The Very Cool Double Bass

It would seem every post I make is in some way, Disney related. That even includes this post that focuses on one of my favorite musical instruments, the double bass. I’ve always loved this instrument and even had one sitting in the corner of my living room for several years. Musicians had a habit of visiting our home and suddenly disappearing leaving their musical instruments behind. I would play the double bass on occasion. My brothers were accomplished musicians, but I confess my talents were not in the field of music.

Went I went to Pixar Animation Studios many years later I found another young man who played the double bass. His name is Pete Docter. Pete was our director on “Monsters, Inc.” but our leader had musical talent as well. However, when it came to a career choice, Pete decided on a filmmaking career rather than life as a musician. However, either choice remains a rather daunting one, in my opinion.

When I was a kid many years ago, I played in a Santa Barbara big band. Our bass player announced his imminent departure and a replacement was needed. A nice young man from nearby Santa Paula also played the double bass and we thought he would make an excellent replacement. He had a younger brother who also had musical talent, but at the time we only needed a bass player. Chip Crosby joined our band and eventually became a regular. Mild mannered and soft spoken, Chip told me I shared a first name with his dad. Much to my surprise, his father, Floyd Crosby was a director of photography in nearby Hollywood and had photographed many top Hollywood motion pictures. I looked forward to one day meeting the famous D.P. who had filmed such movies as “The Old Man and the Sea” starring Spencer Tracy. Some years later, I was working at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and a producer came rushing up to me near stage one. He was excited because he had just secured the services of a director of photography for his new movie. The cameraman was, Floyd Crosby the talented veteran and father of our bass player. I finally had the opportunity to meet Chip’s dad and remind him I played in a Santa Barbara band called, “The Music Makers.” We played gigs up and down the coast of Southern California that mainly consisted of high school and college proms. Apparently, that was a pretty big deal back in the day.

But, wait a minute! I forgot to tell you what happened to the musician we couldn’t use. I never finished telling you about Chip’s younger brother, David who was also a musician. You see, David hardly needed to play in our band. He decided to go out and form a band on his own, and I’ll have to confess he had much better luck in the music business then we ever did. Unlike us, his band enjoyed some measure of success. You may have even heard of them. A group that called themselves, “Crosby, Stills and Nash.”

The Double Bass. I've always loved this musical instrument.

The Double Bass. I've always loved this musical instrument.