Since my last burst of blogging I've managed that rarest of things- some time off. With Simon holding the Pro Music fort (good man) myself and her-Shirley-ness ran away to Dorset for an excellent few days of, well, not much really. And what a splendid time we had, with the weather unusually good for the time of year and the phone ringing so infrequently that I was beginning to wonder if it was working. I spent much of the only rainy day (Tuesday in case you were wondering) attempting to record some guitars onto my new-ish laptop with, I'm pleased to report, no little success especially considering that I still don't feel as though I know what I'm doing. Then again since I recorded some stuff I suppose I must know what I'm doing...?
Back to work last night though, with The Chicago Blues Brothers at The Martletts Centre in Burgess Hill. Myself and Shirley got there a bit early which turned out to be fortuitous since I found the local CD shop 'Round Sound' which turned out to stock rather a lot of promo CD's- you know, the one's labels send out to radio stations, journalists and the like. These are often very hard to get hold of especially at a reasonable price so I was very pleased to find albums by the likes of Glen Matlock, Steve Diggle and, incredibly, David Bowie- East is a Bowie collector and is regularly shelling out his hard-earned cash on all manner of Jones-related peculiarities. I picked him up the 30th anniversary edition of 'Diamond Dogs' for £3.99 which, judging by his reaction of 'that's 30 or 40 quid normally', was a good move. Best of from my point of view was finding the album by Alice Martineau who I played guitar for briefly a few years ago and who sadly has since died (she suffered from Cystic Fibrosis). I knew she released an album but have never been able to find it anywhere so I'm looking forward to playing that later, especially since it includes a few songs that I remember from my time with her.
Meanwhile everyone's arrived and sound check goes without too many problems although my Telecaster's playing up a bit- new machineheads needed soon methinks and, I fear, a re-fret at sometime in the not-too-distant future. I was going to use my recently-acquired Baja Telecaster but would like to play it a bit first to get used to it (I'm a artist dah-ling!); in the event my old Tele held up pretty well with only the odd moment of tuning madness here and there. It was a good show with Keith getting better and better on drums and the audience well into it pretty much from the first number. It was only as we were packing the gear away after the show that Pete said something like 'that's my last theatre show'- and I realised that he was right. Our next one's in Mansfield next month, by which time Mario is replacing him as Jake, though he'll be on stage playing other characters as well as taking a more active role in booking and promoting the show. It's the end of an era- I first met Pete sometime in the early '80's when he promoted my then-band The Others at the now-demolished Roxborough pub in Harrow (it's not our fault they knocked it down, honest!) and I called him 'Mr. Showbiz', and I for one can't imagine him not being on stage in one way or another. I said to him something like 'have you booked the comeback tour yet?'
Did he really say 'I'll be back for Japan next year'?!?