Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mike Da Hats Art Appreciation Masterclass

A local publican came to the shop today to see me.
"Hey Mike do you want to come to a barbecue I'm having.  I'm holding it on the roof of the pub and I'm inviting a select group of friends, so what are you doing on the 14th August.  You can bring your other half. Oh yes Del and Tony and there wives are invited too. Bring your guitars we'll have a bit of music a laugh and some good grub."
"So you want my band to come to your barbecue?"
"Yeah as mates, you know."
Cheeky sod! What he wants is for us to play for nothing all night and entertain his friends for him.
Anyway I had a look at our on-line diary and found...........
"Sorry mate we're playing  at The Swiss Cottage that night.  I'd have loved to have come."
Which is actually true. I really would have loved to play at his barbecue, even for nothing. But I know Tony and Del would not be so enthusiastic, for different reasons. Tony because he is a self confessed mercenary and Del because he is hard up for cash and would prefer to work for a wage rather than a beef burger.
That's not to say we don't ever play for nothing. We often do. I've lost count of the charity events we've played at. But even that isn't totally altruistic because doing favours for people has got us a fair bit of lucrative work.  This weekends music festival for one. We played for nothing as a favour one day and so now it's payback time the organiser is charging £5 a head entrance and ticket sales have been very good so we're going to get a generous pay off this time.  Especially as we're the headline act.

Just had a call from a musician friend  of mine who is a drummer. But he also plays keyboard.  He's converting some of his house into a recording studio.  His partner is a nationally famous clairvoyant working all round the country playing town halls and the like giving demonstrations of her uncanny powers.  He's going to be producing CD's of mood music and meditation music for her.  Needless to say I offered my services.  But somehow a chunky mandolin sound wont really work when someone is trying out self hypnosis.  Maybe we could fit in the gentle guitar stylings of Mike Da Hat.  GOD! Don't you just hate that phrase/ word "stylings".  I first came across it when I was going to art galleries working for Martine Cotten my french Artist friend.  Some French dude had a poster proclaining "the Artistic stylings of Jean Lagadec." But I suppose it's marginally better than having a  poster saying "come and look at these pix what I jus' done."
Another artist friend of mine David Holmes, God! I hope he doesn't read this, painted abstract pictures. I'd be walking past his gaff and he'd call me in. "Come and have a look in the studio Mike."
I'd go in and there'd be a load of canvasses all over the place on easels, leaning against the walls, on the floor and stacked in piles. To tease him I usually asked which were the ones that were finished.  I never could make head or tail of any of them. One I remember well was a four foot by three canvas mounted vertically on which was painted three circles two blue and one yellow and then a huge rectangle of brown.  I asked what it was supposed to be. "Isn't it obvious?"
"No not really."
"Well it's a birds eye view of a beach near St Ives in Cornwall. That blue circle represents the sky that one the sea and the yellow is the beach. Now do you see it?"
"I guess so the big brown rectangle is the cliffs?"
"Exactly I'll make an art lover of you yet."
I don't think I ever actually told him they were rubbish. But the scary thing is he actually sold this stuff and made quite a good living at it. So someone must have liked it.  Although I go by "The Emperors clothes" theory on art. If you're told often enough that something is good you'll end up believing it. Although personally I usually end up taking the part of the stupid boy in that story.  I don't care how often I'm told something is good if it's crap it stays crap in my eyes.  Here endeth Mike Da Hats master class on art appreciation

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