Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Danny Whitten's Legacy

A quick rehearsal last night in preparation for my forthcoming appearance at this year’s Helstock (see blogs passim) wherein I shall be performing as part of revolving-door be-lineupped family ensemble The Arctic Mulleys, having run out of bands of my own to reform over the past decades’ soirées and not having had time to form a new one since the appearance of the Theotrio at last year’s event, after which co-conspirator Mr Wendell stopped returning my calls. I will be performing on the acoustic guitar in support of The Birthday Girl in our customary opening slot – a bit like The Levellers do to herald the start of Beautiful Days, but indoors and with a sight fewer camper vans - after which I shall to retire gracefully to the buffet in order to investigate fully the results of the evening’s entry-by-possession-of-an-interesting-cheese-only admissions policy.
My original suggestion for my appearance was to revive and perform the three song demo which first brought me into the orbit of La Mulley’s main squeeze and paramour Lord Tilkey some years ago. This now ancient and revered artefact consisted of two original songs recorded to cassette tape along with a cover version of Danny Whitten’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” which we knocked out at the end of the session on the basis that he didn’t have a copy of the song, he wanted one, he didn’t know anybody he could tape it off, and I knew how to play it. It seemed a pretty sensible quid pro quo in return for securing his services behind the Tascam four track, on an overdubbed guitar solo, and then on some suitably Eighties synth* - this is exactly the sort of creative endeavour and home recording solution solving that Spotify has put a stop to, I should add.**

When it came to recording IDWTTAI James generously added a plaintive harmony on the chorus which very much enhanced the whole melancholia of the thing and topped the session off nicely. We were in a bit of a rush and so it wasn’t until later that we noticed that in my reverie I had sung (inaccurately as it turns out) “If you wait here just a little bit longer/If you will won’t you listen/to my heart?” and James, not unreasonably, had echoed in a perfect fifth “…if you wait, won’t you listen…” the cumulative effect of which was, when listening back to the beautifully blended vocals in the finished version that we appeared to be singing “If you widdle…”. We should have toured as Charles Hawtrey and Crazy Horse.
*Although to be fair this was in the eighties.

**shakes walking stick at the internet.


1 comment:

James Partridge said...

'appy days...