I love that feeling when a line from a song I love appears from noplace in my mind. Tonight I heard Charlie Tumahai's bass line from the old Be Bop Deluxe live version of "Adventrues in a Yorkshire Landscape", a leisurely "bum, ba da da dum, ba da da bum, ba da da dum", just before the last incisive part of the guitar solo pierces the recording.
The song takes me back to so many glorious nights in college, law school and beyond, when the white vinyl record spun on my cheap turntable, or the cassette liberated me from bondage as I drove through pine woods and
Be Bop Deluxe is long gone. I have not listened to the LP for years, as I misplaced my CD and I have not yet eBayed another up. Tumahai himself died some years back, a heart attack while doing volunteer work in court to help fellow Maori tribespeople.
If you don't know the song, "Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape" is perhaps the finest kind of progressive rock, a burst of nostalgia for days long gone accompanied by a languid, awe-inspiring guitar solo. But it's the bass line that keeps coming back to me--that sense that just before the guitar re-opens the path to Heaven, a soothing, deep voice is assuring you the world is not really going to end. I'm delighted that at the end of a long, busy day,
thirty seconds of bass line pops into my head, and makes me smile.
I went to Yorkshire once, hunting some old Bill Nelson indie albums, and walked on a rural road outside Wakefield and felt I'd literally stepped into a song. It's the only time I ever recall a song moving me to visit a place.
But I remember that bass riff most of all--more than even the look of a field in a Yorkshire August.