Ever had one of those conversations that ‘unofficially’ commit you to do something? You know the ones – there’s a few beers involved, and people that seem to trust you slightly less than you trust them? Well, that’s what happened tonight, and this blog is the result…
Location: The Bear Hotel, Maidenhead
Attendees: Friends and fellow internees of last Christmas’s Maidenhead Pantomine, most notably the band that I was priviledged to lead (‘priviledged’ being their word….)
We sat around the table, discussing the world in general – cars, football, movies, the pressures of being an international supermodel, the usual stuff. Somehow, it got round to me confessing that I wanted this year to be memorable, and for this : I spoke about the last time I had done something for the first time – which had been undertaking the role of Musical Director, putting the band together from scratch, and writing songs that were publicly performed to a paying audience. Great as that was, we then got onto this year’s target, and writing reared its ugly head again.
There were a few pipedreams that emerged – such as collaborating with one of my bandmates on a concept album. I admit that I hoped they would take that as ‘Paul comes up with the concept, and I come up with the album’. We spoke about getting published, and how it was easy to self-publish on the web,but really tough to get published in print.
Then I was challenged – write a blog, they said, and the others leapt on this handily-provided bandwagon and basically told me I had to start that night – not tomorrow, or the weekend, but that very night, beered up as I would be.
So here it is – installment one. And one I intend to flesh out with tales of my Pantomime band-mates. Just to get some kind of vicarious revenge on them….. 🙂
First of all, there’s JK. JK plays classical and jazz guitar, bass, piano, all of them to a very high standard. He’s the most ‘professional’ musician I know, that being a comment more on his attitude and approach to his music than anything he gets paid for performing. He can be in turn confusing and frustrating, then – when the penny drops and you understand what he means – the most brilliant and educated teacher you could hope for. Anyone who wants to take their playing to the next level should spend an hour or so in the company of JK and a few instruments. You’ll learn chords you never knew existed, and you’ll learn to appreciate a true music lover at heart.
Next – DC. I admit to having a soft spot for him, in a true, manly, clothes-on-and-share-a-beer kind of way. DC is probably the most laid-back, sorted person I know, and a damn fine guitarist to boot. He seems to know what he wants from life, and has determined that whatever that is, whatever it takes, he’s going to get there, with as enjoyable a journey as possible. He’s been a house-renovator, a photographer, a boat salesman, a musician, and one of my best friends since first I met him five years ago, and I feel I could share just about anything with him and not be judged for doing so. Our time in our various bands together has made me appreciate him as a real gentleman, a clever sod, and someone who struggles to count to four when starting a song….
Finally, there’s my lovely friend JF. She hadn’t been involved in anything remotely like panto for years, and so dragging her into the band was the start of an adventure for us all. How would she react, knowing me from church (hopefully as a ‘good’ man) and suddenly learning that I had loads of friends that drank, smoked, swore and listened to loud music? How would she react to the ‘actor’ types that I mingled with and dared to call friends? Would my reputation be forever tarnished by association with cross-dressers (albeit a panto dame and a principal boy)? I need not have worried. All my friends are now her friends, and that’s such a great feeling – when you introduce your good friends, to your other good friends, then they become good friends, and the cycle begins to repeat itself, and you find yourself one degree of separation closer to Kevin Bacon….
Anyway, it’s late and I need to sleep now. So that’s my intro done. I’ll post again tomorrow, telling you a little more about me – what I like, what I don’t, and what I think. Let me know what you think I should write about as well?