Beat logo

It's really all about that bass.

Will the real J.D. please stand up.

By Mel DaniellePublished 4 months ago 6 min read

In my life, I have always been the strong, secure friend. I am snarky and blunt, and I might act like it's killing me, but I will take care of you better than your own family. I will know your shoe size, middle name, favorite food, and what time you need to be at work. At first, I'm told, I'm intimidating, then you work with me or see me in action, and you're intrigued. Somehow, I will manage to know what you need before you need it, and this makes me a valuable friend or coworker. It also makes me a target because people who struggle to manage their feelings, communication, and relationships look to me to stabilize them. They think I'm tough enough to take them at their worst, so that's exactly what I get. I'm like an anchor, but I'm a dysfunctional anchor with a side of toxic empathy. I need exceptionally steady people in my corner.

"Someone to Hold Onto"- The Choir

When I was just a teen, there were a few special people who would occasionally save me from myself. They were almost always musicians, mainly writers and bass players. They would stand beside me when my fierce independence put me in the path of unexpected and sometimes dangerous confrontations.

And the craziest part is that so many of them had the initials J.D.

I probably met a few of them in long concert lines, waiting to see Bride on cold Ohio Saturday nights.

"Everybody Knows My Name"- Bride

One J.D. flew across town to be there for me when I got a call from a man telling me that his son, a friend, had ended his life. That friend and I hadn't spoken in months, but his dad found some of the notes we passed back and forth in high school and wanted to meet me. I couldn't say no, and before I thought better of it, I had confirmed my address to a total stranger who was experiencing the worst mental anguish of his life. It turned out fine, but J.D. made sure I didn't handle it alone.

More than one friend made sure I knew about Rich.

"Hold Me Jesus"- Rich Mullins

When I wanted to hang out with local bands and see live music, a J.D. drove me and kept an eye on me. When I needed a better job so I could buy a car, a J.D. took me to interviews, and I rode along for some of his as he told me about his own recent "time to grow up" moments. When I sacrificed too much of myself in relationships, a J.D. would remind me who I was. They wanted my boundaries enforced before I even understood what boundaries were.

My favorite J.D. boundary instructor once got to fill in and play a show with this artist and we talked about it for years. I sent him a letter with the return address, "from Maggie B," when he was in college, and he believed it was really from her, until he saw my unmistakable green steno paper.

"Immigrant's Daughter"- Margaret Becker

One J.D. reminded me that I was a communicator and that when I eventually got married, it needed to be to someone who could reciprocate, and not to allow any man-child to take me for granted, soaking up my attention at their convenience and then leaving me empty. Others reminded me that I was a thinker, a writer, a singer, an artist, and I would ultimately drown if I kept attaching myself to people I couldn't share those things with. About that time, this band was an anomaly among our typical hard- rock crowd because of the gifted guitarist and Christine's ethereal voice. They bridged the gap between my friends' very different styles, and I sang this at the top of my lungs in my usual spot on the left stage side at their shows, in our cars, in my room, and sometimes over the phone while someone played bass on the other end of the line.

"Wishes"- Out of the Grey

A couple of my J.D.'s were just there for me, giving me little things that other people in my life wouldn't, like a ride when my car broke down, help with my college homework, someone to get groceries and watch movies with when I just couldn't do another minute of passive-aggressive college girl drama.

We shared words and lyrics.

Authentic affection without expectation.

Hopes and dreams.

Everyone loved The Charlie Peacock Trio. The music was transcendent of musical genres, and this song, those shows, and the pain of finding out a couple years later that Vinnie was gone has never left me. His harmonies were everything. I always perched on the left side of the stage so I could watch them interact up close. Vince spilled my Coke once and we laughed together while he just kept singing and dancing. It was one of the best nights of my life. I wish this song could have brought him the peace it brought me.

"Dear Friend"- The Charlie Peacock Trio

One J.D tried hard to push me out of my comfort zone to aim for goals I was too afraid to have, and others tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent me from going into one-sided, highly flammable relationships.

My J.D.'s were rock- solid friends.

Absolute strong towers.

And for some reason, most of them were bass players.

And why did they have the same initials?

I didn't understand then, but I do now.

I mean, I understand what I was missing, not the J.D. bass player thing.

That part is inexplicably ironic, but please, hear this.

Don't be with the person who gives you a rush and makes you feel like you can't catch your breath. That's not love, it's a stress reaction.

Love is peaceful and secure. It's not a storm of emotion, but a shelter from the storms. It is the purest friendship. You can probably tell from my playlist that Jesus was already my foundation, but we can still get pulled in directions that will threaten our peace, and we need to stay close to the ones who will keep our hearts in rhythm.

"Listen to Our Hearts"- Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman

You don't need anyone to rock your world, you need someone who soothes your soul.

I think the Lord sent me about four of these J.D. bass player lifelines in a row and I still managed to choose a life for myself that was like keeping a toddler from putting a fork in a wall socket every single day.

But it's ok. I learned to hold on to Jesus, and to the hands I was offered, and protect my peace.

"I'd Rather Have Jesus"- Jacob's Trouble

Stop chasing a rush.

The emotional highs and lows will wear you down until you're numb and can no longer feel a thing.

You need people who are like a bass line in a great song,

a strong and steady foundation, giving and receiving,

and they make everyone around them better.

This song was one of my favorites. My friends weren't into this style as much as I was, but they humored me and went to a show. I had been too sick to stay the whole time, but something about this band was so comforting that I couldn't miss seeing them live. The original singer has even said he was tired of this song, but I don't think I will ever be.

"The Captain"- Guardian

The best people in your life are the bass players. They aren't there for the spotlight, but life and music are hollow without them.

They hold the rhythm steady and they've always got your back. Just stay right there with them and hold on.

And if there's a J.D. or a bass player in your life that doesn't live up to the standard I have in my memories, please don't tell me.

And don't give up on finding your own home bass.

"You Are Loved"- Altar Boys

playlistmetalhumanityconcertbassbandsalternative90s music

About the Creator

Mel Danielle

All the what ifs need someone to talk to, and I can't start a band because I only know bass players.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • j.d. davis4 months ago

    Well I am a JD but never a bass player. But this takes me more than a few decades back in that journey. And we loved a lot of the same artists. Cheers.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.