Monday, March 03, 2014

Moby Dave.

Friends, pray serve my indulgence as I reproduce a heretofore un-blogged excerpt from All These Little Pieces (down in price to £4.99 for the paperback, everybody!) regarding Songs from The Blue House's appearance at The Cornbury Festival in 2006, at the behest of The Word magazine. There's a post script on this occasion.     
We are unwashed and slightly dazed the next morning when a dishevelled denim-clad fellow staggers toward us as we are drinking tea outside our tent, which is parked to the rear of the backstage area at the festival. “Hello” he introduces himself “I’m John Bonham’s son - Ravin’ Dave’s the name. I was here last night - s’posed to play drums with Plant, he’s known me since I was this high”. He waves an unsteady hand somewhere aroung knee level. “Thing is, I’ve flown in from fackin’ New York last night. I was in Barbados yesterday, got a gig tonight in Glasgow and now I’m in fackin’ Oxfordshire. I don’t know where the fack I am” - this much is clearly true, at least spiritually if not geographically.

“I was s’posed to play drums” he continues “But Robert took one look at me and says “You’re jet lagged - you can’t play, but can our drummer use your kit?””. Robert Plant, it is inferred, has remembered to bring his own mixing desk but seems to have forgotten to bring a drum kit. Lucky that Ravin’ Dave’s roadie was there in time, eh? That’s what we thought. “Where’s my coffee?” Our passing soundman has been persuaded to grab a couple of reviving hot drinks from catering for the tired and emotional alleged offspring of erstwhile rock legend ‘Bonzo’. “Back in the day, yes, I was heavyweight boxing champion of Great Britain you know” he continues apropos of nothing. We are aware that a line of security men are observing from a safe distance and chuckling visibly to each other.

“You know what’s unusual about me?” We can’t think of a safe answer to this and so decline to answer at all. There follows a long and involved monologue about the South African security services and how Ravin’ Dave was unfairly incarcerated under the same laws that put Nelson Mandela away - “...and poor old Steve...” Dave shakes his head sadly “...of course he never made it. Can I buy a fag off yer, I fackin’ hate rollies”. His rather damp and sad-looking cigarette is indeed hanging unloved and unlit in his hand.

There is further discussion around his consumption of drugs and alcohol over the previous twenty four hours, and indeed forty two years. “I’ve got an interview with Kate from The Guardian” he mumbles, and gestures to indicate where his drinks are to be delivered. ‘Kate from The Guardian’ seems to resemble nothing so much as a startled and rather nervous looking gentleman, who spares us a pleading look as we make eye contact. An idea seems to occur to Dave - “You’re beautiful” he announces to one of our party “I bet you’ve got a beautiful body - do you want to go skinny-dipping in the lake?” Rock Mum Helen politely demurs. Dave senses that he has outstayed his welcome. “What the fack did I say that for?” he wonders out loud. No-one can provide a cogent answer and so he gathers what remain of his wits about him and stumbles off. The guys on security are still chuckling contentedly to themselves.
So anyway, James did the sound for Deborah Bonham on Saturday last and asked her if she by any chance had a nephew called Dave. Apparently she hasn't. We were pretty sure that was the case, but the confirmation prompted a momentary frisson in both of us anyway. Presumably there's an LA club doorman somewhere still wondering if that guy that night really was the drummer from Coldplay. If you're reading, sir, that was the night my mate Steve tried it on.  

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