The sentiment in the chorus of Toto’s Hold the Line (1978) is so rich to real life it chills us, yet we hardly ever reflect upon it. It’s a ‘groovy number’ (as they used to say generations back) but there’s a truth to it that speaks to the pattern of life and the thing we must do in response, if our lives are going to work as they were intended–that is we must, ‘Hold the line.’
I always connect this statement, ‘hold the line,’ with the famous opening in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000) in which Russell Crowe plays Roman general, Maximus Decimus Meridius Togel . In the initial scenes of the film, Maximus is shown addressing a company of his troops immediately before battle.
As they charge, he resolutely commands them repeatedly, “Hold the line – stay with me.” And they do… in unison his company attacks the marauders and the ambush is complete.
Theologically, we have a God who’s repeatedly whispers, ‘Hold the line – stay with me,’ such is his will that we have ours. We have a God who will never force his will upon us, except that is, in judgment-and we’re judged every day by the laws of God that “life” attests to. Yet, he remains letting us have our own way in the responsive circumstances of our lives.
Since the beginning of time, men have been racking their brains trying to figure out a way to attract women. From stylish haircuts, to the latest fashions, to the Italian sports car, to the latest potion that promise love at first sight, or is that love at first smell…? Anyway, men have been driven since the inception of the human race to figure out some magical way to attract women.
And the sexual marketers know this, that’s why there has been all manner and make of sexual attractiveness products over the years… All promising to give the unlucky man the luckiest luck of all, and that is the ability to attract any woman he wants. Well, you don’t have to Follow the Sexual Brick Road or visit a gypsied witch to get the latest “Love Potion Number Sixty-Nine” to have endless luck with the ladies. Honestly, you don’t. In fact it’s a matter of Occam’s Razor, really, if you really want to get that magical elixir that will turn you into the “Sex Bomb” of the century. And, really, it’s simpler than you realize, hence, the Occam’s Razor bit.
Forget the “digital” age, ignore modern “miracles” of science, and get ready to stick your nose up at the latest pharmaceutical pills that are destined to sexually rock your world. Instead, sit back, relax, put on Dark Side of the Moon and sync it up with Leo’s roar, and listen to what Mother Nature has to say.
Yes, Mother Nature, you know, that omnipresent evasive old lass who keeps your heart magically beating, who replaces and builds hundreds of billions of cells in your body, endlessly. The entity who is open for more hours than a 7-11, every day, every night, come rain or shine, and who never even takes a cigarette break in order to keep you going… The one who ensures that the bacteria that are, right now, living in your mouth, won’t kill you. That’s right. Brace yourself for the truth, as there are enough potentially deadly bacteria in your mouth, right now — regardless if you have halitosis or not — to make you tomorrow’s lunch meat faster than you can say “it was Owen Coffin who drew the shortest straw.” But, Mother Nature is looking after you, the luckiest of luckies, and you can consider Her your very own personal, punctual, and pompatus Guardian Angel, so to speak. And She’s the reason why those nasty little buggers in your mouth don’t send you to your grave sooner than later. And that’s because She’s pulling the levers, She’s the one behind the curtain that Toto’s trying desperately to reveal, and She’s the one who looks after you, day-after-day and night-after night… She’s working those levers, fast and furiously, right at this very moment, to ensure that, through your immune system, She eradicates those little critters and keeps them in check — just for you. You see, She ensures that you are still healthy, wealthy, wise, and sexually active.
Most bassists still cite Paul McCartney, John Entwhistle or Jack Bruce as influences on their particular instrument. The early bass sounds and styles that anchored hits by The Beatles, The Who and Cream are the underpinnings of classic rock radio nearly as far back as it goes.
Some of the instruments of this era are absolutely collectible: the Fender Jazz Bass, the Thunderbird, the Rickenbacker and Paul McCartney’s signature instrument. The sounds these earlier instruments produced was comparatively bright and punchy compared to many of the basses that would follow, with active pickups and other onboard electronics allowing players to color and mellow their respective sounds.
Still, pioneers like Yes’ Chris Squire, Rush’s Geddy Lee and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris had wildly divergent styles… many mirroring the thundering lines of seminal artists like Led Zep’s John Paul Jones and the aforementioned Entwhistle (The Who). Squire’s incredibly busy lines were a solid fit for Yes’ progressive rock leanings. This style would go on to influence Canada’s virtuosic Geddy Lee, as he covered a staggering amount of territory and stylistic color in Rush’s music. From rock and metal to reggae and the slap-pop of funk, Geddy Lee still stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of classic rock royalty on his instrument.
Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris would carve out a niche seemingly a world away from the simple, solid lines of Judas Priest’s Ian Hill, and Harris would often go head-to-head with Geddy Lee in rock and metal bass polls conducted by magazines like Circus and Creem back in the day.
As the 80s opened up, pop started to have a hefty say in what would later become classic rock. Sting of The Police and John Taylor of Duran Duran became standout players on their instruments and still hold their own some 30 years later. While rock and metal continued to create bass waves (Ozzy’s Bob Daisley and Billy Sheehan from David Lee Roth’s band absolutely advanced the state of the art), U2’s Adam Clayton and the seminal John Deacon from Queen created some of the best and most instantly recognizable bass lines in classic rock during this time, with ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘With Or Without You’ being standout examples of tone and composition.