A dad gets his son a bass and lessons for his birthday. When the son comes home from his first lesson dad asks, " what did you learn at your first bass lesson son?"
"Well dad, I learned the first 1..2..3..4...5 notes on the E string!"
"That's great son!"
The next week rolls around.
"What did you learn at your second bass lesson son?"
"Well dad, I learned the first 1..2..3..4..5 notes on the A string!"
"That's great son!"
The next week rolls around.
"What did you learn at your third bass lesson son?"
"I blew it off I had a gig."
Three bass players walk into a bar.
They’re actually in the middle of performing Beethoven’s 9th symphony, but there’s a long section near the end where the basses don’t play, so they decide to go to the bar next door and grab a drink.
To know when to come back for the end of the symphony, the bassists tie a string to the conductor’s score a few pages before they start playing again. When he turns the page, it’ll tug on the string and they’ll know to head back to the concert hall.
So the symphony goes on, and pretty soon the conductor realizes he’s in trouble.
It’s the bottom of the ninth, the score is tied, and the basses are loaded.
An orchestra sits down to perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
...Now, I don't know if you're familiar with the piece, but the string bass players don't come in until the very end, so until then they have nothing to do.
Rather than sit on stage awkwardly twiddling their thumbs, the three bass players conspire to temporarily ditch the concert to go out for beers at the bar across the street.
While at the bar, one of the musicians realizes they might be letting themselves get a little too wasted. He speaks up, "hey guys, it's almost our time to shine. Are we going to make it back on time?"
"Don't worry," says another. "In order to buy us some more time, I used string to bind together some of the pages of sheet music on the conductor's stand."
Back at the concert hall, one of the audience members notices the conductor fumbling with his sheet music. The bass players are no where to be found, and the symphony is almost over. She turns to her friend to ask what's going on.
"Well, it looks like it's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the basses are loaded."
Typical bass players
A prominent orchestra was performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. At one point in the final movement of the symphony, there is a long stretch--over 20 minutes--where the basses don't play a note. So, rather than just sit there, the section leader suggested that they sneak out of the orchestra and go across the street to the tavern. The other bass players agreed that this was a splendid idea, and a few minutes later they were in the bar, knocking back drinks at a prodigious rate.
This went on for some time, with all the bass players becoming rather inebriated. One of them happened to look down at his watch and exclaimed, "We'd better get back to our seats or we're going to miss our cue!"
"Relax," said the section leader, "I've got it all taken care of. You see, before the performance started tonight I anticipated this problem, so I took a piece of string and I tied the conductor's score shut. He won't be able to turn the pages when he gets to that part. He'll have to stop the orchestra for a few minutes so he can get it untied. We'll have plenty of time!"
The other bass players praised his inventiveness with one final round of drinks. Then they made there way back across the street to the concert hall, and staggered drunkenly to their seats. Sure enough, about this time the conductor started to have trouble with his score. He tried to fidget with it, hoping he could solve the problem without having to stop the performance. Unfortunately, he couldn't get the pages to turn, and at last he had to stop the orchestra and spend a few minutes untying the string that held the last section of the score bound. The conductor was clearly annoyed and not a little frazzled.
This, of course, did not go unnoticed by the audience. One woman in the crowd remarked to her husband, "That conductor looks upset and rather nervous."
"Of course he's nervous," the husband replied. "It's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the basses are loaded."
A poor man fall asleep one night and the devil appears in his dream
The devil says to him "I shall grant you any worldly wish you desire but at a price"
The poor man asks "I've only got my six string and very little money, however I can earn money if I play guitar well. So I wish to be the greatest guitar player the world has ever seen."
The devil replies "the price for that is merely your human soul."
The man thinks for a moment and responds "that's a lot to lose. I don't think I'm willing to pay that. What can I get for a dollar?"
The devil responds "the greatest bass player"
A number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing Beethoven's Ninth under the baton of Milton Katims.
At this point, you must understand two things:
1. There's a long segment in this symphony where the bass violins don't have a thing to do. Not a single note for page after page.
2. There used to be a tavern called Dez's 400, right across the street from the Seattle Opera House, rather favored by local musicians.
It had been decided that during this performance, after the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the Ninth, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage rather than sit on their stools looking and feeling dumb for twenty minutes.
Once they got backstage, someone suggested that they trot across the street and quaff a few brews. After they had downed the first couple rounds, one said, "Shouldn't we be getting back? It'd be awfully embarrassing if we were late."
Another, presumably the one who suggested this excursion in the first place, replied, "Oh, I anticipated we could use a little more time, so I tied a string around the last pages of the conductor's score. When he gets down to there, Milton's going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the baton with one hand and fumbles with the string with the other."
So they had another round and finally returned to the Opera House, a little tipsy by now. However, as they came back on stage, one look at their conductor's face told them they were in serious trouble. Katims was furious! And why not? After all...
It was the bottom of the Ninth, the score was tied, and the basses were loaded.
In the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony...
...the double basses have a few big chords right at the start, then nothing for 10 minutes, then come in right at the end for the big finale. During rehearsals, the bass players started putting down their instruments, going for a quick drink, and comng back in time for the end.
On the night of the concert, they did the same thing. It was a hot night, so they drank a bit more. After 10 minutes, one of them said, "Hey, shouldn't we be getting back?" "No need," said another. "I've tied the last few pages of the conductor's score together, so he'll have to conduct very slowly while he gets the score undone."
When they get back, slightly hammered, the conductor's looking furious. He sees how drunk they all are, waves his hands to bring the orchestra to a stop, and storms off stage. There's a reporter waiting in the wings and he says, "What's going on? Why so angry?" The conductor snarls:
"Because it's the last of the Ninth, the score's tied, and the basses are loaded!"
A joke that’s got me various death threats
So there was a horse, and this horse was really talented. He was great on guitar. One day he found himself watching youtube and stumbled upon a Jimi Hendrix song which inspired him to start a cover. He practised this cover really hard, eventually becoming inspired to create a cover of a whole Jimi Hendrix album.
He worked on this cover real hard, finally filming himself and uploading his hard work to youtube. It blows up, gets load of views, people love a horse playing guitar right? But something is missing so he goes to his friend the sheep and says “Hey man you’re the best bass player I know, would you join my cover band?” to which the sheep agrees. They recreate the cover album, work really hard and upload it to youtube. It sounds great, blows up and gets loads of views.
Still something is missing so he goes to his friend the cow and goes “Hey man you’re like amazing at drums, could you join my cover band? It’d mean a lot!” and the cow says, “of course, you’re my buddy and that sounds great!” So again, they recreate the cover album, work really hard and upload it to youtube. It sounds great, blows up and gets loads of views.
But still something is missing. So finally the horse goes to his friend the chicken and says “Hey man I think you’re the last element missing in our cover band - wanna be our vocalist?” and the chicken’s flattered. They recreate the cover album, work really hard and upload it to youtube. It sounds great, blows up and gets MILLIONS of views. It sounds almost as good as the original - by now everyone knows these guys have a talent and theyre forming a fanbase.
They have a healthy career as a cover band, maintaining and growing their fanbase infinitely. So one day the horse says to his band, “Guys. We have all this talent - why don’t we start writing our own music? What is there to lose?” So they start writing their own songs. By this point they’re world-famous, playing tours, signing album covers and getting papped.
Then one day the horse gets a call.
“Hi, I’m Ellen Degeneres and I was wondering if your band would like to join me on my show? One of you will have to come on over to set things up first.” They’re gobsmacked. They’ve finally made it, invited on the Ellen show. After a brief discussion they agree the horse should have the honours of setting up with Ellen, as he has founded their band. So he flies on over in a private jet, spends all day with Ellen practising, sets up and goes back to his fancy five-star all inclusive hotel and pops open a bottle of champagne to himself and calls his friends up, saying “everything’s all ready, come on down.”
Halfway through his third bottle, he gets a call.
“Hi - is this horse? I’m so sorry. There’s been an accident. Your friends died in a plane crash.”
He’s devastated. His whole life, his best friends, everything he’s worked for. Gone. In a flash. Nothing remained. He decides - he has to kill himself. So he gets out of bed, already drunk, and wanders down the street in a dressing gown, stumbling into the shittiest, cheapest, most run down looking bar he could find in town.
He sits at the bar and says “A vodka on the rocks”.
And the bartender goes, “Hey man, why the long face?”
Ok so a horse is watchin MTV
The horse is seeing a rock band and thinks "hey I could do that." The horse calls up guitar center and is like "hey I wanna learn guitar, just one problem, I'm a horse." The employee says "don't worry we can do that." The horse goes, learns guitar for a few months, gets really good, and is pretty happy with himself. "OK, now I can start a band!"
So he calls up his friend, a cow and says "Hey, I'm pretty excited bout this band I'm starting, do you wanna be my bass player?" Of course!" the cow replies. So the cow calls up guitar center and says "hey I wanna learn bass, just one problem, I'm a cow." "We can do that" replies the employee. So the cow learns and starts playing with his buddy.
Soon, their friend the sheep gets jealous. "He asks, hey can I be in the band?" "Sure, we could use a drummer," replies the horse. So the sheep calls up guitar center and says "hey, I wanna learn the drums, just one problem, I'm a sheep." "We can definitely do that!," says the employee. So the sheep learns drums and the three friends are officially a band. They work hard, and eventually they write a few songs and make a demo.
A producer reaches out and says he can make them famous. So the band writes an album and goes on tour. At one stop on their tour, the horse gets a call about a family emergency. He explains this to his bandmates and they tell him to go home. He goes back and the emergecy seems to resolve itself. He decides to meet his bandmates at the next stop on the tour. The sheep and cow take a plane while the horse takes a train. The plane crashes tragically into the side of a mountain. The horse hears this and is absolutely devastated. "I've lost my best friends, my bandmates, my whole life," he cries. He decides to drink his life away and throw it all away. So the horse walks into a bar, and the bartender say, "why the long face?"
Only in America
A European Count who had a fascination with the American West, arranged for a trip to a Texas town named Outlaw. Outlaw was small but didn't know it and the town fathers were determined to impress the Count with their worldliness. They arranged to have the local orchestra perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the school auditorium after the traditional rodeo and barbecue.
The Count arrives and is suitably impressed. At the barbecue he completely pigs out on steak, ribs, fried okra and cornbread. He has seconds of everything and thirds of some. Afterwards, he waddles to the auditorium and settles down to an evening of great music.
Unfortunately, the orchestra had been invited to the barbecue and the barbecue had kegs of beer. By show time the two bass players were completely drunk and two of the tenors from the chorus were missing completely. Undaunted, the orchestra kicked in and got through the first movement with only minor mishaps.
Since the school stage was fairly small, bringing the chorus on for the second movement entailed a lot of shuffling of chairs and in the confusion the directors score was knocked off its stand. Try as they might, they couldn't get it to stay on the stand again and in desperation, they tie it on with a string. Somewhat flustered, they gamely carried on until the schools overtaxed heating system kicked into overdrive and the ceiling fans started gyrating madly with a mighty racket.
The situation was practically unbearable. You could cut the tension with a knife. After all, it was the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied, the bass' were loaded with two men out, the count was full and the fans were going wild!
The London Philharmonic is getting set up to play Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Everybody's practicing their parts, except for the bass players - they barely have any notes at all, just at the very beginning and the very end. So they hatch a plan: during the performance, they'll all sneak out and go to the pub for some brews. The lead bassist ties a string to the last page of the conductor's score, to alert them so they can get back in time.
Performance night rolls around, and the curtains roll up to a magnificent opening segment. The bassists duck behind the percussion and run to the nearest bar. They order a couple of drinks and joke to themselves about how ridiculous they look in tailed, double-breasted tuxedos when suddenly they are approached by a man dressed even more formally, wearing a crown and long gown. He introduces himself as the Count of Bavaria, a true regal fellow. Before they know it everybody is chatting it up and the Count orders a *huge* plate of nachos. This is a massive plate - big enough for three men - but the Count, he must be starving because he eats every last bite. The bassists are enjoying their drinks and starting to get a bit drunk, when they notice they've got to rush back... Meanwhile, back at the performance, the conductor has turned the last page. He sees the string, and it dawns on him: it's the bottom of the ninth, the bassists are loaded and the count is full.
A bass player runs into a bar...
where the guitar player and the singer are busy setting up. Breathless, he says "We've got a big problem! I locked my keys in the van!" "Whatever, man" says the singer, "We've got a gig to do, we'll worry about it later." "No, you don't understand" said the bassist, "the drummer is trapped inside!"
An Orchestra in Albuquerque in July
A travelling orchestra had planned on being in Albuquerque in January and Minneapolis in July. However, their manager got the dates wrong and the group ended up doing a three-day run in an outdoor theater in Albuquerque in the middle of the July heat. The event was exhausting and by the third night, everyone was just hoping to survive one more concert and move on.
During the last song - Beethoven's Ninth - the bass players in the back of the orchestra hatch a plan. There's a bit in the middle of the song that's all violins and flutes, surely they won't be missed. They decide to sneak out to the bar next door for a drink, 'just to keep hydrated.'
They stay a little longer than they should have, and drink a lot more than they would have, when one of them realizes that they are going to miss their entrance. The ring-leader of the group tells them to not worry, as he had the foresight to tie the last page of the score down with a bit of string. It will take the conductor a while to unite it, which means the concert will stop and they can sneak in. They drunkingly congratulate him for being so smart as they stumble back to the theater.
Meanwhile, the conductor is in a bind. The very energetic end of the piece is coming up and his bass section is missing. The violinists are working up a sweat trying to keep up in the heat when suddenly the first violinist faints from heat exhaustion. This is the last straw for the second violinist and she faints too. The bass section begins stumbling in not so subtly as they are knocking people, instruments, and chairs over. To top it all off, someone has tied down the last page of the score as he is desperately trying to flip the page.
It would do us good to sympathize with the conductor and put ourselves in his shoes. From his vantage point, he begins to realize that:
There are two out, at the end of the ninth
The score is tied
And the basses are loaded.
A bass player found a genie
A bass player found a genie, rubbed it and said “I want to be the best bass player in all of America”
the genie responded “your wish is my command” and he spent the next few years touring with some of the biggest bands in the country
He eventually got bored of just staying in America so he found the genie again and said “I want to be the best bass player in the world”
The genie responded “your wish is my command” and he was suddenly on a world wide tour.
He eventually got bored and found the genie one more time and said “I want to be better than any bass player has ever been”
Suddenly he was on tour as the rhythm guitarist of a middle school cover band
A bass player is playing Jazz in the street for fun when suddenly one of his strings breaks.
The Bassist is a little saddened by this, since he can't really play Jazz with only 3 strings. He contemplates whether he should go buy a replacement string, but after some time he decides it could wait and starts playing Rock instead.
He plays Rock for another hour when suddenly another string breaks. The bassist is again quite saddened but decided it really isn't that big of a deal, but since he can't really play his favorite rock songs with only 2 strings he moves on to play some Blues.
The bass player continues playing for a few more hours, slowly starting to enjoy the new Blues tunes he's playing, when suddenly the 3rd string breaks. The Bassist is really disappointed now, but it's already late and all the stores are probably closed, so he decides he'll buy the new strings tomorrow. He continues playing, but since Blues can't be played with only one string he starts playing Pop Music.
He has fun playing Pop with his last string for some time, when his last string breaks.
The Bassist is saddened again, but with no other option he finally starts playing Metal.
A couple goes into therapy because they have stopped communicating.
The therapist calls in a stand up jazz bass player to start jamming. In 30 minutes, the husband and wife are talking like old times. They leave and come back a week later singing praises to their therapist in unison. The wife then asks: "How did you know that would work?" And the therapist replies: "Simple. Everyone talks during the bass solo."
Collection of band jokes:
I used to be in a Jazz band and there were a bunch of band jokes our conductor made, here are the ones I can remember:
How do you know if a drummer is at your door?
He never knows when to come in.
How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?
None, the piano player can do it with his left hand.
What did the drummer get on his IQ test?
What do you call a guitarist without a girlfriend?
Why's is bad to have a singer for a roommate?
They always lose track of the key.
Yeah so these are the only ones I can remember, my conductor played trombone, like me, and as such tended to rip into the rhythm section a bit.
Q: How do you know when a drummer is knocking on your door?
A: They speed up.
Q: How do you know when a bass player is knocking on your door?
A: They get somebody else to do it.
Q: How do you know when a guitar player is knocking on your door?
A: They knock twice as loud as everyone else.
Q: How do you know when a keyboardist is knocking on your door?
A: They sound like the guitarist.
Q: How do you know when a singer is knocking on your door?
A: They're not very good at it.
There was once a horse that lived at a lovely little farm in Nebraska
Now, Martin the horse had a huge field to run around in, was given the best hay and oats to eat, and his farmer was really kind to him. But Martin always felt like his life was missing something.
One evening, Martin hears this lovely music coming from the direction of the farmer's house. He trots over to the house, and looks in the window. The farmer has some friends over, and one of the friends is playing a guitar and making the most heartbreakingly beautiful melody flow from his fingers. Martin is entranced, and spends the whole evening watching and listening. He sees that the farmer and all of the guests are moved to tears at the beauty of the sounds coming from that guitar, and is in absolute awe at how someone can create such emotions in his audience.
Martin spends the next several days thinking about what he saw and heard. He would be trotting along in his pasture and feel the music flowing through his veins. He remembered all of the tunes that were played that night, and they would run through his head and his heart all day. There were happy tunes, and songs of longing and love, songs of heartbreak and loss. Martin loved every single one of them.
After about a week of near-constant thought, Martin decided he couldn't keep the music in anymore. He needed to learn how to play the guitar and make other people and animals feel the same things he had been feeling for the past week. He \*had\* to learn. So Martin escaped from his pasture and headed to town. He wandered around the town until he found a music store with a guitar on the sign. Martin walked into the store, and the shocked store owner asked if there was anything he could help with. Martin told him he would like a guitar, but he didn't have any money. The shop owner, shocked at the fact that a horse wanted to play guitar in the first place, asked Martin why he wanted it, and Martin told him about the farmer's guest, and the living room concert he'd heard. He told the store owner how much the music had moved him, and that he can't stop thinking about it. He talked of wanting to play music like that, and help people heal from emotional pain. The shop owner was moved by Martin's impassioned speech, and said he would give Martin a guitar for free if he could watch him play.
Martin was thrilled, and carefully took the new guitar in its case from the shop owner. He then asked if there was anyone that could teach him to play. The shop owner thought about it, and said "Miss Taylor is the best music teacher in the state. Go visit her, and tell her I sent you and said I'd pay for your lessons. Don't make me waste my money, now." Martin thanked him profusely, and carefully worked his way through town until he got to the address the shop keeper gave him. He rang the doorbell, and Miss Taylor answered.
Martin told her about the shopkeeper, and how he desperately wanted to make music. He told her about the guitar, and how he was told that Miss Taylor was the best music teacher in the state. He begged her to help him.
Reluctantly, Miss Taylor agreed. She was not sure she could teach a horse to play a guitar, given the lack of fingers, but Martin was determined. At first, he could barely strum the strings. He made the most horrible sounds, but he kept practicing. He went every single day, rain or shine, and eventually he started getting better. He was able to play Twinkle Twinkle, and Three Blind Mice. With a lot of work, he progressed up to being able to play Ode to Joy, and the sound of that song struck his heart with happiness. He was diligent in his practice, learning how to tune his guitar by ear, and his lessons progressed.
About a year later, Miss Taylor declared that he played the guitar better than any student she'd ever had, and that she couldn't teach him any more. She thought he was a natural, and he could play any song he heard. Martin was overjoyed, and took off to home with his guitar.
Martin took to playing his guitar every chance he got, and eventually the farmer noticed. He was super impressed, and moved by Martin's music. He told Martin that he should start a band, and Martin thought that was a great idea. He asked the farmer how he would find other animals that wanted to join the band though. The farmer thought about it for a bit, and then told Martin he'd put an ad in the paper.
The Farmer was good on his word, and the next day he showed Martin the ad. It said "Horse guitarist looking for farm animals to create band. Apply at Farmer Chester's farm". And so they waited.
Well, about a week passed, and Martin was feeling a bit dejected. Nobody was answering his ad, and he felt like his dream to make music was falling through his fingers, which was really hard on him because he didn't have fingers. He wandered up to the house to tell the farmer that he was giving up on starting a band, and noticed a sheep sitting on the front porch. Martin introduced himself and asked the sheep what he was doing there.
"I saw an ad saying you were looking for farm animals that want to join your band. My name is Johan Sebastien, but you can call me Joe." Martin asked him what instrument he played, and Joe looked down at the ground sheepishly, then told Martin that he didn't know how to play one yet, but he'd always wanted to learn the piano. Martin thought about it for a second, then asked Joe to follow him. They went into town, and Martin rang Miss Taylor's doorbell again. Her door opened, and Martin explained how Joe desperately wanted to learn the piano. Miss Taylor explained that she was worried that the piano might be beyond the ability of a sheep, because it requires fingers. Martin reminded her that a guitar does too, but that he still managed to learn, and be good at it.
Miss Taylor agreed, and told Joe that she would agree to teach him, for free, as long as he came every day and showed progress. Joe bleated out his joy and bounced around, and asked when he could start. Well, Miss Taylor took him in right away, and they sat down at the piano to get started. Martin left them to it, and wandered back home to practice his guitar.
Johan was a natural. At first, he struggled to get his hooves on the right notes, but he kept at it, and was eventually able to play Chopsticks, and then more complicated songs. Miss Taylor was amazed to watch how quickly Johan's hooves moved across the keyboard. He was so quick he could hit several notes at the same time, and with daily lessons and a ton of practice, he could play even the most complicated piano concertos. His rendition of Beethoven's Fur Elise brought her to tears. After a year, she declared that Johan was the best piano student she'd ever had, and the most gifted piano player she'd ever heard. He ran home to Farmer Chester's, and told Martin and the farmer of his completion of lessons. As a graduation gift, Farmer Chester presented Johan with a baby grand piano.
Chester then told them "I think it's time we find you another band member." So another ad went into the paper, and a few weeks later, Martin ran across a cow wandering the yard. "Can I help you", Martin asked?
"Hey there, I saw the ad in the paper, and thought I could join your band. It's a dream of mine to be in a band."
Martin asked what the cow played, and what his name is. "Well, I don't play anything yet, but I heard a trumpet once and thought it was the most beautiful sound ever. I want to learn to play. Oh, and you can call me Mooie Armstrong." Well, Martin was delighted at the new potential band member, but annoyed that he had to keep getting the new members trained up. He admitted that there probably weren't a lot of farm animals out there with musical experience, though. So, off to Miss Taylor's they went, and at this point, Miss Taylor wasn't even surprised. She agreed to train Mooie, and he proved to have a hard time with the trumpet, but eventually he learned. He started out learning Taps, and Hot Cross Buns, and progressed to being able to play Flight of the Bumblebee at double speed. At first, Mooie was able to play Taps in it's most basic form, but after months and months of practice, he was able to make rocks cry from the beauty of it. Eventually, Miss Taylor told him that he was the best trumpet player she had ever heard, and that she could teach him no more.
Mooie went back to the farm, and told everybody the news. Martin, and Johan, and even Farmer Chester were overjoyed, and wondered if they were a complete band. They realized they still needed a drummer, so another ad was placed in the newspaper. A few weeks later, Martin watched a chicken walk up the road to the farm, and was sure they'd just found their drummer. He ran over to greet the chicken, and introduced himself. The chicken responded and said "You can call me Cluck Berry. I heard you needed a drummer, and I really want to learn how to play drums." While Martin was again upset that they didn't have a response to their ad from an already proficient drummer, he realized that everyone that had come to answer their ads turned into virtuosos in their instrument. So he had Cluck fly up onto his back and hang on, and rode through town to Miss Taylor's place. She opened the door, saw the chicken on Martin's back, and just asked "Okay, what instrument?" Cluck told her about how much he wanted to learn drums, and that he'd seen a Genesis concert on TV, and a guy named Phil Collins was such an intense drummer that he could give you goosebumps. Cluck wanted to be just like Phil.
Miss Taylor took to the task. She didn't even have to give Cluck drumsticks, because he had his own. She taught him how to do a single stroke roll, then a double stroke roll, taught him some basic drum beats, and he progressed to learning how to do drum solos from famous bands. He could keep up with Metallica, Rush, and could play any kind of drum you threw at him, from bongos to a timpani. His playing of YYZ by Rush was so masterful that Miss Taylor couldn't believe it. At that point, she declared him ready for the musical world.
The farm animals felt that they were nearly complete as a band. They kept practicing, and realized they needed a bass player, so out went another ad in the newspaper. Farmer Chester bought a bass guitar, and they waited. Within days, a llama showed up at the door. Martin trots over and asks for a name. The llama replies "You can call me Del Rey. I hear you're in need of a bass player." Martin agrees, and asks if Del Rey already knows how to play bass, and she replies that she doesn't yet, but she really wants to learn. So, off they go to Miss Taylor's again with Del Rey and the new bass guitar, and Miss Taylor smiles in joy at the new animal student. They head inside.
At the end of the day, the llama Del Rey comes home to the farm absolutely ecstatic. She gets her bass guitar out, and proudly plays the three notes Miss Taylor taught her. The other animals are thrilled, and declare her the best bass player they'd ever heard, and were amazed she was able to learn so quickly.
Martin was thrilled. They had a guitarist, a bass guitarist, a drummer, a piano player, and a horn expert. He thought they were pretty much a complete band. So they got together in the pasture with their instruments, and started working on their set list. It was then that they ran across a problem. None of them could sing. So they talked to Farmer Chester, and he agreed to one more ad in the newspaper. The ad goes out, and about three weeks later, they find a pig being dropped off at the gate. The farmer dropping him off stormed off in a huff, angry at losing a prized pig, and hopped back into his truck, spinning his tires in his haste to leave.
Martin watched as the pig shook his head in amazement, then went to introduce himself. The pig had the most gorgeous winged eyeliner, and introduced herself to Martin as Amy Swinehouse. Martin asked if Amy was a singer, and she, naturally, answered that she had a little bit of experience singing around the barn, but nothing serious. Martin took her to see Miss Taylor again, and explained that Amy wanted to learn to sing. Of course, Miss Taylor took Amy in, and they got to work.
Miss Taylor recognized the pig's natural talent. She was a natural contralto, and with her unique voice, was quickly able to master songs by Annie Lennox, Adele, and the throaty jazz vocals of Diana Krall. Amy mastered singing jazz, pop, rock, and even turned out to be a talented Mongolian throat singer. Her rendition of Lzzy Hale's part in Song of Women brought Miss Taylor to tears.
Finally, after a couple of years of practice, learning, and putting a band together, Martin and the other animals were ready. They worked on a name for their band. Martin thought Horse Sense was the best name, while Johan insisted that Herd Mentality was better. Cluck wanted the band to be called Family Dinner Bucket because he had a morbid sense of humor, and Del Ray thought they should be called The Spitz. Mooie suggested they be the Mooo-dy Blues, and Amy chose Hambone. They were upset when they learned that some humans had already had a band called The Animals, feeling this was poor representation. Finally, because they realized that they were hoping to bring joy to people, they decided that they'd call themselves Laughing Stock, and the name felt perfect for them.
Farmer Chester agreed to be their booking agent, and they quickly got their first gig at a small country bar in town. By this time, word of their musical prowess had spread around town, so when they arrived to play their first concert, there was a packed house, and all 45 people were moved to happy tears listening to the best musicians the world had ever seen. They quickly got booked at larger and larger venues, but could never break out of the bar scene. Farmer Chester tried booking them into concert halls, and sports arenas, but was always told they weren't the right act. Chester got upset after months of being turned down, and Martin was slowly sinking into depression because they couldn't make it as big as they wanted to.
Finally, after months of being turned down for the big venues, Chester finally got a straight answer as to why. It wasn't because they were farm animals, or because their musical talent was lacking. It turned out that the fact that they were a cover band, with no original material, was their stumbling block. They needed to start writing their own songs. Unfortunately, none of them knew how to do that. They went off to visit Miss Taylor and explained the problem. Well, Miss Taylor's face broke out in a huge grin, and she says "I've been waiting for this day! I've been writing songs for your band for a couple of years now, hoping you'd get famous." She ran and grabbed all of her music, and they went back to the farm together. Miss Taylor's music was amazing. Nothing like it had ever been heard before, a fusion of rock and jazz and classical that combined the talents of the entire band. The lyrics evoked every emotion under the sun. Songs brought overwhelming joy, bittersweet sorrow, love, loss, heartache and a powerful need to be better. The band was just amazed at the music, and got to work at learning the songs. Naturally, they more than did justice to the music that Miss Taylor had created.
After they learned all of the music, Farmer Chester called up a recording studio and got studio time to record their album. The studio was initially hesitant to allow them in, seeing as how they were barnyard animals, but Martin shredded on his guitar in the parking lot, and his display of musical prowess convinced the studio owner to give them a shot. Farmer Chester even agreed to pay a cleaning deposit in case of any "accidents". In any case, they got their album recorded in a single take. The studio execs were impressed at how well the band worked together, and the music moved them to tears. They not only agreed to finance the album, but told the band that they had contacts at all the radio stations, and would get them a concert tour. The band was overjoyed!
The next couple of months were a whirlwind. Their first single hit #1 on the Billboard charts, and every Top 40 station played their music every half hour for weeks. They started playing to packed stadiums, and the lines for autographs stretched for blocks after every concert. The money came pouring in, and they were living their dream. Emails and letters came pouring in from teens that professed their undying love for different band members, and there were several letters from people who said they were brought back from the brink of depression by Laughing Stock's music. Martin and the others felt that they were doing what they were destined to do.
One day, in the middle of their tour, Farmer Chester comes into the band's dressing room after the show and lets them know that they've been invited to go on The Tonight Show in New York. They're to fly out of Las Vegas the next evening, and would spend the day touring New York before their interview. All of the band members immediately start packing up their things, talking over each other about how excited they are about this opportunity. They were going to be on tv!
The next morning, Farmer Chester's phone rings. He answers it, and his face drops as he looks over towards Martin. He thanks the caller, hangs up, and says to Martin, "That was my wife. She just let me know that your mother is very sick and we don't know if she's going to make it. She's asking for you to come home so she can say goodbye."
Martin is so upset. He knows he can't disappoint his band, but he also can't say no to his mother's last wishes. So he tells the band to go ahead without him to New York, and he'd go see his mother, then catch another flight and meet them in New York in time for the interview. He gets on the next flight to Nebraska and goes to see his mom.
In the meantime, the rest of the band, along with Farmer Chester, gets on the plane from Vegas to New York. The flight gets up to altitude, and the band members relax, grab some alcohol, some food, and eventually they pass out from exhaustion on the 3 hour flight. As they're flying over Tennessee, however, a freak storm appears, and the plane is struck by lightning. The engines fail, and the plane goes down. There are no survivors.
While this was happening, Martin was back at the farm. His mother had a serious flu, but it wasn't nearly as bad as she'd made it out to be, and Martin was annoyed that she had dragged him all the way back to the farm because she had the sniffles. He headed out to the airport again after telling his mom that he loved her, and hopped on a plane to New York, with no knowledge of the horrible accident his friends had been in. He arrived in New York and tried calling his bandmates, but couldn't get ahold of anybody. Chester's phone went straight to voicemail. He headed to the hotel he had been told they'd be staying at, and found that the band hadn't checked in yet. So, Martin got up to his room, then called the Late Show studio to find out where his band was.
It was at this point that Martin learned of the plane crash, and that all of his friends, his family, had died in terror.
Martin was devastated. He realized that the only thing that had kept him alive was that his mother was sick. He should have been on that plane too. The guilt crushed him, and he broke down crying on the floor, sobbing into the carpet. When his sobbing stopped, he looked around the room, and noticed the little fridge. Opening it, he found the little alcohol bottles, and emptied all of them. However, since he was a horse, and fairly heavy for his species, the little amount of alcohol did nothing to dull the ache in his heart.
Depressed and guilt-ridden, Martin headed down to the hotel bar and started drinking seriously. After several hours of drinking, he felt the guilt numb itself inside him. Unfortunately, it also numbed his bladder and he was kicked out of the hotel for the resulting mess.
Martin stumbled through the streets of New York, the alcohol dulling his senses, making him stumble into people and streetlamps. He fell several times in back alleys, and the smell of garbage lingered on his once-fine coat. After several hours of this, his mind started to clear, but his overwhelming sadness tried to crush him. He just wanted to end it all. He figured the best way to do that was to drink himself into alcohol poisoning, and he'd just let it happen. So he looked around for a bar close to him, and he finally found this seedy, dark stairwell into a basement bar. Carefully, he took himself down the steps, opened the door, and entered the bar where he planned to end his life.
The bartender looks up from the bar, sees the horse, and asks "Hey there friend. Why the long face?"