Friday, January 7, 2011

Missing My Friend

It's been over a year and a half since we lost Wayman. It still doesn't even seem possible that he's gone. Wayman Tisdale was one of those amazing people who could be great (and I mean TRULY GREAT) at two or more things.

While most of us spend our lives striving to rise above the level of mediocrity with just one gift, there are a rare few who can headline on more than one stage. Nike made sure we knew about Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson playing two professional sports. However, the average American doesn't know that the guy who won a gold medal in the '84 Olympics and was the number 2 overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft was arguably the greatest bass guitar player ever. I'll admit, I didn't know of his talent until 1996 when I picked up "In The Zone."

In addition to that Gold Medal with Coach Knight, in 12 NBA seasons Wayman averaged over 15 points a game; so his talent on the court is understood. The shocking thing is that Wayman was a better bass guitarist than basketball player.

Paul McCartney and Peter Cetera made a lot more money with the bass. Leland Sklar appears on a LOT MORE tracks than Wayman. Stanley Clarke, Mark King, and Marcus Miller... well, they're the reason I said "arguably" up above. Yeah. For real... Wayman truly was THAT good.

Wayman, I miss you. Although you and I never met, we shared at least one friend in common. Still, when I would listen to Channel 71 on Sirius and hear your immediately recognizable sound, I felt like we were friends, too. I'm sorry you're gone, Wayman. Nevertheless, I am just glad I was blessed to get to experience it when almost 15 years ago I heard you request, "Come and Watch Me Play."

(Note: The video below is included for any who have not yet
discovered Wayman's musical gift or his amazing smile.

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