Thomas Wictor

Scott Thunes plays my bass

Scott Thunes plays my bass

A member of sent me a message:

Finally I got to see Scott Thunes live!

Hi Tom

Last night I was fortunate enough to see Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels being performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London - the full BBC concert orchestra plus a huge choir.

Before the show, Scott, Gail Zappa, drummer Joe Travers, conductor Jurjen Hempel came onstage and were in conversation with Gillian Moore (runs the classical dept at the RFH) who it seems has been fighting tooth and nail to get this show to happen for years.

It was a fantastic insight into the world of Frank. Scott was full of fantastic technicolour anecdotes and was hilariously funny in the process. What a treat!

The concert itself was an incredible experience that provoked pretty much every emotion there is and to the extreme (I even felt the ‘fight or flight’ instinct kicking in at one point when it got really intense!)

It was fantastic to see Scott play, if not his usual improvisational self, as of course he was part of a massive score this time. You could see he was absolutely HAVING it though, so moved and so into it.

He also was brilliant acting in character during the “I’m Stealing The Room” scene. Nearly stole the show with that one!

When Scott was on bass, he was rocking a very nice and shiny new Music Man Sabre in sunburst

Got to have been your bass Tom and I hope so, as Scott and the Sabre were part of the massive whole that earned a very well deserved 15 minute standing ovation at the end. Amazing stuff! Just incredible.

A night I will treasure always.

Yes, that’s my Music Man Sabre. Scott Thunes plays my bass.

I always wanted a Sabre. The company made left-handed versions back in the seventies; I actually saw two left-handed Sabres in a pawn shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. One was fretted and one was fretless. This was 1982, when we went there on vacation. I could barely play at the time, and I wasn’t about to ask my parents to buy me two electric basses. They wouldn’t have anyway. Mom would’ve said something like, “You’ll find them again someday.”

Well, no. I looked for decades, but I was never again able to find any left-handed Sabres, fretted or fretless, and then I lost the ability to play. I can still see those two Scottish Sabres, hanging in the window of the pawn shop. I wondered what made that Scottish bassist give them up. Was he or she broke? Addicted to drugs? Far gone in alcoholism? Frustrated at an inability to become a better player? Got bored and moved on to a different hobby? Was there a family tragedy that required a quick infusion of cash? I thought about those basses for thirty-one years.

When I heard that Music Man was re-releasing the Sabre, I told Scott it was too bad they did this after I lost the ability to play.

“Buy one and I’ll play it for you,” he said.

So I did. On August 6, 2013—my birthday—I bought my first bass in twenty-four years. Scott took a picture when it arrived at his house.

Miles’tone sent me his photo of my Sabre onstage in London.

The Scottish Sabres no longer haunt me. Also, I now belong to another one-man club, but this is just about the best ever inaugurated: those in whose stead Scott Thunes plays the bass.

Thank you for that, Scott. Wildest + my + beyond + dreams.

Some assembly required.

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