ARLINGTON, Va. — Pop-punk band Soul Skaters made a brief stop during their East coast tour recently to hold a solemn vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Bass Player, quietly respectful sources confirmed.
“Paying tribute to this memorial site really makes you think about the sacrifice involved in being a bass player,” remarked bassist Joe Olsen while mournfully placing a heavy pick and a wreath made of E strings against the tomb. “Whoever this person was in life, they now serve as a constant reminder to bass players everywhere that, even when it doesn’t seem like it, you are not forgotten — especially when your band accidentally leaves you at Red Robin and you have to take an Uber 125 to make the next show. Turns out they didn’t even realize I was gone until they had to load out their own gear.”
Soul Skaters frontman Greg “Ballpeen” Stafford elaborated on the band’s experience at the memorial.
“Just recognizing the heroes who came before us, it really does remind you to never take those who support you for granted,” said Stafford before skimming an extra $20 from the pay for the band’s last gig. “Our bass player is the heart of this band. I honestly don’t know if we’d be able to do this at all without Jim… or is it Jack… Rodney? Whatever, I’m gonna go get stoned in the van. Don’t wake me up if I fall asleep.”
Scene historian Randall Dorsett provided background on the origins of the Unknown Bass Player interred in the tomb.
“The Unknown Bass Player perished in a house show fire in 2004 after a couple of audience members attempted to huff gas from a propane canister. As far as sources can tell, sadly, he became entangled in his own amp cable and never made it out. In the aftermath, no one was able to recall his identity — even his own band members seemed to have only vague memories of someone standing in the corner at every practice and show. That’s why this memorial was started: to show bassists that while they’ll never be recognized in life, that’s no excuse for sloppy cable coiling. It’s just dangerous.”
Members of Soul Skaters made an attempt to honor the Unknown Bass Player with a moment of silence, which was ruined when the band’s drummer played a new fill.