Steve Pearce posted this on my FB wall today. There are many tales from these gigs, and they will be trickle-fed over the next few months, though their origin will not always be identified.
There is one tale that I will tell today, however: the one of how I got away with not being able to read music on what was a reading gig!
As you can see from the video, we’re all reading from scores. Mike wanted to recreate the recording exactly: not always a good plan, but an ambitious one and in this case it worked.
When I got the call for this I was signed to the same label as Mike (Warners) and it turned out that we were both flying to Hamburg for a record company bash a fortnight before the rehearsals were due to start.
I arranged for his “man” (all artists have a “man”: more on this particular “man” later. Suffice to say that the “man” is the gatekeeper, controller of access and dispenser of grace and favour… or its opposites!) to bring a copy of the score for me along with a cassette of the album so I could “have a quick look at it” before rehearsals.
Thank God I did: my reading was appalling at the time and I would have been found out horribly on day 1 of rehearsal!
The scores had been generated by an early computer-scoring system and I subsequently found out that hardened readers would describe it as “shocking” at best, but I knew nothing of this: all I knew was that the incomprehensible squiggles on the page served as an aide memoire once I had listened through. I am a quick ear-learner: one listen and I’ve got it usually, and this was no exception.
I’ve still got my score from these gigs: I’ll scan it and post a couple of pages sometime.
The main problems on this gig were:
Hmmm, which tales to tell? Alan Limbrick; are you quaking in your boots? Hartley? Janto? The Cottle Brothers (no, not the circus ones, though at times…) Hugh Burns and the night in Spain when he tested my theory that you get a better night’s sleep if you go to the bar after the gig than if you go straight to bed? Alasdair Molloy, classical percussionist and caveman who out-rocked the rockers?
Watch this space…