In the beginning there were twin brothers born to the All-Father by the goddess Gittern, and named Ego and Low Key. On their coming of age they were each gifted with an exquisite stringed musical instrument by the artisan deity Warwick God of Thumbs. They were commanded by their parents to perform a duet for the amusement of the other divine beings. At the end of this first of all gigs, Low-Key became enraged that, of the two girls that came, his brother went home with both of them. In his jealous rage he tore one (some say two) strings from his instrument and with them bound Ego down in the underworld so tightly that he was flat-wound. His brother was later freed by one of his groupies, who discovered that the way to break the binding string was with a particularly forceful slap. The young Low-Key, now left with a depleted instrument, reconciled himself to the fact that he would grow up to become a bassist. Until his parents broke the news to him that he couldn’t do both. The brothers eventually re-united and now work together as gods of music under an uneasy truce. Sadly Low Key developed a touch of rickets because Ego kept stealing all the light.
As a method of teaching of the brother’s story from the mythos of Low-Key, the temple offers relationship mediation services. People whose relationship communication has broken down are subjected to a thumping Acid-Jazz-Funk Fusion bass solo until they are forced to start talking to each other. Married couples who can sustain icy silence through more than 30 minutes of this are instantly granted a divorce.
His consort is Caritas Goddess of Soft Touches. Low Key loves Caritas for her formidable divine strength. She can lift a bass amp onto a van with one hand. Caritas soon discovered that, you are sleeping with the bass player from one band, then you will be automatically sleeping with the bass players from at least two other bands. It turns out this does not mean you will be making whoopee three times as often*. All may not be well between the lovers. It is said that every time Low-Key touches Caritas intimately, she complains that Midi the God of Keyboard Players can do it better with his left hand.
The Shrine of Low-Key is housed within the spare bedroom of the Temple of Caritas. The Shrine is stacked high with amps, flight cases, racks and cables. There is no space to hold large rites of worship here. There is only just enough room to house the sacred artefacts and for four members of the clergy to squeeze in-between to rehearse the holy beats. The sacred artefacts include an impressive collection of legendary instruments. Such as the “Manual Analogue Pitch Approximater” or “Fretless”. Perhaps the most dangerous of these is an instrument made entirely from Sodium Hydroxide. This Base Guitar will literally melt your face. All these instruments are brought out at least once a year for the annual festival of “Tuning”.
Priests of Low Key are called Bassists. Which is confusing, because those prejudiced against the lower frequencies are also known as Bassists. Each Bassist is assisted by a young neophyte technician or “Squier”. In order to graduate to full priesthood, each Squier must perform a gig at the Lee Offender’s Institute. In order to be successful, the performance must be so tremendous that the audience break their handcuffs clapping. Some brave and foolish neophytes will attempt their first gig after just two lessons.
Their current High Priest and leader is Ernie Ball. (High priesthood is level 42 of their hierarchy.) He took office when the previous High Priest, Hofner, was said to have perished when he fell over the Rickenbacker Falls. If you commit a serious offence, the High Priest will personally excommunicate and cast you out from the faith by declaring the words, “I banez you”. Bassists believe that the way the blessed get into heaven when they die is around the back, up 2 floors of fire escape, through the kitchen and across the dancefloor.
Incidentally, Latin name of the genus of fish commonly known as Bass is “Morone”. That is not a joke, but it is funny.
Thank you to Bryony Nightingale and Adam Broadhurst for each suggesting Low Key separately (Obviously two great minds that think alike). Thank you to Kris Hudson-Lee for modelling.
*Or that they are three different people
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