Real Help for Real Living: What’s in your CD player?

TonyMarcianoOK, I should have labeled this, “What’s in my CD player,” but I was thinking of the Capital One credit card commercial where they ask that question.  So let me get started.  

I was in college during the “disco” years.  Don’t tell anyone, but I still love “disco” music.  The big movie at the time was “Saturday Night Fever” which featured John Travolta.  I won’t begin to tell you how I looked back then, but I was “the bomb.” 

OK – let me tell you.  My college graduation picture started with me having curly hair that was four-and-a-half-months long. Now, let’s get to the suit.  It had kelly green pants and I wore a yellow shirt with a kelly green crushed velour bowtie.  Wait, it gets better!  Both the vest and the jacket had a white background with plaid all over it.  I took my future wife on a date wearing that outfit – and she still married me (can you believe that?).  To get even with me, my mother hung that picture on the wall for years.  Even when I asked her to take it down, she smiled and refused. She never liked anything about that picture.   

My daughter bought me the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack a few years ago.  I loved it.  It took me back to years gone by.  My favorite track is No. 16: “Disco Inferno.”  It’s not the version you heard on AM radio that was a little more than three-minutes long. The version I got as a gift was 10-minutes long.

It’s great.  After singing the words, the band goes into seven minutes of instrumental music.  I love it.  It’s when no one is singing that you can really hear the bass guitar adding depth to the song.  So how important is that bass guitarist?

While playing that song, I cut the bass out by adjusting the controls on the sound system.  It sounds thin.  It lacks depth.  Add it back and the song just “sings.” Play it loud enough and the side view mirrors of my car dance to the bass guitar work.

Bass guitarists are often the “forgotten” people in a band.  We watch the lead or rhythm guitarist jumping up and down or banging into one another.  They create a show with their antics.  It’s fun to watch.  Do you ever watch the bass guitarist?  First of all, they have four strings – not six to worry about.  But more importantly, they just stand there and play those four strings.  There is no performance by them.  Their gift to the song is adding bass that is desperately needed.  In a sense, they quietly serve the needs of the band without looking to be in the spotlight.

It reminds me of the scripture which says “you know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.”

Bass guitar players are cool but they don’t jump around. Without them, the song loses so much.  Bass guitarists are not seen as the face of the band.  What they provide brings depth to the song.  They serve without getting recognition.  

Don’t be discouraged if in serving others, you are not recognized.  You may be that quiet one, working behind the scenes while others receive the praise and recognition.  It’s in your service that you have touched the hearts and lives of others.  That’s what’s important.   

I’ll be back soon.  Until then, live well, my friend.

Rev. Tony Marciano is executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.  He is available to speak to your group. Find more information at

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