Bucephalus stairs

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At long last I can reveal what happened when we got together for our first rehearsal last night! Yes, it actually happened! My first time ‘back in the saddle’ with a mike in my hand to sing a tune or two since the early 70s!

To recap, one of our roadies Ralph will be sixty five in late October and at his annual BBQ last August he asked whether we would get back together to play at his ‘birthday bash’. It was late and copious amounts of red wine had been consumed, so I said ‘OK’. Dave and Paul (lead guitar and drums) were keen to get a set together, but Phil our bass player couldn’t commit the time to travel over from Ireland to rehearse so we found a local guy (of a similar age!) who was more than happy to help. As well as having played in bands for many years, he also has a recording studio (audio & visual) at the bottom of his garden (like you do!) which is perfect for practice sessions as I discovered last night.

Dave plays in a duo with a younger lad called Steve who plays keyboard and we picked him up on the way over to Rogers’ place in a village about three miles out of town. Although at this stage he wasn’t going to bring his kit and join in, Dave thought we could use the extra input in November to fill out the sound and then their duo could cater for the rest of the evening. We’re probably only going to get an hours set together I guess. That may well be more than enough for Ralph and his family and friends anyway!

Paul arrived a few minutes later (nothing changes, even after forty years!) and we chatted about our suggested playlist while getting set up. Dave had loaded the songs we had agreed on over lunch with our wives about a month or so back onto an mp3 gizmo (Don’t ask! No moving parts. I’m a technophobe anyway!) so we were soon listening to ‘Paranoid’ ‘Born To Be Wild’; ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’; ‘Dust My Broom’ ; ‘What’s Going On’; ‘Stepping Out’ and ‘Oh Well’.

How did it go? After a few tentative notes, searching for the right key and then remembering where to come in and so on, not too bad really! Very rusty though after all that time, and thankful that I’d taken the trouble to copy down the lyrics (in large print) to arm myself with! Still the three musicians are top notch so we got through most of the songs during the evening. We also tinkered about with ‘Hey Joe’; ‘Crossroads’; ‘Johnny Be Good’ and when we packed up for the night about ten o’clock we were happy with our progress and agreed to get together again soon, perhaps with Steve next time, and to search out a few more likely tracks to cover.

I hope you come back again in September to catch up? Whether we will have had another practice session I don’t know. I was right to keep pushing for us to make a start though, if we need to get fifteen plus songs to performance standard by November we’re going to need to ‘crack on’! Happy days!

Categories: The Long Hard Road