This review from one Amazon customer puts it so well that I’m now accused of being ‘him’!
A couple of more questions:
– Was it the pink bass that was stolen out of your car in LA? Hopefully not.
– After having gone to the trouble of getting a green card, what drove your decision to go back to the UK?
Yes, it was the pink bass that went. Everything else was taken too, including my Green Card, passport, credit cards etc. etc, along with the house I was ‘borrowing’. I simply had to go back to re-group.
Had another question. This is something I’ve always wanted to know the answer to. The book doesn’t really answer it so hopefully you can. I’ve often heard stories about people becoming rich and famous rock stars yet they are unhappy. And I’ve heard all these references to the ‘pressures of fame’ yet no one ever characterizes what that means. George Martin once said ‘it looks wonderful, lots of money, fame, women at your feet. In actual fact, it’s hell.’ When I hear about how much a rock star’s life sucks, it really irritates me. What could possibly suck about playing music for living? I often think, when I hear this, ‘Try going to an office job every day. Trust me, your life doesn’t suck. If you only knew the half of it. I’ll trade places with you any time, Kurt Cobain.’
And truthfully, sharing a bus with Squeeze doesn’t count in your answer, as a preempt. That tour obviously wasn’t fun. But I would’ve traded places with you any time. And one of the reasons your book was such a good read is because it looks like a great life and you succeeded in really taking the reader there.
So what do they mean by ‘the pressures of fame’? Why do so many people in that position claim to be unhappy? Is it really ‘hell’ as George Martin claimed? If so, why?
A few random thoughts… I can’t answer you question because it was always my deliberate and specific intention to treat what I did as any other job and not buy into the myth. I don’t think I have to prove how much I debunked it because I pretty much do it at every turn throughout the book. I can’t answer for you either… Of course you’d swap your position and enjoy the novelty of being on tour and coming up with ideas for a year, or two, or three — or five, or even ten — but it would get to you in the end. Because playing music for a living isn’t the issue — it’s the other stuff that goes with it, the other 95% of the time. Is hanging round an airport for two hours when a flight is cancelled that much more interesting than being in an office?
Rich or poor nobody has any more or less problems, challenges to solve, or issues to deal with, than enyone else. For instance, imagine being rich and famous like David Beckham — and then imagine the shit he has to go through to prevent his kids from getting kidnapped for a ransom of millions — and how he might gladly swap places with you and live a normal life.
You’d be happy to swap places with a rock star — but no one’s stopping you, bro’. But neither is it something you’re entitled to simply because you’d like a taste of it. After all, roast chickens never flew into anyone’s mouth of their own accord. Let’s assume you have the talent — are you happy to put in all the work and suffer all the setbacks it takes to get to that position? That’s the first hurdle to get over — the pressure of getting there in the first place. Then you have to stay there, and then eventually get out with your money, your mind, and your family intact. …In the first year I was married, we were on the road so much that I only spent five days at home — was that worth a whinge? Or should I have just enjoyed the ‘women at my feet’?
So, a short parable … a martial arts student once went to a master and asked him ‘What happens when we die?’ In one unbrken sweeping movement the master drew his sword and sliced off the student’s head. Thus giving him the answer in the only real way possible. So the only answer to your question is not to theorise or to speculate any further, but for you to answer your question in the only real way possible. And if you do decide to go for it and get a taste of the life, come back with your questions in a few years time — I’d love to hear your updated opinion!
I should’ve clarified – my ‘trade places’ thing was what I thought when I was young. I don’t even think about that now – I’m a middle aged dad with a career.
You did lend some insight, though. I know you debunked all that, I should’ve been more clear and asked not so much your experience but your observation. But this did help, thanks.
It wasn’t meant as a literal or personal ‘attack’ but an overview. I was going to post the lyrics of the Byrds’ So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star. My observation is that there are as many philosophies as there are people. I chose my own way of dealing with that life. Outside of it all many people see only the cliches. For that reason I often wonder what the life of a professional footballer (soccer player) is like. We see only the big wage packets — but nobody shells out money like that for nothing. That’s for a handful of people that rise to the peak of the peak of the peak. It takes 20 years of kicking a ball against a wall, to be able to produce a moment of brilliance once in your career. And for every one of those guys there are ten thousand guys left sitting around with smashed knees or a drink problem.
It’s all good, Bruce, I didn’t take it that way, sorry if it came across that way. The stories are great, the answers are great, that martial arts philosophy you just referred to is as hilarious as it is true.
We’re all on the side of the angels 🙂
Just finished reading the book and wow, what an epic journey! This book reminded me in some ways of Sting’s ‘Broken Music’, which I also strongly recommend. You certainly had quite a wealth of musical experiences before you ever met EC. Questions/comments:
1. Sounds like you and EC had what can only be called a sibling-like rivalry – or something similar. The other 2, or at least Pete, seemed to have the same complaints about his quirks as you did. Did you ever explore or ask yourself ‘if I had just put up with his quirks I would’ve been on the ride for longer’ or do you just say to yourself ‘that’s how he is, that’s how I am, that’s that, no regrets.’ Or is it nuanced somewhere in the middle?
2. Technical question about ‘Shabby Doll’. So as far as I know, the bass is played in intervals of Open E/Open G, leading into the G with an F#/A interval, then into the G/B flat chord/interval, etc. You referenced in the book that you got the idea from that jazz player who lived in the basement flat in the same building who taught you about 9ths. But isn’t a G a 10th to an E when in the key of E minor, for example? I’m assuming ‘Shabby Doll’ is in E minor – if E major, then that obviously makes the G a # 9th.
3. Bill Sherrill session: I’m glad you brought that up about 3 chord song after 3 chord song being more difficult than more complex songs that have their own identity. I thought it was just me.
4. The ‘Wheel Tour.’ You described the wheel pretty well, but for American fans who didn’t see that tour, imagine the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ wheel flipped up so that it’s lateral/perpendicular to the ground. It looked just like that, with all the glitz. Anyway, Bruce, the part you left out was the chicks dancing in Go Go cages. That had to be seen to be believed. I saw that tour in Boston in October of ’86. I wonder if you would remember this: before the show, we’re sitting in our seats and the Orpheum erupts in a standing ovation – it was Celtic Bill Walton taking his seat. The Celtics had won the championship the previous Spring. I was in the 4th row and he was about 20 rows behind – I had far better seats than an NBA star! EC got him on stage and tried to take the piss by putting him in one of the cages but he wouldn’t fit! Amy Mann was on stage, too, wearing this frilly white dress like she was Glenda the Good Witch. Very memorable show, was wondering if you remember that. And who was the guy who played EC’s ‘nemesis’ in the show, ‘Romeo Valentine’?
In answer to your questions.
1) You’ve kind of answered it yourself. The other two were willing to take whatever happened. I was the only one who ever ‘called him out’, as Pete put it — as I did with the cover of the ‘Trust’ album, or his drinking while making ‘Almost Blue’. The point I make in ‘Rough Notes’ is that if I hadn’t stuck my neck and risked getting fired very early on, there probably wouldn’t have been any recognition for the Attractions — certainly we wouldn’t have been on the album covers or been billed as a band, rather than a solo act, in theatres.
Yes, I guess my relationship with EC does have echoes of the Gallachers or the Davies Brothers. The Sutherland Brothers were just the same, Gav tried to push Iain out of a moving car once! There are innumerable other instances of this dynamic in bands (probably in every band) — Gilmour and Waters,Townshend and Moon. Not to mention Jagger and Jones! Only EC never tried to drown me 🙂
2) Yes, it’s a flattened 10th or sharp 9th — I didn’t mean it literally, just that I’d taken the principle Jeff Clyne showed me.
3) Yes, it also explains why I tried to use altered bass notes to colour the songs a bit — see the most recent post about ‘Crimes of Paris’.
4) I’d forgotten all that about Boston or I’d certainly have put that paragraph in the book! RV was Paddy Callaghan, our security guy.
I was surprised about your brief remark on Margaret Thatcher and how your life bears no resemblance to a miner’s – pretty honest. Most musicians, especially those who grew up in the 60’s, and especially those from Europe or the UK, are somewhere to the left of Joseph Stalin. To me there is no bigger ‘wanker’ or phony than a wealthy socialist. Give me a break. Those comments didn’t make you a Tory, so not pigeon holing you. But I’m glad you’re honest about it.
So here’s the deliberately snarky, take the piss question of the day: did you guys give Pete a hard time for getting beat up by Paul Weller? Nothing against Weller, one of my favorite artists of all time, but I don’t think I could live it down if I got beat up by a skinny, cappuccino drinking blue eyed soul singer who, at that time, wore sweaters tied around his neck. Not saying he can’t be tough, but….
It passed without comment — we’ve seen Pete get laid out more than once.
I left a positive review on Amazon.
Rough Notes had me laughing several times. Glad to hear your side of the story. When I heard that you ‘lost in music…’ and ‘sabotaged EC’s shows…’ I was disappointed that you, a gifted musician, might have lost interest in music. Now after reading Rough Notes I’m glad to hear that your interest and love of music is alive. I’m frankly disappointed that EC trashed you on your 2nd departure from the Attractions. I wish EC would have taken “the high road” instead of the comments that had to damage musical opportunities for you.
Put it this way … I wasn’t expecting a call from Elton John.
Had a very similar situation happen at my studio:
Good luck with that one.
I’m finishing EC’s book now. Quite good, actually. A bit more about his family than I care to know, but that’s how I feel about anyone’s family. He actually is quite complimentary about The Attractions. The only possibly tart comment about you is when he compares The Attractions to the Beach Boys and says that you and Mike Love have never been seen in the same place. Ouch. But he specifically calls out your work on Shipbuilding for special mention.
Mike Love! Maybe because he was the awkward one in the band — cos I’ve never had a flat cap or a beard. Funny thing though — you never saw EC and Frank Carson in the same room. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17142351 Maybe he was reciprocating about Shipbuilding because I said it was a good song.
I’m writing a book about Jimi Hendrix. Has anyone got any feedback?
I’ve also just finished reading an autobiography by one of the world’s greatest drummers, Carl Jung. It’s called, Man and his Symbols.
I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip the waitresses.
Keep ’em coming…
I just sold my Hoover on Ebay — well, it was only collecting dust.
Hard to beat the “Carry On” line: “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it infamy.”
And was used very effectively at the end of The Filth and The Fury. Be careful what you ask for Bruce haha!
Finished the book last night. Now maybe I can go to bed at a decent hour! . I thoroughly enjoyed it and it left me wanting more. One thing in the book that was mentioned a few times was the “competition” with Springsteen. A couple thoughts on that from a non-musician…Aside from both of them being well regarded song writers I think the similarities end there. I would actually consider Paul Weller with his time in The Jam to be more in the Springsteen mold as far as lyrical themes go. Secondly, The Beatles and the Stones pushed each other to greater heights. Were there any other contemporary bands that, as a band, the Attractions looked at as inspiration to push the boundaries musically?
I think the competition was mainly Jake (our manager’s) take on it. The Jam were never really big in the US. I don’t feel there were any other bands arpund that we felt inspired, or intimidated ,by in that way. The nearest in terms of musicianship might be the Blockheads, but they were more old school than we were.
I know The Jam never really made it here…sadly. I always enjoyed them. I once read that Graham Parker didn’t care for them because they were “too earnest” and lacked humor about them. I felt the same about Springsteen. As for inspiration from contemporary bands I always wondered that because I have never really heard anyone that compares directly to what you guys were doing. Bless you all for being like no other!
GP calling anyone ‘earnest’ is a bit of a pot-kettle-black scenario. But he’s right that the Jam were fairly humour free. Still Paul sounds better than Ernest Weller. Springsteen wasn’t earnest — he was overblown, melodramatic and at times pompous — as if every song was a TV mini-series.
If the Attractions took their influences from anywhere it wasn’t comtemoraries but the previous golden generation — Kinks, Who, Beatles, Byrds — etc, given a contemporary twist.
I hear a lot of “baroque pop” influence on EC&tA’s slower paced songs, with the sustained organ playing the role that the string arrangements would have filled in the songs by both British and American acts of the 60s that incorporated orchestral instrumentation. I’m thinking specifically of songs like “Possession” and “Man out of Time”.
Currently trying to read the “Singer”‘s memoir, by the way. But it’s hard to read. The narrative and chronology jumps around so much, it is damn hard to stay focused.
Ah yes — “A Whiter Shade of Pal-aigarism”. Nice to know EC can still jump around — at least in print, if not on stage 🙂
I’m working through it as well. It’s written a bit more “English” than I expected. Agree with Adam overall. Perhaps he constructed it that way so one just couldn’t read the relevant parts and then stick it on the shelf.
Or then, perhaps it’s his “editor”.
So…I’m not alone in reading EC’s book. I’m enjoying it so far although up to this point Bruce’s book delivered more of what I am interested in. I’m nearly 300 pages in and the frustrating thing for me is how he manages to discuss events with the Attractions without really mentioning the Attractions. Pete gets name dropped fairly often but even Nick Lowe is mentioned less than expected. I understand it’s his story but you have to think he knows that these are the tales we want to hear…
That’s the point – there’s only room for one star!
Looks like we are not alone in these observations:
Warning: Risky Site for Viruses!
I’ve read the Singer’s book. He does talk about the Attractions, eventually. Compliments are paid to Pete, Steve and yes even Bruce. There’s nothing untoward, and I imagine he’d tell us to read the reissue liner notes if we want to know about the albums… However, there isn’t much about Nick – he mentions how they met, of course, but there’s a lot he doesn’t say. He also says little about Jake, although that might be for legal reasons. The big surprise is that the book is almost as much about Elvis’ dad as it is about Elvis. The biggest surprise is that he mentions the story about waking up with his shoelaces tied and the contents of an ashtray in his mouth – and then laughs it off as crazy tour hijinks!
I asked Graham about the Jam on his site a few years back and he said he thought they sounded like a band that sounded like it was missing a guitar player, which it was! I’m a fan (of the sound if not the politics)
That’s about my take on them, too.
I think his book is gonna be a tough slog. But, there’s always the possibility that I don’t get it. Think I’m going back to my excellent Ellroy novel.
Do you think all his jumping around in the chronology is done so people can’t just cherry pick the Attractions bits and leave out the saga of the great nose flute albums.
Yes. And, this book must be like many of the later albums, where the experience of creating them exceeds the actual end result.
I don’t mind the jumping around so much..probably wards off Alzheimer’s and I’m getting older. Plus I have enjoyed most of Elvis’s post Attractions output so I want to hear that discussed as well. My biggest wish would be that Bruce would have played bass on When I Was Cruel. Good songs but the bass sounds horrible on much of it. He could scrap MLAR and River in Reverse though…can’t stand them.
Bruce, I agree with your assessment of Springsteen. But to add to that, he was/is a phony. He likes to write songs about the plight of the ‘working man’ when he’s never had a proper job in his life. I respect that he’s always worked as a musician rather than at a job, but don’t write about things that you don’t know a thing about. And I don’t too many ‘working men’ that can afford his ticket prices.
He sounds like a politician.
Just a thought as we approach tea time here:
Eh Bruce well I think it was always obvious that the worst musician in Elvis Costello and the Attractions was Elvis Costello! The same way Lennon was the worst musician in the
Beatles. Sometimes ego wins over talent. But as someone once said to Jimi Hendrix , ” There’s only one Little Richard in this band. ” I think your the boss. My favorite bass player.
i never knew that Little Richard remark. There was only ONE of him — and only ONE Jimi Hendrix. Lennon knew his guitar was “functional” rather than “creative” but it what he did was right. It wouldn’t have been the Beatles with Eric Clapton. EC is the same — I had to listen to “Blood and Chocolate” for the first time in 30 years the other day for a guy who is writing a book about it. I was surprising at how musical some of the more monolithic tracks were — and what I always thought of as Dylan-esque was more Lennon-esque than I recalled it through the mist of time. It actually has quite a lot of pop sensibilities and some good melodies. And, dare I say it, some of the guitar parts are spot-on for the songs. (I’m now going for a lie-down).
Haha! A funny story. The last time I listened to Blood and Chocolate I was living in NYC. Later that day I was walking down 6th Ave and who comes walking past but the man himself, Elvis, lost in thought. I didn’t bother him. Same as when I got in a lift and there was Bowie! And was once on an escalator with Lou Reed. God I miss NY! Now I need a lie down after all that name dropping.
I was once in a lift with David Bowie! And on the next pool lounger to Lou Reed. Never met Elvis though 🙂
Had an engineer work for me that dropped so many names that one needed to wear steel toe shoes around him.
He sounds like more than a match for me 🙂
We’ve read the monolithic sound recording story of that album so many times (CD booklet after CD booklet), and while I won’t dispute that this was the procedure used, I must say that, to me, the sound still comes over as clean and vibrant. No aural boxing gloves for me. And yes, it’s one of my favourite albums of the group. So glad to hear that you too enjoyed a recent listen to it!
I actually liked the bass sound. Because it’s live, it’s got that real Ampeg SVT whine in places. Not the worst album we made by a long way.
You’ll also hear a whine from the guy that has to lift that head to the top of the speaker cabinets.
TRIVIA: Did you know that my SVT rig wasn’t actually a bass set up but was one of Johnny Winters’ old guitar rigs?
Yes, I remember reading your comments about that SVT in the Guitar Player interview from ’86. I think they were originally intended for use as a guitar or bass amps. Here’s an interesting item:
I’ve been as close to that guitar as the pics in the article. (Ooops, name dropping).
Let’s be kind to B&C. I like that album. I wish that I could have seen the tour. I have heard some “unofficial” recordings of it. I have to say I prefer the Attractions take on Loveable by far. It has a happy feel to it that contrasts nicely with the lyrics.
Haviang listened to it recently, I too am feeling a lot more kindly disposed to it than I previously have — though there’s one track I still couldn’t listen to.
The psycho epic.
Yep, that was my guess as well. There’s a couple of ‘epics’ that I usually skip.
The Rolling Stone review at the time is quite interesting in retrospect.
Yes, but it’s always easier to critique something or teach it, than it is to actually do it 🙂
Bruce, I am only familiar with your work with the Attractions. I see that Itunes offers a few Quiver albums. I want to explore more of your work. Any personal suggestions for what you would like people like me to hear?
It may not be the same Quiver! More likely not. There’s often more than one band of the same name. There’s even another Attractions! If you want to hear some of my “other” work, let me point you in the direction of Suzanne Vega’s “99.9F” and “Nine Objects of Desire” albums.
Another Attractions? Blasphemy! I will check out the Vega albums. I never knew if you were on the entire album or just a track or two. As for the Quiver records I believe they were from 1971 or so.
OK, I was on all of those SV albums apart from the odd track. Those will be the correct Quiver albums — and are still worth a listen. Thanks for your interest.
You should check out Tasmin Archer’s “Bloom” album, also.
Actually, I’m quite intrigued by those ‘undercover’ recordings you made on other people’s albums, you mention in the book. 😉 Sure you won’t drop us a hint?
Are you talking about bass playing sessions — or the White Label EDM stuff I did with my nephew?
I meant the undercover bass playing for big names who are supposed to have played their own …
I can tell you one session involved a singer who sang about Robin Hood.
“Turning to the brass band world, the British Open Championships have three times used a test piece about Robin Hood; in 1907 this was a selection from Macfarren’s 47 year old opera and in 1936 and 1941 it was Henry Geehl’s tone poem ‘Robin Hood’. This has survived in concert rather less well than Geehl’s other major brass band works, ‘Oliver Cromwell’ and ‘On The Cornish Coast'” …
It wasn’t any of those — actually it was a song related to a film about Robin Hood – to be more accurate.
Bryan Adams perhaps?
Are you trying to get me sued?
You mean to say you didn’t play on ‘On The Cornish Coast’??!!
Yes we have — Elvis and the Attractions first ever gig was on the Cornish coast — at Penzance.
Mercy no! I was joking. I was actually betting on something from Mel Brooks’ movie…
Let’s say it was as good a shot as Robin himself would’ve made 🙂
Those Suzanne Vega albums sound great, and have ultra-cool bass-lines!
Mitchell Froom deserves some credit for giving the bass a feature role on those albums.
I agree – all his productions in those days were very bass-friendly! Brutal Youth really benefited from that too! (Nick Lowe really shines on bass on some of those tracks, wouldn’t you agree?)
I grabbed a copy of SV 99.9F. Itunes had it for $5.99 if anyone else here is interested. That will be my music of choice for my day off work today. I noticed on Allmusic that you are listed as playing on the Peter Case LP Six Pack Of Love. That sounds like a nice one judging by the clips I listened to.
Yep — Peter Case is quite Lennon influenced on his solo albums. It’s certainly worth a listen.
It’s obviously this:
(That bass part actually is awesome, to be honest.)
That video is blocked in the UK!
I wonder if the German version will get through. Same melody, same instrumentals, just German lyrics.
Ja, is gut.
So it’s basically like Steely Dan’s work on McGruff the Crime Dog’s song “Alcohol.” Contractual regulations prohibited them from being credited, but it’s obviously the Dan.
…or a very good pastiche? …or pastis.
Now I’m thirsty. Cuervo Gold, anyone?
An interesting tidbit here since I was born and raised in Norton County Kansas about 10 miles from the ‘other’ Devizes.
As I said yesterday … you learn something everyday.
I just knew you’d wanna know.
Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood is mentioned several times in Rough Notes. Many people will know him, by sight if not by name, from ‘Game of Thrones’ !
Looked up some of his live performances with D.F. on youtube. Guy had a hell of a stage presence and awesome energy.
…and a fair bit of amphetamine. Just made a miraculous recovery from seriious illness and enjoying a new lease of life.
One eye-opener in this book was that when a, let’s say, bass-line of a song gets sampled, it’s still the author of the entire song (or, worse still, the copyright-holder), who gets paid the royalties … The bass-player may have invented the most famous bass-line in the world, but he will get nothing for it. Or she. All this, talking hypothetically, of course. That must hurt.
It’s called “irony”.
I have read that Andy Summers suffered the same fate with ‘Every Breath You Take’. Sting makes like 20K a day on the song, Andy, $0.
How many swallows make a Summers?
Andy’s several sandwiches short of a picnic on that song.
I’m reminded of Allen Klein suing The Verve for “Bittersweet Symphony” – for lifting the string part (and other elements) from an orchestration of “The Last Time”. So the royalties for the Verve track ultimately went to Jagger/Richards, but the actual orchestration being sampled was done by David Whitaker, who got nothing except a flat fee back in 1965.
Plus ca change…
I am more interested in how the hell Trey Buck managed to use an image (in this case, the Grateful Dead “Steal your Face” symbol) as his avatar. None of us, not even the guy whose page this is, have an avatar. I don’t see an option anywhere to add one. What’s up with that?
He’s a Hi Tech guy, obviously — roving he could go in and shut me down any time he likes. In the meantine, I’ll see if I can add an option for you all to put cat faces up.
…I just checked the settings and avatars are already enabled so I don’t know why you can’t add one! I fiddled about a bit to see if that makes a difference.
OK, to get my avatar (my cat George sitting by the bass) I signed up on “Gravatar” which is a site for setting up a WordPress profile. I looked at the “page info” for this site in Firefox, and it showed that it was a WordPress page. Otherwise I would not have known. So I now realize that the people who have avatars on this site are those with WordPress accounts.
You learn something everyday.
Waw – did we get hand-picked avatars from the man himself? 😛
Hopefully this is just a passing phase 🙂
I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail. You may address this in your book but I will ask anyway. I recently read the old Rolling Stone interview with EC and they pointed out that in the early years he simply did not do interviews. Were the Attractions permitted to do interviews during that time period or were you encouraged not to? I would find it interesting to read some if any of you did as your perspective would be very different from today.
We were ‘encouraged’ not to do interviews unless they were for specific magazines like Bass Player, or Drummer and the like.
Were you also “encouraged” not to speak at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction? I just viewed that on YouTube and you’d have thought they were inducting a solo artist. (or is it artiste’ ?)
I wasn’t specifically leant on, but I had nothing to say at the time — it was fairly obvious the way it had been managed — as I describe in Rough Notes. I could understand El and El wanting to keep me out of the picture, but Pete and Steve didn’t get much of a look in either. That’s why I included a part of a review of an E and the Imps gig where they were reduced to ‘top-notch accompaniment’ and didn’t even get a name check. I hope my account in the book endorses the accuracy of your own (and many others’) intuitions.
Bruce you have people who realize that you (and Steve and Pete) were and are much more than “top notch accompaniment”. On the other hand I get the feeling it’s a mixed blessing. You are forever associated with EC’s songs and I imagine it to be like an actor being typecast. I was fortunate that Steve came through a nearby town solo a few years ago and I was able to see him. It was a shock to find him playing in the south eastern U.S. but hey…I’ll take it. My point is that this talented guy had a crowd of maybe 40 people and I know they wanted instrumental EC songs. I wanted to hear his own compositions. How bound are musician’s to their past and is it a curse or blessing?
I had quite a past before I met the Attractions! I’ve also had a very good second career as a session player — and a third one as writer. I’m working on three books at the moment — one of which is the best I’ve ever done. Not that I mind people asking me about, but I’m only bound to the past to the extent that people ask me about it! Rough Notes wasn’t written to regurgitate it the past but to sum it up and answer certain questions once and for all. Luckily I got out of it before I became ‘a top-notch accompanist’.
Well said. I hope my comment didn’t seem like a slight. I have tried to follow all of your work. Thanks to Rough Notes now I have some fresh trails to follow which excites me. I was trying to say that I felt badly for Steve that night because in my mind he was deserving of selling out a venue 10 times that size and also to be free of the pressure of expectations. After reading Rough Notes I’m now looking forward to reading more from you.
I agree with you Ed, Steve deserves better. And I wasn’t slighted by any of your comments — I think a lot of us are simply imterested in blowing a fresh breeze of honest assessment through it all. There’s a new fragrance for your bathroom deodorizer — Forest Pine, Carribean Blush …or Honest Assessment.
I used to think I was Bruce Thomas, but I was a bit of a tosspot at the time. Never been a wanker, tough work for us quadrupeds.
Oh dear — this one’s going to run and run 🙂
An habitually drinking hoofed mammal.
I like the correct use of “an” before the “h” aspirate. Sets the right tone.
My avatar sucks. Please change it. I’d do it myself but I’m afraid of the computer mouse.
Also, that is a legit name and I do play baseball.
Or you could sign in as L E Phant — -or Ellie Phant, as approriate 🙂
It’s the L E Phant for dinner…
All elephants are pachyderms, but not all pachyderms are elephants.
All jungle puns are nom de plumes but not all nom de plumes are jungle puns.
Though I’m a humble Irish Ungulate, shouldn’t that be “noms de plume”?
You are absolutely and unequivocally correct, sir. That one slipped through the net, and I heartily congratulate you for bringing to my attention. It is as absurd as saying Tour de Frances. At this rate I’ll soon be misplacing apostrophe’s.
Obadiah Horseflesh is “bona fide?” OK, sounds legit. I’m sure his fawning over you was completely on the up-and-up and not written by one of your mates.
I’m a fan of both your work and Elvis’, but you both seem like real wankers in real life. Wish you could both get over yourselves.
I’ve got 15 reviews on Amazon UK, and I’ve never had 15 mates, ever! The review cited is from a ‘verified purchaser’ I’d love to know who he is, the ‘tag’ on Amazon locates him in Pangbourne. (I only ever knew one person in Pangbourne and it can’t be him, because he moved on a long time ago.) I enthusiatically quoted “Mr Horseflesh” because I’ve heard many comments in the past from people who’ve never ‘got it’, so I’m still relieved to find another one who does. …Though such people are generally accused of being ‘me’ regardless. I wrote Rough Notes so I could say what still needed to be said, including the more conciliatory passages. I really think I’m over having my Oscar demolished — or being called “Bryce”, or being cropped off photos! You may well be right about me still being a wanker, though, so I thank you for your timely reprimand, “Trey Buck”, (which I’m almost certain isn’t a bona fide name, unless you’re a baseball player). But Rough Notes is a much a tribute to Peter Green’s unique songwriting and wonderful guitar playing as anything else you care to find in it.
Me too. I’m Bruce Thomas.
Then I must be Spartacus.
I must confess it was me…I’ve just been hold back my eloquent and well thought out writing skills for years now. Mystery solved.
nounBrit. vulgar slang
a person who masturbates (used as a term of abuse).
To confer the status of wanker upon an individual is open to interpretation, as the insult is used as a catch-all category to include fools, buffoons, bastards, idiots, jerks, morons, retards, twats, Socialists, etc. They’re all wankers – the lot of ’em. The cop who caught you speeding, the politician you just saw on TV, those insipid tosspots moaning about global warming. …All wankers.
some closet dictionary makers around here! 😉
Your wanker laundry list brought to mind the great Harvey Korman-Slim Pickens scene in ‘Blazing Saddles’.
If something is true in one place, it’s got to be true in another. Good call though.
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