David White is an electric and acoustic bassist in New York City. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he was raised in a musical/theatrical family and began playing percussion at an early age. During his teenage years he discovered the bass in his school orchestra and found his passion.
Accepted into the Berklee College of Music on scholarship, he quickly became an in demand performer on both Acoustic and Electric Bass while pursuing a degree in Bass Performance. After spending a few years at Berklee, he left to pursue a professional playing career, joining Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of The Seas and traveling to Europe, The Middle East, and India.
Shortly after, he moved to New York and began pursuing a career as a pit musician. Offered the International tour of HAIR! in 2013, he hopped on a bus and has been touring the world with Guys & Dolls, The Producers and The Bridges of Madison County ever since. He continues to be active in the NYC area with various bands, musicals, cabarets, and on the road with Broadway tours.
The Upton Bass Story
David has a pretty dramatic Upton story actually – a microcosm played out in a year of all the nightmares touring musicians face! We’ll let him tell the tale:
I want to tell you all a story that will explain how much Upton Bass means to me….
When I was a child, my grandmother was one of the biggest supporters I had in my life. When she passed away (I was 18, just about to start college) she was kind enough to leave me enough money to buy a professional level instrument. So the purchase of my bass was not just a practical search, but an emotional one too. After looking for many years at my options, I found that while I could find something I was happy with, I didn’t want to pay $30,000 for a bass I only “liked”. Or that could stand up to the rigors of living in NYC. That’s when I found Upton.
I found after having many conversations with Eric, that I could have a bass built for me that was WELL under the price of a vintage instrument, and that I could make the bass into anything I wanted it to be. Eric, Jack and the whole team were more than willing to cater to my every need.I ended up going with a Fully Carved Bostonian, and come August 2015 I was picking up my new bass and could barely contain my joy. It meant so much to be to finally have the instrument that my grandmother had dreamed for me to have in my hands.
A few months after picking up my bass I was out on tour with the Broadway musical “The Producers”. As I was setting up my equipment on evening, my foot got caught in a cable and down my bass went. I heard a loud crash and knew within seconds that it was my bass. It had fallen from a chair (that I stupidly rested it against) and hit a table on the way down. I had snapped off my scroll and cracked a large chunk off my C – Extension and had rendered the bass unplayable. After wiping the tears from my face it was time to figure out what to do.
I immediately called and emailed every phone number for Upton I could find in a panic. Gary texted me back within minutes. It was at this point I realized that I was in New London, CT. The town is 6 miles down the road from Upton’s shop in Mystic, and by sheer dumb luck a member of our crew was a friend of someone who worked at the shop. Dave from the shop showed up 30 minutes later with a rental bass and quickly took my bass to “Instrument E.R” (a.k.a 159 Packer Rd.) and went to work getting it back up and running. I was able to play the show that night because they took the time to send someone to the shop on a Sunday night, get me a bass, drive to our theater, deliver it to me, and take my damaged one away.
The next morning Eric called me and informed me that the repair wouldn’t be too bad and that he and Jack would do everything in their power to get the bass back up and running ASAP. A few months later I drove up to pick up my bass and was SHOCKED at how incredible of a job they had done. It was as good as new and the only thing was a small chip in the top reminding me of what she had been through.
Fast forward another few months to, well…yesterday…
Im currently on tour with the musical The Bridges of Madison County. I received an email from the shipping company my touring group used informing me that my bass had been severely damaged. This time it wasn’t just the neck. An impact from behind had shoved my neck forward out of the joint. In the process of the neck being forcibly removed from the body, the fully carved back, and the ribs had also cracked. (Keep in mind that this bass was in a Kolstein Flight Case, but thats a story for another time).
After I went through the grieving process again I called Eric. After his frustration with the shipping company subsided, and he and I shared our grief, we came up with the plan. Unfortunately, the damage is severe enough that a new bass will have to be built but thats neither here nor there. What’s important is that every single employee at Upton is dedicated to making the best instruments you can find anywhere, and that they are there to serve their players. Whether you be a hobbyist, a pro, or somewhere in between, they make you feel right at home and are more than willing to go above and beyond what any other company would do to make your bass your dream instrument.
I simply can’t say enough about this company and how much I feel as though everyone in that shop has my back and wants me to succeed with their instruments. You get the feeling that these are the most dedicated luthiers in the country and words will never be able to express how much this company, their instrument, or their employees mean to me.