Driven to the Edge of a Deep, Dark Hole

Sunni's picture

Well, things weren’t exactly that bad; but I have been in a bit of a funk lately. I’m working my way out of it, and one thing that’s helping is some of my favorite music:

(Link to vid on YouTube)

I adore this song on many, many levels. One very close to the top is Geddy’s wicked bass playing. Anyway, I’m driven to start completing various projects at long last, and have a time frame for the long overdue Salon. Turns out my October/November interview victim is having some issues now, so that’s going to be delayed for a while. Thus, I’ve decided to be really nasty to my thirteen Salon readers and do a double issue. Expect it in mid-December ...

Oh, you’re still here? Well, I hope you enjoy this especially tasty morsel, then:

Link to vid on YouTube

This version is shorter than the Driven solo I remember seeing live; but I think it was a little different every time. I could probably be a very happy snake for quite some time, listening to nothing but terrific bass licks like this—and so many of Rush’s other songs. Malignant Narcissism is another funky bass-driven song I can’t see not enjoying.

Another Rush Fan

I always enjoy listening to Rush. Geddy's playing on Permanent Waves was a major inspiration for me to pick up the bass way back in the day (1980). He's still got the chops.

I look forward to the next Salon, whenever you get it done.

Chops and then some

If you’re interested, there are a couple of very interesting vids on YouTube wherein Geddy talks about the evolution of his basses. He does a little noodling around, but it’s mostly him talking, and even though I’m not a bassist, I found them very interesting. (Not gonna go back to look for the links because if I do I’ll never get any work done today!)

You mean these?

Do you mean these two videos?

They're pretty cool, thanks. I already knew most of this after reading many, many interviews with Geddy over the years. The thing that sticks out to me in this interview is something Geddy said that bassists need to heed: melody, melody, melody. Some bassists are repetitive and boring, but others are complex just for complexities' sake. The best bassists always have melody in mind.

It's the same with guitarists. When I did most of my playing, being "Paganini inspired" was all the rage. Problem was, many guitarists imitated Paganini's complexity and speed, but not his sense of melody. A pity. Paganini was brilliant. His melodies made you laugh, cry or scream. Yes, he was a virtuoso, and his compositions were highly technical. But all that technique was in the service of the melody, not the other way around.

[Edited by Sunni to make links hot]


Hope you don’t mind my making the links hot.

I, too, have read a few interviews and heard Geddy and/or Alex on the radio, but much of that talk was focused on the new album (and Tom Sawyer, it seemed). You know, the same fairly shallow stuff time after time. And they’d appear to be good sports about it, but still, there wasn’t much energy there. Geddy is clearly interested in the subject matter, and speaks at length, and sometimes with great passion, about his musicianship. Having heard numerous times that he is something of a prima donna, it’s good to see evidence to the contrary.

And yes, bass melody forever, moronic repeating lines never!


Thanks for fixing the links. I forgot to.

Yep, most general magazine or radio interviews of musicians suck. Even though you don't play, I recommend reading magazines such as Guitar Player or the UK's Bass Guitar Magazines. Their interviews provide much more insight into what makes a particular musician tick than your typical promotional interview in a general magazine.

When I was working in the biz, I often heard than some musician was a prima donna or some such thing. I found that either it was often not true, or that it was actually their manager that was the pain, reflecting badly on the artist. Most of the actual prima donnas I encountered were of the local variety. They were the big fish in the small pond type. Some small-time musician opens for a big band once or twice and suddenly decides that he walks on water. I always wanted to punch that type of wannabe in the nose.