I checked my e-mails the other day- you know, like you did earlier and like we all do most days; as you might well imagine there have been quite a few flying backwards and forwards in the days since Mario left the show. I'll spare you the gory details- suffice to say that there are two sides to every story, however implausible that sometimes can be- but among the various missives was one sent to all the band from CBB supremo Pete headed 'Zurich Elvis' which for obvious reasons I decided to read first. I'm sure he won't mind me reproducing it here:-
Below is a list of ‘Elvis’ songs that Steve has put forward for the Zurich Gig.
We really only need a max of about 7 or 8.
Can you come back with what you would know.
The set I would figure would be:
OPENING CC RIDER
WONDER OF YOU
DON’T BE CRUEL
I read it a couple of times then did the only thing possible under the circumstances- sent a reply to everyone along the lines of 'Er... who's Steve?' and then got back to reading the various bits of bile and vitriol from Mario as well as wondering who would be the first band member to tell me that Steve is a guy who works down the chip shop...
I didn't have too long to wait- Pete called a few minutes later, surely I haven't forgotten that we're doing an set with noted Elvis impersonator Steve Ballard at next month's Zurich gig?
Me? Forget about the Elvis set we're playing in Zurich? No, of course I wouldn't forget something as important as that; I just don't remember being told it in the first place...
I spent a fair bit of today in front of a CD player attempting to get to grips with the above songs and being reminded what great guitarists Scotty Moore and James Burton are. It's strange- like everybody I've heard Elvis Presley's music so many times, and if ever asked about it always said something glib like 'I only really like his Sun Records stuff'- but I can honestly say I never really noticed how great the TCB Band sound on the later recordings. The arrangements are brilliant, the playing's exemplary, and the singing's not too bad either... I'm really looking forward to playing these songs!
With this in mind I've just called Pete to ask if Steve sings the songs in the same keys as the original recordings and to ramble on about my new found 'Elvis-fan' status- he told me that Richard and Dave have played with him before and should have their parts written out so we can check with them, and has just ''reminded'' me that we're also playing 'a jazz set, you know, like the one we did last month in Birmingham except we're playing live rather than with backing tracks' and that he'll try to give me a list of songs to look at as soon as possible.
Hmm... either I've forgotten an entire conversation or I've got to get my hearing checked.