The experiences of a musician for hire are the same the world over. A never ending uncertainty concerning every single gig and added to that a general scense of weirdness surrounding almost every gig. Here's a tale that gives you a taste.
Once a year on the 15th of December I get a phone call. The man on the other end of the line is a fat, very wealth restaurateur who never has any idea who I am despite the fact the fact he has called me every year on this exact date for the last 5 years.
“ Hi is This ahhh how do you say your name, Kynan, is it” he says with the sort of tone that comes from a man who has always been pigeonholed as a jolly fellow.
“yes it is , hi Alf good to speak to you again”
“Ah good, hi Kynan, you don’t know me , Adam Simmons gave me your number. You see we have a new years bash at my house every year, lots of fun, my wife likes to have a brass band at it, I want Adam Simmons but it seems he’s very busy, he’s very good that guy I love listening to him. Anyway he tells me you might be able to organise something. Is that something you could do. Get my wife a brass band for my New Years bash.”
“Good good good, now get some trumpets saxophones drums the whole lot play some music, have a drink you’ll love it. Now I want American Patrol – you know that song Da Da Da dumda da. Of course you know it, the wife loves it so play that oh and also the Peter Gun tune play that. I don’t care what else you play. Actually if you just want to play those two and just keep playing them that’s fine with me, especially that Peter Gun. What do you play?”
“Oh right oh, ok, bring one of those along…and some drums saxophones, oh I’m sure you know what your doing, just get American Patrol OK. Right see you then but 11.”
And the phone goes dead.
This conversation isn’t all that dissimilar to any other weird gig promoter who has his own delusional ideas of what makes a great event except that it comes around like clockwork every year, word for word, and no matter what I try to do each year big Alf blocks me out of his memory without blocking the routine.
So I make a few phone calls get a baritone sax, a trumpet, and two marching band drummers and we show up to his mansion at about 11.00 on new years.
The party atmosphere is unchanging from year to year, about 15 people sitting around looking fairly unenthused despite the surrounding madness. When we enter the house pushing past the collection of choristers that are lining the staircase getting ready for their set Alf come s striding up , arm outstretched, huge feathers sticking out of what must be regarded in some quarters as a hat, shirt open revealing the grey haired mat on his leather chest.
“You must be Kynan” he bellows.
“Yep the same as last year”
“Right heres the routine after the choir finishes you guys come on for about an hour set, that be right with you? Great what do you think of my hat. I got this this at the set of Pricilla Queen of the dessert. I’ll put my fire mans hat on in a while. Help yourself to anything, You want to come out and see my Lamborghini? What do you think of my chandelier, had it imported from Italy I hate it. I’ve got some costumes I want you to wear, go get changed in that spare bedroom. The chandelier cost me thousands, hundreds of thousand, the wife wanted it. See you when your ready.” Even with his huge fat voice he still has to speak louder than usual to bellow over the police bagpipe and drum band he has performing in the kitchen. This seems like no place for a police outfit unless you were wearing a skirt which this ones conveniently are.
Same drill as last year which we follow to the letter.
And come out charging determined to blow the 15 drowsily drunk guests off there feet. We start with a calypso number which on its conclusion draws an immediate response from Alf
“Alright boys enough of that just give us American Patrol followed by Peter Gun and loudly.”
So we do for the next hour at which stage it is the comedians turn.
When its over Alf stuffs wads of 50 and 100 dollar bills into my hand tells me he loves it. And says. I don’t think we’ll bother with that Adam Simmons next year, we’ll just get you.
Lats night I played a gig with one of the most unusual pop bands I've ever experienced
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