It is nearly Helstock time again, and so The Artist Formerly Known as The Singer and I have been painstakingly putting together a hand-picked band to perform the best in early 70’s (1973, specifically) vintage-style rock, rework prior songwriting triumphs and to play covers of things that we think best exemplify the genre we’ve been inspired by. Or, to put it another way, we’ve phoned up a couple of mates to see if they can get their domestic pass stamped in order to allow them to come out on a week night and make a racket in a rehearsal studio with us.
Having recorded last week’s get together and listened back for A&R purposes, Mr. Wendell and I got together this week for a quick acoustic strum/executive brainstorming session and to fine tune a couple of the guitar solos so that they didn't sound quite so much like someone kicking a banjo down a fire escape. We also played through another old number of ours which marks among its pedigree the combined virtues of being quite short (there’s no middle eight) and having very few chords. We considered that if things went well during the next (and final) rehearsal session we might devote some time to seeing if we could nail this one too, thus enabling us to take our set triumphantly over the magic twenty minute mark. Sadly we haven’t been able to track down our original demo version in the archive*, but the version we did once have was recorded in the back room upstairs at a pub that closed in 1997 and is now a listed building, which gives you some idea of its epoch.
There was a space in the second verse where neither of us could for the life of us remember the missing couplet so we were forced to write a new one, much in the fashion of those guys who go back and remaster their old albums and take the opportunity to fix that bit they never really liked but were forced to include at the time because they’d run out of multitracks/money/bugle or had a tour to be getting on with. At one point we started messing about with a couple of chords that sounded nice together. “Hang on – I’ll record that” said Wendellsteve. He placed a mobile phone on the coffee table. “Off you go” he said.
*Big bag of cassettes under the bed in Steve’s spare room.