When I made a decision to become a bass player in the spring of 1976. I had one big problem, actually two. The first was, I didn’t have a bass guitar! The second was. My mom and dad did not want to buy me a bass because I had already gone through drums and piano.
I decided to take my case to the supreme court of Knight’s and the central bank. This was the court of Nana and the bank of Big Daddy (FDIC). My father's parents. The first thing Nana did was tell my parents that I asked her to buy me the guitar. So now I had to convince the supreme court, the bank, and the local court (my parents) that I really wanted to play the bass guitar!
To do that, I played my sister's ole acoustic guitar, which was missing all strings except the four bass strings.
I didn’t hear back from the court or the bank for an entire year. I kept playing those four strings on that acoustic guitar while keeping the pressure on the supreme court on how badly I wanted a bass. On trips to the mall, I'd bring Nana into Matthew’s music store and show her what a bass guitar was.
I would plug it into an amp and make a bunch of noise! Finally, on my birthday in 1977, they bought me my first bass guitar, a Sango, a copy of a Gibson SG bass guitar, but I didn’t care! It was a bass, and I was now in bass heaven. I outgrew that bass in 1979 and needed a new professional guitar.I didn’t bother asking my parents or grandparents for it. Instead, I pulled together what little money I had, went to Jamaica ave, and purchased a Cameo bass for $75. It was a copy of the world-famous Fender Precision bass heard on countless Motown records during the late 50s and 60s. I played the hell out of that guitar, but I hated it!
Along comes 1981, I’m 19yrs old, and I have been playing for four years with fake amateur guitars. This time, I go straight to Nana and say, Nana, I’m almost a professional bass player. I need a better bass guitar! I need a professional bass guitar, can you please buy me a G&L 2000? I had seen Louis Johnson of the Brother’s Johnson, my bass playing God playing a red G&L 2000 on Soul Train. I knew that was the bass for me, well, not really, but Louis was playing it, so I had to have it!
Once again, I’m in drive Nana crazy mode, pleading my case as to why I had to have this bass guitar. Please Nana, please, please Nana, Nana, Nana, pleeeeeese! Christmas Day 1981 arrives. I’m wishing, hoping, and praying that Nana got me my dream bass. My sister and I cross the street to Nana’s house. She opens the garage door, and we go upstairs.
We say Merry Christmas! As I am greeting them. My eyes are looking to see if they got the guitar when I notice the back end of a guitar case between the sofa and the coffee table. Of course, I knew it was my bass! The only question unanswered was. If it's my dream bass. A G&L 2000, in fire engine red.
Nana says, David, this is yours. Pointing at the guitar case. I quickly walk over to it, lean over, give Nana a kiss, and say, thank you so much, Nana! I Pick up the case, lay it flat on the floor, unlock the latches, pop open the top, and it’s a G&L 2000 in fire engine red! I got it! It’s hard for me to imagine that was 40yrs ago, and I have to retire the G&L. I’ve since given it a name. I call it Rosetta. Nana’s nickname. Her brother William (my great uncle) called her Rosetta. The name is fitting because the bass is red like a rose, and she purchased it for me.
Rosetta is passing the torch to my new guitar. A genuine Fender Precision! I will most likely name it Simone, after my mom. She has always been such a bright light.