Tuesday 4 October 2011

Birthday Party

This weekend my friend and ex-rock-star Troy Tate celebrated his 60th birthday. It was a fairly self indulgent party with 3 bands playing, he played with every single band. I played, and was part-time soundman. 3 snippets of conversation have stayed with me from the night:

Sad but true
The scratch band that Troy put together just for the night was completely wonderful, I could have listened to them all night. Our own Barry "Fender Precision" Fender joined them on bass and did admirably for a man who didn't know all the songs. Troy was 60, most of the rest of the band were pushing that. I was watching rapt with my friend Paulo, we're both sneaking up on 40. I said to Paulo "do you think we'll be this good in 20 years?". He looked back at the stage and listened for a few more bars and turned back to me smiling and said "No".

Sage advice
When I was being the soundman a man came up to me and said "That advice you gave me, that was the most useful thing anybody has ever said to me" which was a surprise because I had no recollection of ever having met him before. Instead of "Who the hell are you?" I managed to say "You'll have to remind me what I said". It turns out that he sings in a band and I'd given him a very quick lesson in microphone technique. I can now just about remember talking to him, and I fear that what I actually told him was "that mic doesn't work by the power of the fucking mind - you need to sing right into the front of it".

Vocal microphones have a tendency to pick up moisture, saliva, and even food particles out of the breath, and can, over time develop a certain odour. As she left, the girl singer out of my band spoke the most wonderful sentence. Note the playful use of a proper noun as a verb, the brevity, the expressiveness, the wonderful simile, and the imagery: "this week can you Dettol my mic, it smells like arseholes."

Richard "Dettol" B

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