When I was 6 years old, I announced I wanted to be a concert violinist, hoicked my mum’s guitar under my chin and tried to play it with a pencil!
After much begging, I got the real thing and it really did sound like a cat being strangled under water – but it was okay because I was going to be a world-famous violinist so I had to improve… right?
But then, bugger it, I found out I was going deaf and the violin gradually faded from my grasp. I so wanted to be a female version of Nigel Kennedy (but with better hair), and it used to make me very mad – one time so mad I actually headbutted my violin and ended up in casualty. I had quite a temper in those days!
So then I thought I would beat my hearing at its own game and took up the viola, which is one clef lower, but I was soon outwitted and after a time could once again only hear the bow scraping on the strings.
Then, one day in a fit of defiance I spotted a double bass languishing in the corner of our music room at school. ‘I’ll play that,’ I thought to myself and soon enough I was having a weekly lesson with Big Bird from Sesame Street – she really did look and sound like her, so much so that I have totally forgotten her real name.
I loved the double bass, it spat and heaved out great big throaty notes and was by far the loudest instrument in our feeble flute- and ego-heavy orchestra.
Just my cup of tea. Until one day I came in for my weekly lesson to find my double bass was gone… poof! Just like that… it had vanished into thin air. Well, not quite thin air, someone had nicked it. Not the double bass case, or the bow, just the bass!!!!
On reporting it to the police in the sleepy little town I lived in, the plod behind the counter said, ‘Oooh yars, I do believe we had a drunken sod in last night saying he’d seen a man running across a field with a giant cello. Thought he was just pissed to be honest, dear.’ And that was the end of that!
Anyone got a tuba I could borrow?