, and I probably couldn't pass the age test to own one... I guess I'll have to embrace my rapidly maturing Inner Old Fart and check out a Volvo wagon.
Or do you think GM will start selling Opel Station Wagons in the States again anytime soon?