New Castle News

Gary Church

November 29, 2013

Gary Church: I’ve (still) got the music in me — but I can’t play bass ball

NEW CASTLE — Something caught my attention in Tim Kolodziej's blog last week.

He says when he enters a gym, and hears the basketballs being dribbled, he thinks, "I've got to play."

That doesn't happen to me. I never could dribble a ball.

But when I walk into a place where they have a band playing, I get the urge to strap on the old bass guitar and join in.

Way back in the early 1970s, I was in several rock bands playing bass.

Although I do not have a lead singing voice, I did manage to sing a little “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Smoke on the Water,” and “Gloria.”

The band just waited until later in the evening when the crowd was feeling no pain — then we did those songs.

When I got married in 1974, I hung up the bass, and departed from my wild way of living.

Thirty-five years later, I walked into First Baptist Church.

The church had a band.

I can understand how Tim feels when he enters a gym. After sitting in the congregation for a few weeks, I started to get the desire to play the bass again.

First Baptist drummer Ken Stewart encouraged me to start practicing, so I did.

I stunk, but I still had the music in me, so I kept trying.

My friend Norm, who is the usual bass player, was going to be out of town. I was asked by Pastor Scott to sub for Norm.

If they were going to sing “Johnny B. Goode,” I would have no problem. But that wasn't on the program.

Instead there were a group of songs that I had never played before.

The rest of the band members are educated, and read music.

I don't.

Thanks to Dottie Burns, she was able to get the words of the song, with the notes I'm suppose to play written above them.

This worked for me, and I have been subbing ever since, when Norm is out of town.

The only problem I'm having is, the guys in the band are much younger than I am, and they dress that way.

I don't wear army boots, jeans, leather vests, or leave my shirt out like they do.

Since I wear extra tall shirts, it would look like I had a mini skirt on, if I left the shirttails out.

People would probably whistle.

I wonder if Tim would have that problem should he start playing basketball with the younger generation again.

The uniforms are different from when he played basketball.

His trunks probably didn't sag down to the ground.

I think we old folks can still do our thing. We just may look a little out of place doing it.


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