Sunday, September 16, 2007

Never work with children or animals- or should that be amateurs?

Marc Bolan died 30 years ago today. I remember it being on the news and in the papers; Elvis Presley had died a few weeks earlier which seemed to overshadow pretty much everything music related in the news at the time (except of course for those 'foul mouthed yobs' The Sex Pistols who were at the height of their notoriety) but Marc still made the front pages. He also had the 'Marc' T.V. show which was running at the time- I can remember watching the last episode with David Bowie and Eddie and the Hot Rods among others; it ended famously with him jamming with Bowie and falling off the stage laughing himself silly. There's been plenty of golden-era T.Rex on the telly lately and it still looks fabulous to me, a forever young Bolan no square with his corkscrew hair driving a Rolls Royce 'cos it's good for his voice, the very definition of the word 'star'. Magnificent, heroic stuff.

Meanwhile another week in mad guitar land has seen Monday Tuesday and Wednesday in the shop- the first 2 busy, the third one quieter which was just as well since I'd spent the previous evening with East at the Crown & Treaty in Uxbridge, ostensibly to see about a gig for The Price there but which ended with us leaving sometime around one o'clock having had far too much to drink, as the shop customers discovered the following morning... and the kids are back at school which means we now get gangs of them in during their lunch break or on their way home, an oddly intimidating thing to have to deal with at the best of times.

Thursday at the theatre went well enough for us to be in the pub before midday- always a good sign methinks- before a commando raid on the never-ending HMV sale and a visit to Sister Ray in Berwick Street where I found the Booker T and the M.G.'s 'Time Is Tight' box set which I've been after for ages. It's brilliant- but you knew I'd say that didn't you? From there it was off to Northwood to visit the osteopath who tells me my back's improving all the time- it doesn't feel like it sometimes and certainly didn't after he'd finished with it; still I was asleep within seconds of arriving home which almost always happens to me after osteopathy. Strange... still it was back down the boozer in the evening to meet up with East, Big Andy and ex-'Sounds' scribe Andy Peart who I first met in the early '80's when he was producing the excellent 'So What' fanzine. I hadn't seen him for ages and it was great to catch up with him with my tales of Rollins and The Ruts sounding as unlikely as ever.

Talking of The Ruts Friday evening saw Paul Fox coming out of hospital for an evening at The Breakspear Arms in Ruislip. (it's all pubs this isn't it? No wonder I've always got a headache!) It was good to see him 'though he looked very frail; I've been listening to The Ruts a fair bit lately and have remembered why I liked them so much in the first place and how big an influence they were on The Price, particularly in our earliest days. Some of our first shows were supporting Paul's band Choir Militia- I couldn't believe that I'd ended up playing on the same bill as him, let alone that he knew my name. His playing at the Islington gig back in July might or might not have been as good as it used to be, but it was still streets ahead of so many people that I have to listen to telling me how good they are.

After a busy Saturday in the shop it was off to Gillingham Football Club for a Blues Brothers gig (we played there late last year the night before flying out to Ireland for a couple of shows). Austin and C.J. are tonight's BB's, Andy and Matt are on sax and trumpet and, with John playing for T.Rextasy at the Shepherds Bush Empire, Keith is on drums. With only 3 regular band members (myself, Squirrel and Ian) on stage it was always going to be something of an uphill struggle, made even more difficult by the fact that Squirrel had put a nail through the third finger of his left hand only the day before (yes, you read that bit correctly)- maybe the most positive thing I can say here is that it all could have been worse than it was... just...

Enough of my moaning- I'm off to play some more T.Rex. Easy as picking foxes from a tree, don't you think?

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