Other Stories of Addiction/Recovery

Hard “Lessons” from a Music Teacher

My old Bass teacher (Let’s call him BP) was super cool and showed me a lot about music, outside of what I was exposed to from my dad. His band actually won a contest and got to open for Coheed and Cambria at a festival back in 2004, or something like that. Well, he ended up getting really into heroine, and other things, and was kicked out of the music school I was going to. I didn’t know why he was booted. One day he contacted me for private lessons, so I totally jumped on this discount and to see an old friend again.

After a few months, he told me he wanted to sell one of his basses (VINTAGE CUSTOM 1951 PRECISION BASS FENDER) and an amp. I loved his set up, so I bought it from him. Fast forward two weeks and he calls me, asking to borrow it for a gig. In exchange, he said he would give me a free lesson. I had no idea what was going on and I agreeed. I never ever saw him or that bass again.

A year or so later I saw someone driving in town, with his old band’s sticker on the bumper, and I followed them to a plaza about 5 minutes away from where I spotted it. I asked the guy if he know my BP, and he said yes, that he was in jail for armed robbery and filled me in on all the drugs, and the shady shit he would do to his students. Apparently, he also started dealing, and when they raided his apartment all that was in it was a bass stand and trash. No bed… no fridge… nothing.

Last I heard he was out serving community service and getting his life back together, but I never made contact with him. This man was a pillar for me. The cool older brother I didn’t have. He showed me music from Victor Wooten to Coheed and Cambria and taught me hard work and to learn the basics of music before jumping into full songs. Sadly, the music died with that. I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick up a bass since, and it’s been well over 10 years. All I learned is gone and all I have left are the bands he showed me and bitter memories. Despite all that, I wish him the best. Sorry if this is not the kind of story you are looking for, but I’ve never been able to speak it out loud, let alone to someone who is so adjacent to it without knowing it. I’m proud he started to turn it around, but I still hold scars of his actions all these years later. I know it’s a selfish thing to say and feel, so I don’t talk about it. His struggles with it are harder than mine dealing with his aftermath.

1 thought on “Hard “Lessons” from a Music Teacher”

  1. I hope you can rekindle your music one day whether it’s through bass or another medium, if it feels right to you. Thank you for sharing your story.

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