Gary Peacock

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Gary Peacock is an American jazz double-bassist.

  • "At first it was me and the bass. Something to conquer, something to control. It gave me a sense of identity and a purpose in life. One thing in my life that wasn't flipping out all over the place, something I could count on. As a result of that, it produced a lot of anxiety, because once I became that identified with the instrument, then let's say something happened to my hands, I wouldn't have an identity. That's who I was, I was a musician - I wasn't anything but that. In the beginning it worked very well, because that anxiety kept me on target, it kept me woodshedding and then one time I took acid with Timothy Leary's group. I went through periods where i would die and I would come back and I couldn't stop it. The people I was with put me in a tub of ice-cold water to shock my nervous system. I stopped breathing for a second and when i looked down I had turned into a turtle. So that didn't help!
  • But the next day I felt really calm. When I looked at the calm, I saw that I had realized I wasn't a musician. That was something I had made up in my mind; it was something I did, but it wasn't who i was. But if I'm not that, then who am I? My relationship with my music and with the bass completely changed. The bass was an instrument I played; it wasn't me. If i couldn't play music anymore, I wouldn't die. My interest in music ended and it didn't come back until about ten years later when I did a short tour with Paul Bley in Japan and something turned the wheel, something happened.So the relationship I have now is that I'm me. There's a relationship between myself and the instrument, but it's me over here and the bass over there. We're not the same and we're not different."