Date a Musician? I Recommend Bass Players – By Starshine Roshell

Why the Bass Player Will Pluck Your Strings

If there were a Pocket Field Guide to Dating Musicians, it would read like this:
This species can best be viewed in its natural habitat, under the colored lights of nightclub stages — and in the drier months, anywhere there’s free beer.
At the front stands the lead singer, scientific name Egos maximus, a close relative of the peacock. Don’t look him directly in the eye; he views this as a mating call and will rip his ironic T-shirt right off and begin caressing the mike suggestively if he thinks you’re the slightest bit interested.

To his left is the guitarist, Controli freakata, recognized in the wild by his rock-and-roll power stance, practiced indifference, and telltale markings: pants several sizes too small and bits of twine, locks of hair, and other strands of refuse wound round his wrist as boho jewelry. Beware: He is prone to depression; it’s when he writes “his best stuff.”

And making all that racket at the back, on the riser, is the grinning drummer, Rhythm perspiratious, descended more recently than the rest of us from apes. This good-time boy is a competent multitasker but frequently shamed by his bandmates for not knowing scales. Feeding habits: Large meat sandwiches that he stores in the bass drum and gnaws on between songs.

Then there’s the keyboard player, who … Wait, no. This isn’t 1985. There is no keyboard player.

But hark. What is that intriguing breed on the right? The one standing in the shadows with the quiet intensity and the booming, low-slung bass? That, my boyfriend-shopping adventurers, is the extraordinary Fella perfectata from the family Delicieux. His coat is less showy than the others’, so he often goes unnoticed. Yet he’s always there when you need him, steadily, deftly weaving the band’s rhythm and melody into an impenetrable humming-thumping-humming-thumping musical fabric that—scientifically speaking—you just want to wrap yourself up in. Naked.

Listen, I’ve dated a lot of musicians. And if you’re looking for a band member who can make your soul wail a power ballad, there’s no better choice than a bass player. (This commentary is about men because that’s how I roll, but Kim Gordon, Sheryl Crow, Aimee Mann, Suzi Quatro, Kim Deal, Meshell Ndegeocello: respect.)

Here’s why the bass player is the best rocker to pluck your strings:

• What’s sexier than a man who doesn’t need to be the center of attention — who’s content to sit back and hold a thing together from the bottom up? That sort of hang-backedness speaks to a deep-rooted confidence, an honorable work ethic even, that can only be described as hotness amplified.

• There’s something to be said about an instrument that makes your whole howdy-do rumble. And that something is this: “Yes, please.”

• Bass players are classy. Think McCartney and Sting—not Flea, who’s a drummer in bass players’ clothing (which apparently is a tube sock). The very fact that you don’t know who played bass for most of the great American bands is testament to the bass player’s humility. And if modesty doesn’t sound sexy, then wake up just once next to a lead singer — go on, I dare you — and see how quickly “unassuming” becomes music to your ears.

• Bass players don’t care if you notice this, but theirs is the manliest instrument in a rock band. It’s the biggest and heaviest. And the strings are rope-thick, which gives bass players strong fingers, and we’ll just leave that right there.
To be clear, no one is suggesting you date a musician. They keep odd hours, are hard of hearing, and believe that actual income-generating work harshes their carefully cultivated mellow. Plus you’ll be expected to do a lot of stage-side swaying and swooning as though you hadn’t heard that exact song played that exact way 17 kajillion times before.

But if your inner groupie simply won’t be stifled, don’t fret. Just snag yourself a four-stringed fella. And keep some earplugs handy.

Published by

Mick Dalla-Vee

Early days 1976 - He moved to Western Canada, after leaving Bawating High School from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with the band Shama. Shama toured Western Canada and was managed by Bruce Allen (Bryan Adams, Martina McBride) before disbanding. 1981 -From that point he became the lead guitarist of Trama, managed by Sam Feldman (Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall), 1984 - then on to playing bass for the band Paradox which evolved into his current band Cease & Desist. 1989 - Cease & Desist has been described as "one of Vancouver's most popular bands" by Tom Harrison the rock music critic of The Province. He also plays the part of John in a Beatles cover band, Revolver, that was put together for Expo 86 Songwriting Mick has written or co-written many songs on albums for artists as diverse as country music's Brent Howard and Canada's Singing Cowgirl: Marilyn Faye Parney, the heavy rock sounds of Blackstone (released on the Delinquent label in Canada), the soul/R&B sounds Belinda Metz and 'Emily Jordan' to the 'smooth jazz' sounds of internationally acclaimed Lori Paul. 2005 - He co-wrote ten of the eleven songs on Paul's album Vanity Press. 1998 - His first country song 'The Wrangler' reached the country top 30 charts right across Canada. It also achieved 'Heavy Rotation' on C.M.T., Canada's country music video channel. One of the songs from Mick's 'A Whistler Christmas' album entitled, 'All I Want is You at Christmastime' has been recorded and released by Canadian country star, Brent Howard Currently - He has also written music for movies, television, videos, video games and promotional spots. His writing styles run the gamut from 'Smooth Jazz' to 'Heavy Thrash'. (A Whistler Christmas and Dalla-Vee's original Christmas songs are often heard on Canadian radio during their Christmas music programming.) Producing Aside from producing himself in an array of projects such as 1994's A Whistler Christmas album, he runs his own studio 'Millennia Sound Design', producing and engineering for artists like: Randy Bachman, Twitch, Swaggerjack, Emily Jordan, Russell Marsland, Lori Paul and Suzanne Gitzi among others. 2007 - has provided theme music and soundscapes for two network television series and Simon Fraser University. 2005 - Randy Bachman's CD "Jazzthing" had some work done on it at "Millennia Sound Design". Vocals Dalla-Vee has contributed to projects as diverse as, 1991 - the multi platinum heavy rock of the "Mötley Crüe" album "A Decade of Decadence" to the 2001 - country/rockabilly sounds of Brent Howard and Southern Cherry to Colin Arthur Wiebe. 1989 - Canadian legends, Trooper and The Powder Blues Band have also used Mick's voice for recordings. 1991 - He has worked extensively as a studio session singer/musician, with his talent of many voices being used on a worldwide 'Karaoke' album package marketed over the dreaded U.S. infomercial. He has sung a number of commercial jingles for radio and television. Awards Having recorded with a host of other Canadian and international recording acts such as Randy Bachman (of the band The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive), Mick was awarded a 'Gold Record' for his work on the 'Trooper' album 'Last of the Gypsies' in 1991. In 1997, he received the Saskatchewan Album of the Year Award for his song writing/musician contributions to an album with proceeds going to people affected with multiple sclerosis. 2011 – Gold Award for Bachman & Turner DVD – Live at the Roseland Ballroom 2013 – Platinum Award for Bachman & Turner DVD – Live at the Roseland Ballroom Appeared in ‘The Campaign’ with Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and directed my Jay Roach (shot in New Orleans) Current – Write music for the popular ‘Holmes’ TV series on HGTV Releases: “Bachman and Turner” in 2010 Producing the Toronto pop/soul band ‘Hello Beautiful’. Heads the ‘Music in Motion Workshop’ for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, a pilot project designed to develop a musical camaraderie with children, youth and young adults with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Live [edit] He keeps an extremely steady schedule playing guitar, bass and keyboards with his main band, Cease and Desist, and “The Atlantic Crossing Show” featuring Mick as John Lennon and Elton John. Since 2001 - He is the bass player/vocalist with Canadian Rock Legend, Randy Bachman's band 2004 - Bachman’s recent foray in the jazz world with his new CD, ‘Jazz Thing’ features Dalla-Vee on the ‘upright bass’. Ongoing - He plays mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitars and harmonica in the Brent Howard and Southern Cherry band, Ongoing - and has toured as John Lennon in 'Revolver - The Worlds Best Beatles Show'. Ongoing - In addition, he also works as a solo artist appearing regularly at special events and casinos. Affiliations 2004 - A longtime member of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, he has sat on the panel as a judge for Canada's Juno Awards (Canada's Version of The Grammy's). 1989 – 2001 He was on the board of directors of the Pacific Music Industry Association for 3 years, and is also chair of 2000 – 2005 The Carolyn Foundation Musician's Assistance Society; a non-profit organization he and colleagues set-up in the wake of his daughter Carolyn's sudden death in November 1999