Buried in the Mix I don't talk about this a lot, because I wasn't any good, but I played trombone all through junior high and high school. I was second trombone my junior year, but only because there were only two trombones (I went to a small private religious school for high school). If there had been any other trombones than me, I would have been third or fourth chair trombone, easily. My senior year I had to take a class first period and so I couldn't be signed up for band at the same time, and the conductor didn't fight for me, and I let my music career slip away.
One thing I learned from playing in pep band, though, is that from the inside, the songs we know and love don't sound anything like they do on the outside. For instance, when you think of "Louie, Louie"...
Well, I"ve just mentioned "Louie, Louie." Take a moment, and hear that song in your head. Don't jump ahead to the lyrics, but listen to the start of the song. You can do it. Think of it. "Dun dun dun....da da, DUN DUN DUN, da da..."
Okay, and but so the trombone of "Louie, Louie" sounds nothing like that. If you were in my parents' basement back in 1996, listening to me practice, you might have been able to identify what I was playing as "Louie, Louie." But to me, sitting there spending time with something I obviously had no ability and and trying to figure out my place in the mix, what I was doing was only tangentially related to the whole.
That's what I've been thinking about since I watched all of this video. It's just the bass section of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." It's one of the greatest rock and roll songs ever. It contains one of the top five greatest screams of rock and roll. John Entwistle just fucking kills it. And you watch this video, and he's the quintessential bassists--he's almost bored as he works his way through the song, contributing an essential part of the mix.
Somewhere, on the fringes of everything we love, there are people contributing to it in ways that we might just completely overlook at first.
I stopped playing trombone because I realized I wasn't good enough to be one of those people on the fringes.