Saturday, March 10, 2007

"check engine", or "imminent death"?

Anyone who missed Jason Heath's crazy gig story last month, "My Car Caught Fire and Exploded!", you owe it to yourself to follow that link and read it right now.

I remember the first time I heard about Jason's car nightmare - it was at an audition in Minnesota, January of last year. Stories like this can help put an audition disappointment in perspective: you know, I didn't play as well as I wanted, but at least I didn't have to run screaming from a raging inferno, clutching my bass and dodging oncoming freeway traffic...

Jason is a great friend, and I've enjoyed reading his always entertaining double bass blog, which is quickly becoming an essential resource for bass players. I wasn't quite sure how to bring up this particular topic, though - "Um, Jason, I heard something about your car, and an explosion, and you narrowly escaping with your bass?"

It just seemed like it had to be one of those legends that gets exaggerated in each retelling. The other day actually, a friend I hadn't heard from in over a year called and began telling me about a freeway accident involving me, and how my car and bass had been totally destroyed. For a while I listened with no idea what she was talking about - it was pretty eerie hearing this horrible story, wondering if I was being warned of some future disaster! Then I realized there had been a mistake, the awful story hadn't happened to me but to Matt Way, another bassist in New World. She was very glad I'd been spared, and I almost felt a sense of lucky relief myself. (Fortunately Matt Way was fine, and he's sounding better than ever lately on a new instrument.)

Anyhow, I guess it just goes to show how disaster stories can grow and mutate, like some sort of virus. In this case, though, the true version is better, funnier, and more alarming than any secondhand version I might have heard. I have no idea why something so terrible had to happen to someone as nice as Jason - it's a thin line between tragedy and comedy sometimes - but I am pretty sure that no one else could have told this story as well as he did!

1 comment:

Jason Heath said...

Thanks for the plug, Matt! I like this story--it is the only thing that has happened to me that is so out there that it actually leaves the realm of reality. Melting cars, rivulets of plastic flowing down the highway like little flows of lave--this isn't what I signed on for when I went to music school!