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The Rigors Of Life On The Road

And so once again it begins…… “Ah good evening Mr L… tell me, will there be any Stevie Ray Vaughan numbers in your set this evening, I err… understand you have on more than the one occasion partaken in the playing of said Stevie Ray Vaughan numbers…. And what gems of the aforementioned guitarist will you be furnishing us with tonight? ….. For I have made a special trip to witnesseth what I have heard is a great faithful rendition of the -------------------- (please insert favourite version of song here) version of ----------------- (please insert title of favourite SRV song here)?” Or maybe… “How many’s in’t band like? (Asked whilst talking to the entire band) “Three?” (Looks around surrounding area) “Where’s third one then?” (Looking at Jo) “What do you do love? Do you sell T-shirts and all that?” Next follows a stern look from Jo….whilst Rich and me explain that Jo IS the third member of the band. “Aww… right” (pauses, looks slightly confused) “What do you do then… are you one of them backing singers?” Or possibly…. “I thought I would come up and give you my views on this evenings music. My wife and I came along from the blurb we saw written in the program. As a music lover of just about every kind of music and also like yourself, a musician I thought you would appreciate some constructive comments we have about your set. Being a fan for many years of blues guitar playing, I loved the opening to your set with the instrumental you did… although my wife did find it slightly louder than she would have liked. You then played upon the many influences we could hear and did what I could recognise as a very similar number to one I play myself… although a slightly alternative version. Your first set was very good. Now to your second set. From the opening notes of the first song, we were very disappointed. We came expecting blues but after discussing it, both my wife and myself found we could not relate to this altogether noisier and more aggressive sound. You played more chords than I myself would have put into this genre of music. We were also disturbed repeatedly by the people dancing in front of us and singing along to your songs. Sitting at the front, this is not something we are used to. Again, my wife did on more than one occasion comment that is was too loud…. something you may want to address at future evenings. As if all this was not enough, you then took it upon yourself to commence playing cover songs. I have never been a fan of Deep Purple and I hate this song. My wife agrees that your choice of covers was second rate. We should not have to sit through a song like this. We felt we should alert you to these points in order that you can address them for future gigs. Now, if you would like to sign the albums for us,….. thankyou.. We will see you next time” Frequently…. “Is bass player coming separate? Who’s girlfriend are you?” Or what about….. “Ahh yes, I see you have there the erm… classic Jim Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal. I myself have one too, although mine is the slightly more expensive deluxe model that has the extra capacitor added to give a warmer tone. I would highly recommend you to try one. Also, there you have the 50 watt Marshall. What year is it? ….I see, you’re not sure… well what is the serial number, I can tell you from that….. Yes, I believe that year they changed the circuitry on the input stage and were using a different brand of speaker cloth. Mine is a year older with the slightly superior Marshall Logo, I am led to believe this can improve the sound. Maybe I will bring it along for you to try when you’re next in the area. Can I ask what brand of strings you are using? ….. ahh… I haven’t tried those. I use the Jimi Hendrix signature series. I think you would really like them. I have one more question which you may be able to help with. Well, I was playing along to my tapes the other day in my dining room…. I normally use the living room but my other half was watching Eastenders so had to keep the volume down somewhat , I found I was having quite a hard time getting the same sound as what Hendrix has on his albums. I was a bit miffed to say the least, especially as I have the same equipment. Is this something you come up against very often?” Maybe this one…… “Liked your stuff mate…… I’m a songwriter aswell… similar to your stuff. Give us your mobile number and maybe we could do some stuff together…. Actually, I’ll give you mine………. there you are mate, I’ve wrote my address down aswell so you can send me some stuff. Just drop us some of your ideas in the post and I’ll see what I can do with ‘em. I’ve worked wiv a few people and one bloke the other day said I should be on telly. Tell you what, giz a ring, and we’ll try it out at the local…. They got an open mike night at The Bull every Monday. I’ll be there anyway, coz I’m usually set up opposite from about midday. Made £26 last week.. Get there, ‘bout 7….just tell ‘em your wiv me, no probs" Or just simply…. “Can I have your mobile number? My son plays guitar and actually plays some of your songs… in fact he’s even better than you… got it all down you know. I was thinking I could arrange for him to sit in with you, If you write your number down, I will give you a bell on it” OH YES....NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

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