Jerry: It Takes Pluck!
Book review by
Bassist & Drummer for over three decades
Publised Author in a varity of music-industry periodicals
You don't have to be an Apollo
project engineer to be a bassist
but it helps.
Part musician's autobiography,
and part engineering and construction
for the washtub bass, Washtub
Jerry: It takes Pluck! means every word
title. Washtub Jerry,
award-winning washtub bassist, tells an engaging
presenting the technical
information clearly and his anecdotes with an
infectious affection for his
associates. Ample illustrations by friend
clarify the construction
aspects of the washtub bass, and are both
and expressive. Jerry
built and practiced the washtub bass for
before ever encountering a
fellow practitioner. It seems that isolation
limitless possibilities for
Jerry, as he methodically designed and
component of the bass and
taught himself how to play the instrument and
analyze chords, freeing his ear
from the constraints of chart reading.
journey to acceptance as a
bassist instills a new appreciation for the
place the double bass holds as
a member of the string family and its
old history. Though many of us
have encountered skepticism and a litany
misnomers from an utterly
Philistine public, the dearth of good sense
extends as far as confusing a
bass with a guitar/cello/set of golf
clubs, not, as
Jerry records, mistaking an
instrument as a receptacle for banquet
he emerges with good humor
intact and in no instance is his 'pluck'
by an emphatic 'you, pal!'
The four decades Jerry has been a bassist is about the length of time
has been since I last wrote a book review, so I looked up a refresher
which reminds me to note how this book compares to others on the topic.
Google that: I get all I need to know from looking at the washtub bass
on the covers. Jerry's is a superior piece of engineering and artistry.
you expect from a guy who plays bass, electric, piano, ukulele, sings,
own instrument, tunes pianos, fixes accordions, repairs his own car,
miles one way to gigs, wins awards, publishes an eloquent, charming
it all, and -- oh, yeah -- builds a thing that bounces lasers off the
moon. I feel like
a bass slob for taking the easy road of a pre-made instrument with the
a fingerboard. The introduction by Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky
to be clear with pronunciation and not call him "Washed Up Jerry." Not
of that! Jerry, just one thing -- leave something for the rest of us to
do, will ya?