So the place we lived prior to buying into the american dream so late in our lives was loaded with all sorts of energetic conduits and passageways. This leaves me with many tale-worthy stories that cry out for telling on Halloween.
Above is my favorite ghost from there or elsewhere to date. This is Jamerson. So named by me. For those not bass player savvy the ghost is named for this man. If you've ever danced to early/mid motown songs you already know this guy in his truest form of a magic medicine maker. He's why you move because you can't not-move. Even if you generally wouldn't - you occasionally get up and dance around to old Motown, right? Even if it's only twice a year in your bedroom where you fall down exhausted after five minutes.
My husband is another James-named bass player who knows a thing or two about life's ups & downs. At a certain point in our lives we were in authentically dire straits. At a critical juncture when opportunity and abyss were pretty much equidistant likelihoods my husband sold every single one of his musical instruments to raise the kind of money we needed to get re-settled in various ways.
Any musicians or folks attached to one: you just heard me right. He sold all of his instruments so we could have a decent place to live and start building a solid foundation afresh. For a long while he survived okay with loaned instruments of various kind. When he played out he stuck to bands of a caliber where all the instruments involved were par. He recorded in the same hamstrung fashion.
He didn't fly creatively in other words. He clipped his wings so all three of us could walk upright and figure out what we wanted for ourselves and each other. That's what he wanted but it isn't valentine's day so that info was necessary background rather than the point. Twenty years ago, give or take, we reached a kind of solvency where I started pushing for him to begin replacing the instruments. Once-burnt Virgo energy didn't think so. Not yet. It was only the upright bass that was outright missing, he had enough, and so forth.
It reached a point over 18 months where I was outright hectoring. And then when it didn't work I did what parents shouldn't do. I triangulated - given in the context of a day when both the guys were on their way to 'just look' at upright basses - by looking our son in the eye, pointing at his father, and saying "don't let this guy come home without a bass."
T's eyes shone with purpose. And maybe, after witnessing a lot of the hectoring, he was also imagining what he could do with that kind of granted power if it came to it. They came home with a bass. Simply from the glow all about the man I love and the way he carried it in the house I knew T hadn't needed to pull out any stops. Everything was wonderful. And then it caught up with the rest of the house in terms of disembodied activity.
Every night right before he went upstairs to sleep J would play a few notes on the upright. Usually no more than four notes occasionally repeated. I stayed up late to work without interruption and also surf the net when work became too dark. I noticed there were times when I heard bass notes spontaneously. Sometimes it almost seemed like an echo but inverting the note order, of what J played on any given night. I kept track. It gave me something new to document! I also named the ghost and then addressed it by that name - something I have never done before. I was raised not to interact. You say the in the name of god spiel and that's it. But I liked this ghost and its attachment to the upright bass. So I called it Jamerson. Sometimes I would wish Jamerson a good evening after the notes were played. Sometimes I'd keep my acknowledgement silent and fill my mind with the real man who was legendary for his ability to play flat on the ground more ways than one.
Eventually I got tired of my husband telling me I was imagining this particular thing. So I started talking to Jamerson during the day. Saying I needed a picture. If he could just. In retrospect, since most of the conversations about what I believed was happening versus what J knew was not took place in Jamerson's choice of room Service I don't think I needed to say any more.
I have three really good pics of Jamerson. One is not at all like this one but the other is from the same series. I can't find either of them and have no more free time to search or I would. The one taken at the same time as the lede image has all the light swirls very close to the bass. The energy column is quite similar to how a player stands. In that photograph the bright orange-golden light streams are in front of the strings. The zingy lines look like fingers curled exactly so and caught in mid-pluck. If I find it I'll post it irrespective of the time of year with a link back here for memory refreshment.
This is a great and highly informative documentary quite well-worth watching about Motown's truly incomparable house band The Funk Brothers. His bandmates remember him in the full arc of who he was and all he endured.
wishing you all a well loved ghost or two...