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The Intimidator

You might recall I am an aspiring bass player. My husband bought me a brand new black bass for Christmas, and I started playing right away.

I played diligently right up until the Motley Cruise, then I didn't practice while I was on vacation. Then I got sick and I didn't practice. Ok, so I was really, really sick for two weeks and I didn't practice at all during that time. Now I am better, and I'm looking at the bass.

It intimidates me.

You see, I was progressing quite nicely before my sabbatical. I could actually play 90% of "Unholy Confessions" by Avenged Sevenfold, and all of "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream.

Now I have to start over and that makes me really sad. As it sits on the stand, it taunts me.

The bass isn't expensive: just a basic Dean, commonly used by novices to learn the instrument. How will I ever play bass live if I don't practice?

I don't have time to practice. I spend my days working, writing and being married. There is scare little time for anything else.

There are a lot of talented musicians who read Bring Back Glam!  on a daily basis. Our own Valentine fronted the California Glam band Tonight You Rock (T.Y.R.). Glam rocker Joe was in a very successful East Coast band. Both Valentine and Joe lived the scene and were on the brink of stardom (Valentine was a signed artist in the 90s).

It's pretty cool they hang out with us, isn't it?

Back to the bass. I bet Valentine and Joe practiced their craft. They didn't wuss out like me.

I need a swift kick in the pants to get back in the saddle. I don't want to pay for lessons. Truth is, I already know how to read music and I actually really love playing the bass.

It's hard to fit in time for everything, though.

Enough of my whining. I bet you'd like to see a clip of Valentine back in the day, wouldn't you?

Here he is playing "Tell Me No Lies" at The Stone in San Francisco.


Valentine told me a lot of great stories about his band back in the day. He's played with Marq Torien (before he was in the Bulletboys!) and did shows with Roxx Gang. Yes, he played the Whisky A Go-Go. Yes, he saw Steven Adler do cocaine. Yes, he's GLAM.

Tonight You Rock on Myspace

If we are really good and behave ourselves, both Valentine and Joe might share a story or two about being in a real live Glam band. No pressure boys, but thousands of daily readers are waiting...

Reader Comments (7)

Sunshine Of Your Love is one of my favourite songs to play on the bass too!
February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDexian
Thanks so much for the kind words Allyson...Also Valentine's band rocked!!!..I LOVE IT!!!..I wish my cousin still had our videos..I'm sorry =(..We all get in those ruts..But that is great you can read music..Many musicians can't..Youll get it back Allyson..BECAUSE YOU ROCK!!! =)
February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
i also play bass - i started trying when i was 14 - 21 years ago now - it took me along time to get the discipline to just play the damn thing - i still do when i get the chance - im a single father just me and my daughter - now i only play when she goes to bed or when i have a spare moment - not there is much of them these days - my daughter is 17 months old and the bass is bigger than her but she does try to pick on the strings and im hopefull that when she is bigger i can teach her and she can become the rockstar i so wanted to be(if she wants).
Just pick it up - you know you want to .;)
Ive only been reading your blog for a wee while but i am hooked. Good work there.
February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRed6ixx
Just go for it Allyson. Im confident that you can do it if you put in the work. And hey, we go through bassists like water. So learn 3 chords then come play with me in Drugstore Valentine! Haha. You would rock the glam just as much, if not more, than I do!
February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Don't be intimidated, Allyson, you're already way beyond a lot of seasoned players in that you can read music. Playing any instrument is a personal thing; it can't be forced so don't try to force it. I think that you're going to find that you'll be walking by it and it will stop taunting you and will start calling to you, know what I mean? You can do it!
Ofcourse we'll all want the live DVD when it comes out! :)

Thanks for posting the video and putting up the info, YOU ROCK! Yep, that was me - I'm the singer in those great circa-1987 Lip Service vinyl pants. That was filmed one night at the Stone in San Francisco, playing support for Extreme (they were hot on the hells of "Kid Ego")...The Stone was just one of the places we called Home back in the day. (And that would be Gregg Micheals on guitar, Dave Hayes on bass, and Kevin St.James beating the hell out of the drums.)

Allyson only hinted at the stories of craziness and true glam rock excess... We played with Bulletboys a couple of times but the first time we played on the same bill with Marq Torien was when he was the guitarist for... El Debarge... And if you don't know who El Debarge was I strongly suggest you google the name for a real laugh... About all I remember of Marq at that gig was he kept hanging around with us and smoked a lot of pot. Even by California rocker standards.

We played up and down the California coast, mostly in the SF bay area and also a lot in LA. Supported tons of bands from Junkyard to Dangerous Toys to Roxx Gang to Y&T and played dozens and dozens of sold out headlining gigs... We recorded at the legendary Cherokee Studios when Robin Crosby was there producing Lillian Axe (a couple of classic stories there!) and Vinnie Vincent Invasion (with future Slaughter members Mark and Dana) was also tracking ... the list goes on and on. It was truly a unique time in my life and in glam/hair/metal/rock history...

So, yeah... I was there and lived to tell the tale... And, take if from me, everything you've heard or read was true.... Well, except for the part about ________ being the "biggest band in Hollywood"... And if anybody has any questions, let me know and I'll be happy to answer.

Joe - let's hear some more about your band... Got any music? email me at joel.vee@gmail...

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
Been there done that too Allyson, except it's my writing. I've been working on several manuscripts for almost 30 years--some of them will never see light of day (thank the maker) but the one I'm getting ready to finish I'm going to try and sell. There have been some days where I can pound out 20 pages, and then there have been days when I am so intimidated by the task at hand, I can't even do one page. (bad hands willing, of course). Keep plugging along, one day you'll be on stage & I can write your biography. ;)

February 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
I bought an acoustic guitar just over a year ago with the good intentions of learning to play. Now I should have taken up guitar back when I was a kid but I never did and I'm kicking myself at age 35 because life just gets in the way.

I bought the guitar, then I bought a house and a dog. Add my wife, 2 kids, my job that I'm at 6 days a week, and no sleep.....well, it's hard to find the time. I pick it up when I can but it seems like there's never enough time or there's something more important to get to. I keep trying though so hang in there!

Heavy Metal Addiction

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