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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Here & Now 181: Just say it.

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Here & Now 181
Here & Now 181

S Sorrensen

Nimbin. Saturday, 9.20pm

Double bass players are the coolest people in the world.

There, I said it. I’m not scared of saying stuff. Stuff that I believe. (Even if only momentarily.) That’s what words are for.

I don’t live in fear that some ageing guitarist with jeans as faded as his rock ‘n’ roll dreams will smack me over the head with a ’69 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top because I didn’t say lead guitarists with their weird solo faces are the coolest.

I don’t live in fear that a sensitive singer/songwriter with her verbal selfies will smack me over the head with her royalites cheque because I didn’t say pop singers with their inflated sense of relevance are the coolest.

I can take it. Some things just need to be said.

Sure, I may believe something different in a moment or two, but here and now, I stand in this hall and announce that double bass players are the coolest. This cool dude fingering the upright fretboard to an old blues tune – its repititious lyric would make the pop singer/songwriter scream but its honesty would make the same singer/songwriter blush – is the second double bassist to perform tonight at the Blue Moon Cabaret in Nimbin. And he’s so cool, I’m getting a shiver up my spine.

Double bass players are the coolest people in the world.

That’s the sort of direct statement you won’t get from a politician. They’re scared of commitment to anything beyond meaningless abstraction. Words, for them, do not indicate a reality, but, rather, words shape an opinion (and hopefully an electorate) which best serves whatever interests the pollies are serving at the time. Reality, at the end of the day, is an inconvenience left over from the previous government, and what bass players (except for some bass players, of course) really need (or would need if it wasn’t for handouts) is jobs and growth.

Politicians are scared shitless of reality. They avoid it like a two-day growth. To say anything nearing truth makes them swallow so hard that their ties wiggle like a worm on a hook. Mostly, they have lost the ability to talk. They bleat, growl, fart and avoid the question.

Not me. I’m not scared. That bloke up on stage – squeezing the neck on the old double bass, his grey hair in a ponytail which bebops in sync with his paunch – he’s the man.

Out front of the trio, the woman is ‘shakin’ that thing’ with so much sass the roof of this venerable building may very well pop like the cork of a well-shaken Australian sparkling white.

Most things said with a serious look are not true. Tonight, I have been swimming in a tub of reality as performers of all sorts (from pole dancing to poetry), have pointed to the truth in their various creative languages, none of which had that fake serious tone (often used by our elected) which is a sure sign of deception.

Outside, past the old walls of the hall, beyond the barefoot smokers in tuxedos, past the teenagers in blue screenlight lurking, past the last streetlight and drug van, the great lies lie over the great southern land like the blue light of a moon.

This Friday, the Paris agreement becomes effective. Australia, with its trough-load of squealing politicians, has not ratified it – despite the spray of diarrheal wordage.

This Tuesday, a horse race will be run and people will dress in seriously ugly clobber while the reef dies unmourned by a government that promotes the Adani mine as ‘critical infrastructure’, neckties wiggling, unable to say the truth: The biggest threat to the reef is global warming.

But I can say it.

And double bass players are the coolest.

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  1. Thus spake Zarathustra…er S Sorrenson! So true. Especially about the frippery surrounding a horse race, for goodness’ sake! And the pollies with neck-ties wiggling….
    But back to the double bass..being so cool….that & the bass guitar/cello….all the baseline for everything else….providing the depth required for soul and rhythm and pathos…..I’m with the bass instruments (not only because I’m the mother of a cellist & a serious groupie of her groovy orchestra and various live bands around the Tweed!)


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