Thursday, May 27, 2004

the French connection

We’re cracking on apace. Only two more days before the first gig of my new band “Mike Da Hat and friends”. Some wag commented, “That’s rich! You’ve actually got friends?” Tonight we rehearsed at Sandra’s until she called it a day before the crazy old woman downstairs threw a wobbler and started hitting the ceiling with her walking stick. We tried to tone it down a tad, but, when you’re getting into one, it’s hard not to just go for it. Especially when we’re practicing the thrash bit of Free bird.
Thump thump thump.
Shit!
Sandra is in trouble at work. And it’s all my fault. I don’t normally swear much in real life but in my writing I call it like it is. If someone swears like a trooper I will write it just as they say it. So she was at work and in a spare moment thought she’d have a snoop at my blog. The automated webmaster, der fuehrer of the internet, interceded
With a message about obscene language, and came up with a warning. It reminded me of that film starring Sly Stallone and Sandra Bullock where he is automatically fined for every incident of swearing. An automatic written warning will arrive on her desk in two days time. Scary huh? I suppose it’s to stop the workers downloading pornography and pictures of naked children in provocative poses onto the firms mainframe. But my blog? I’m not sure whether to be chuffed to bits that my material is dangerous enough, controversial enough, to contravene the public decency laws or disgusted that I am being tarred with the same brush as pornographers.

I have a new toy. It’s my new computer that Danny built me for very little money. OK nothing special about a new PC but this one has a huge 120gb hard drive filled up with a library of 12,000 songs, all CD quality. He’s even stuck in a DVD writer so I can create my own CD’s for the car when I’m cruising. According to the PC if I started playing all the songs today it would still have a few more days of playing to go a month from today. Incredible. That’s approximately just over 800 hours of music.
So now I have a PC/ jukebox in my flat. Think of a song, type it in, by either Artist or title, and push the button, up it comes. I’m listening to a selection of the Rolling Stones right now on continuous play. Fool to cry.
Someone said the other day “What do you want 12,000 songs for?”
Well I don’t really, but as a musician it’s a reference library. For instance tonight we decided that we were going to put Chris Isacks “Wicked game” into the set. I thought I’d have a listen. Typed it in and up it came. Bill Withers “Aint no sunshine” just the same. It’s so useful and convenient. Before I used to have to go round all my friends and ask them if they had a copy of a song so I could listen to it. Get off of my cloud.
ON my old computer I could burn a CD in about forty minutes. This new one will do a 70 minute CD in 6 minutes flat. And with blanks at 10p each……. I rest my case.

I got a phone call from a friend of mine this morning, it was Frederic Becognau, a film camera man for Canal 5 in France. Gimme shelter. His son is in England at the moment and could I check up on him? Sure, no problem, except he’s in Exeter and that’s gotta be three hours away. So he’s invited me to his wedding. He’s marrying a good friend of mine a French Artist from Brittany. I wonder if he needs a band for his wedding reception. Two years ago I was going to blow this gaff and go and live in France. But the shit hit the fan and it all fell through. I’d even got a job as a manager of an Art gallery. Such a shame, chances like that don’t happen every day. But that’s another story. Satisfaction.

On one of my regular trips to France a few years ago we went to support a friend of ours at a gig in Carhaix, Brittany. We were guests of honour and given a slap up feast, then my friends went on stage to play their set. I stood in the Audience watching when patric announced an interval he came of stage for a beer and we stood talking. He said “Mikel you’re on next.”
”What I haven’t brought my guitar.” Honky tonk women.
“No problem. I ‘ave brought you one from Paris.”
“But I don’t know what to play.”
“You play anything. My band is a good band they play anything.”
So he dragged me up on stage. I was really nervous. 400 in the crowd. What do I play? I remembered “Back to the future”.
“OK Boys a blues riff in E. Just follow me for the lead breaks.”
I went into one. Jesus H Christ! The crowd went wild. We played and played. One by one his band got tired and walked off stage leaving just patric and me. Eventually at three in the morning the manager said “Ca suffit!” That’s enough we want to go home now. We came off stage. All these young girls came running up to me asking for my autograph. They were screaming “Anglais Anglais” All I could think off was “I’m just a bleedin’ shop keeper I ain’t nothing special.” I signed a few autographs just to keep them happy. Bloody hell! They thought I was famous. Poor disillusioned fools. If only they knew the truth. Because I used to love her but it’s all over now.
I had loads of Adventures in France. One day we were on the beach, my artist friend was sitting next to me stark naked and her friend the same. My Artist was painting a beach scene and no one took any notice. I sat there real cool like in my clothes because Martine (my artiste) had told me “Mikel you are so white you should not take off your vetements. Wait until le soleil is low.” So I sat there next to two very cute naked French girls scanning the horizon. When my eyes lit upon this one girl in the middle of the beach wrapped in a beach towel trying to get changed. Let’s spend the night together. I noticed that every male eye was on her. Strange, because there was loads of naked women on the beach. But this one girl was wrapped in a towel. I must have felt what every other man felt that day. Please God make that towel slip. Christ I was sitting right next to two beautiful naked women, but this one girl struggling under a towel had everyones attention. It made me realise that if a girl wants attention she doesn’t have to be naked. She has to make the guys want her naked and tease them. If she had stripped off on the beach no one would have even taken a second glance, but because she was trying to hide herself, everyone was eyes front. On stalks. I could tell you stories all night but I guess I’d better sleep now. Little red rooster. And so it goes.

May your God be with you
Rock on dudes

Mikel

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