Music has been a major element of my life ever since I was a boy and over the years I developed into a singer-songwriter-guitarist. Today, aged 59, I can look back on hundreds of gigs, some good, some bad, as well as a few albums, and although I still do concerts very occasionally, it's just me with an acoustic, singing quieter and more reflective songs instead of the in-your-face power Britpop I used to sing with my bands.
Anyway, an old friend of mine has a son and I bought him a drum kit for his 10th birthday. That was 12 years ago, when he would come round to my place and watch my band rehearse. He loved it!
Now 22, he plays in an amateur three-piece dark metal band. Charmingly enough, he still uses some elements of the kit I bought him - toms and floor tom essentially - because he likes their rather crude sound. He says it suits their music. A couple of months ago he came round to my apartment with his guitarist who, upon seeing my guitars lying around, suggested that we sing a couple of acoustic numbers together. Sure. Beers, jamming and good fun all round.
To cut a long story short they invited me to guest for them at a private party they were giving for about 6-7 songs of my choice. I accepted, we did one six-hour rehearsal, and the evening went very well. Then they asked me to play at a gig they were doing at one of Lyon's better-known venues, so I accepted that too, although I insisted that we didn't rehearse too much because a) they are too inexperienced to stick to tight arrangements on blues-rock music, which they don't know very well, and b) because I wanted to keep the rough 'jam' edge to proceedings.
There were a lot of people at this gig and, surprisingly enough, the set went down extremely well! So well in fact that a couple of other venues whose owners were there asked us to play for them too. Good grief! They invited a near-old age pensioner?! What was supposed to be a one-off bit of fun had taken on another signfication. Wo'ever, as we say in Britain, it was a lot of fun and we were asked to stay on stage and play with some other musicians with me singing as they were doing Anglo-Saxon rock covers. Great fun it was, although I had no voice left at the end.
Here are some pix of that evening, taken by a photographer girlfriend of theirs. Enjoy.
(Please note that all her photos are copyright so please email me if you wish to use them for any reason.)
|Old rocker meets young granny-eating bass player|
|Eat yer heart out Motorhead!|
|Guitarists hangin' out an' havin' fun|
|Bassist falls asleep on the job|
|"Hey sound guy, what happened to my foldback monitor!?"|
|Taking the worl.. euhh, Franc.. umm, I mean a rock venue by storm|
|Can someone tell him that you sing INTO a mike, and not next to it?|
|Even cleaned my shoes for the occasion|
|Hardly the dynamism of Aerosmith but we ARE havin' fun, honest|
So there we have it. There's a kind of poetic and wheel-turns-full-circle element to this story. I mean, I offer an instrument to a kid who used to love watching me play and pestered me to let him strum my guitar strings, that inspires him to become a musician, and he ends up years later inviting the old 'un to play for him. Heartwarming stuff indeed.
Oh, and did we accept the gig offers? Yup, we did. Seems old rockers never retire.....
Have a good day everyone.