By Nat Mingo
I found myself smiling at the latest Stone Love Bass Odyssey announcement. This small moment of joy surprised me so I pondered what I appreciate about John’s latest endeavor. Here is what I found.
The band’s official account and some related social media accounts are doing a great job of advance promoting John’s Stone Love Bass Odyssey episodes. The event becomes something to record in my planner. It reminds me of the days when I would patiently record band radio interviews on cassette or elbow my siblings aside to record the band on the family VHS. Friday Night Videos, anyone?
Only in Durandom would Stone Love Bass Odyssey make perfect sense! I don’t quite understand it but I understand that this title must resonate with JT in some fashion. I would welcome more elaboration through a Katy Kafe or any fan question opportunity. Maybe it isn’t meant to be understood or, like other art, each person interprets it differently. SLBO also reminds me of Simon’s lyrics. I don’t have a “favorite” lyric; I appreciate the unique moments as they come in songs.
Stone Love Bass Odyssey (henceforth typed as SLBO for brevity) can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit & Instagram. Using multiple social media platforms allows more people to engage. Not everyone uses all these platforms so there’s something for everyone. The multi-platform approach also helps me to become more tech savvy as I awkwardly navigate to each episode. SLBO gives me a legitimate opportunity to connect to the tweens/teenagers in my life as I name drop platforms in our conversations. “That sounds cool. I’m on Instagram as well; my favorite musician posts there.”
John records in his personal space. John seems comfortable in his Studio- Man Cave- Office- Library. My home office serves this purpose for me. My space has Duran memorabilia, Funko Pops, books, my everyday music collection and professional items. It’s pleasant to watch his PunkMaster garbed-self speak passionately about Duran music in his own “safe” spot. Plus, I enjoy peeping at the random objects on his bookshelf. Is that a Grammy?
JT frequently introduces himself as “The Bass Man”. I hadn’t heard this nickname before. Of course, we know that Simon is also Charley. I wonder if this name was bestowed upon him or if John selected it for himself. While its origin is unknown, John certainly embraces it as he proudly uses it in each episode. Perhaps this is a natural outcome when you formed a band with two other Taylors.
I am an educator who can’t read music. At the heart of teaching is the ability to make something understandable and relate able. John demonstrates these traits superbly in each episode. He names specific chords and deconstructs his basslines. Then he combines the elements while weaving them through the songs. I find myself learning something new in each episode. I’m also isolating his bass notes in individual songs more. I wonder how his instruction is impacting the musician-fans.
John has a conversation with various guests after each episode. He has spoken to a diverse body of musicians. He started with a younger musician, Dave of Chromeo. He spoke with Suzanna Hoffs, a peer, who also made music with The Bangles during the 80’s. He spoke with Mark Ronson, who was a fan and produced Duran. John spoke with Nile this week. John has openly spoken of his admiration with Nile, a music veteran. The performance background of each guest colors the conversations nicely. John finds ways to connect with the audience and the guest simultaneously.
John plays during his “lectures”. The bass he plays has little impact on me. My limited musical ability means that I celebrate when I can see if he uses a pick or not. When John plays, it reminds me of how much I love live music. It also reminds me of the strong bass lines of the soul-funk-disco 70’s music of my youth. John often uses a drum machine that I have dubbed “Wall-E” to accompany him. I wish Roger would ambush an episode to play together with John. In my opinion, John’s basslines are so much more robust live than on Duran’s albums. I’m always in the market for fan recorded shows and I’m open to discussing this topic over drinks with any interested fans at a future time.
SLBO isn’t a substitution for a Duran Duran concert. But while we wait, I appreciate this deep dissection into their music. And…I have ammunition for any foolish mortal who tries to call Duran Duran a “boy band”. John’s musicianship is evident.