Last weekend we went to the Haynes Motor Museum and one of the exhibits is a Ford 100e, I had the Popular once. In fact I drove it from London to Yorkshire with John from Doncaster, it smoked a lot (in the cabin) but got there. I know it was the only car that I have ever sold for more than I bought but beyond that I can’t remember a thing about it; why I had it, what I did with. I can remember nothing more about it.
John was the last person I remember playing ‘music’ with regularly, in his flat above Crouch End High Street. He had one of those funny Kramer basses with a metal neck, but then John was and still is into metal.
This was a very long time ago.
And when I try to look further back I try to work out how as a teenager I would move a Marshall 4×12 cab around, this was an early one, before they became square even. I seem to remember acquiring some shopping trolley wheels somehow, I’m not certain supermarkets had been invented then, so I’ve no idea how this happened. Anyway it was massively heavy and in those days I wasn’t but somehow I managed to transport this cab down to the hanger where we practiced. Father was in the RAF and also made pragmatic decisions.
Music was important to me, and in the mid 70’s I played in a band which I named ‘The Teeming Morons’ – even then I was partial to a bit of Country and Western. Nigel the drummer had a Moggy van and the half-shafts would break on the way back from gigs, I’ve no idea how we got home when this happened. I can’t work out how we got the gear in the van, it’s all a blur.
We tipped up to our first proper gig in a Triumph Stag driven by Coppo’s hot mum. I think she wore a pin-striped trouser suit. A Teddy Boy danced on the pool table as we played that gig, I’ve a feeling we decamped to my house for sherry and Angel Delight that night, hey, it was the 70s.
I can well remember Fleagle, one of the sixth formers, coming to school with a Zenit 35mm camera with an impossibly long lens. It was all terribly impressive but it was the geeky boys who were into photography then, even though in retrospect carrying a Zenit around would have been marginally less difficult that the Marshall with the Laney all valve head.
So photography would have been the pragmatic choice for me but at the time music it was and photography would have to wait.
Last week Will from Noble Jacks called me up from Brighton. They were visiting the Phoenix in Exeter and needed someone to photograph the event (he had clearly heard that I owned a Zenit with an impossibly long lens). So that was Karin and I sorted for a Saturday night then, Karin who had just returned from Zurich after her European tour announcing that she needed a Fender Jazz bass. Yes, she had successfully traversed the treacherous Need-Want Pass whilst in Switzerland.
Noble Jacks? Belting. I’d watched a video of them prior to the gig, briefly wondered about wearing some tweed too but I knew it was going to be hot and I wasn’t disappointed. Really fantastic.