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A near miss

A virtual pub for off topic, light hearted pub related banter and discussion. No trainers
NomoneyNohoney
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A near miss

#338797

Postby NomoneyNohoney » September 7th, 2020, 5:03 pm

We go through life, and as the years pile on, the number of unanswered questions mounts up.
"What would have happened if..."

"Why did I do this or that?"

"Did I really drink 10 pints a night, on a night out?"

"Did I really meet the Dalai Lama on an Underground train?"( Not on one of those nights out, I stress! he wasn't a drinker...)


Anyway, for about 50 years, I've had a feeling that once upon a time, I saw the Mar Keys, Otis Redding's backing group, at a club in Forest Gate, near Ilford, Essex. The club was called The Uppercut, and was owned by an ex-boxer called Billy Walker.
I remember not being very impressed, and had a vague feeling it was during the afternoon, so there was no ambience or suchlike, and I feel I might have left quite quickly.

Now, for all my life I've loved Otis Redding's songs, have collected as many of his albums as I can find, and the other day, got a new (to me) album called "Otis Redding Live in London and Paris 1967" Great album, and look what I found in the notes that accompanied the album:

https://imgur.com/a/fuyAfpJ

Don't tell me I was that close to seeing someone live that I've enjoyed for 50 years or so since, and didn't know at the time? What an incredible near miss. Maybe the Mar Keys were on doing some songs, and then Otis joined them later? Don't know but another story for my collection of whimsical tales, to rival my other classic, "How I visited Mexico For Just An Hour."

bungeejumper
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Re: A near miss

#338894

Postby bungeejumper » September 8th, 2020, 9:45 am

I can't match that, but my brush with musical fame was also interesting in its own way, although not so anonymous. It was 1972, and I was studying in West Berlin (as a foreign study year), and five of my fellow students flew up from Munich to spend a few days letting me guide them round the city. Yes,they were all female, which raised a few eyebrows among my disapproving neighbours. ;)

So one quiet afternoon we dropped by at a bar on the southern outskirts of the city, and there at the piano was the bluesman Memphis Slim, just tinkling away quietly at the ivories in the corner and getting gently into the mood with a few beers. I'd known he was doing a few nights there, but I hadn't expected to find him on the premises during daylight hours. There was hardly anybody else in the place. He seemed a bit lonely really.

So I bought him a beer, and then a couple more, and we chatted (though not particularly about music) and he played a few requests for us. It was all a bit of coup for my personal cred really, what with these five gorgeous girls and all. ;)

Then he silently beckoned me over to the piano. "How much for all of them," he asked me? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Much later, I realised that the previous week he had laid down one of his all-time greatest performances at the Montreux jazz festival, and that he was then heading off to Paris for a film venture. Oh wow, the questions I'd have liked to ask him.

BJ

genou
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Re: A near miss

#339037

Postby genou » September 8th, 2020, 4:46 pm

NomoneyNohoney wrote: "How I visited Mexico For Just An Hour."


Cracking story about Otis. I have a theory about how that bit works - I've been to Switzerland for a quick lunch.

NomoneyNohoney
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Re: A near miss

#339184

Postby NomoneyNohoney » September 9th, 2020, 10:39 am

Having tantalised you with the title, "How I visited Mexico For Just An Hour." and Genou hazarding a guess at the circumstances, I'd quite like to explain what it was all about.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, (in the mid 1990s, to be precise) I made friends with an American author. I disagreed with something he'd written, wrote and told him so, and a dialogue and long-distance friendship ensued. He visited me in the UK when he was in Europe, and I went to stay with him and his wife in Arizona for a couple of weeks, and a good time was had by all.

A couple of years went by, and as my enthusiasm for my job waned, it coincided with my employers thinking they'd be better off without me. They made me what they termed 'redundant,' to get rid of me, gave me a month and a half wages as statutory redundancy, and another couple of months money to cushion the blow. Little did they know I'd been working on a job offer that wouldn't open for a couple of months, and was just waiting to put in my notice, so their redundancy was manna from heaven, beating me to the punch. Free money!

I left with a bulging wallet, and then phoned my friend in the States. "Hey Lou, you remember saying I could visit again any time? How about in two weeks or so? "

My friend was really excited to hear I'd be visiting, he promised to pick me up from the airport and casually asked how long I'd be coming for? "Six weeks," I replied, "I've got the airline tickets booked and everything." All of a sudden his enthusiasm flat-lined, and he mumbled, "six weeks, did you say?" That's when the cold water hit me, and I realised the vibes had suddenly deadened. Unfortunately, I had already foolishly booked the tickets, so I was stuck with it, and he was stuck with me.

I flew out and received a warm welcome, he and his wife were charming hosts, but after a couple of weeks I sensed that I was getting in their way, so I said that I'd always wanted to visit Mexico, and would be away for at least a couple of weeks. They both brightened up considerably, their eyes sparkled, so I started to put together a cheap trip.

I hired a car from a company called Rent-a-Wreck (it was the name that sold me on them, I thought it was such a hoot!) and set off. I'd driven most of the morning in 100 degrees plus heat, and then the air conditioning in the car started to blow smoke out the vents. Easy to avoid - I turned off the A/c and left the windows open. However fast I went, however loud I played the Pink Floyd,(my only tape,) it was still like suffocating in a pizza oven. :(

I had a couple of days of aimless driving around, but finally headed to the USA / Mexican border, to a town called Nogales. At immigration, there were big pens made from what looked like 1” round steel bars, then after your passport had been checked, you could walk down a corridor formed from these bars, and then enter Mexico. I’d left the car parked in a supermarket car park, as I wanted to recce first, and then find out from Rent A Wreck, if it was allowed to take a hire car into another country.
I emerged blinking in the harsh Mexican sunlight (which was the same as the American sunlight, except that I’d been threading down dark corridors, aiming towards Mexico) and casually walked along the street.

There were a couple of guys on a corner, propped up on the walls, and as I ambled towards them, I realised they were all dressed like Fonzi from ‘Happy Days’ – leather jackets, or jeans jackets, tight jeans, and quiffs. I swear, as I approached, one took out a knife and used it to clean his nails. I’m afraid that my bravery level fell, as my fear rose.
I walked as nonchalantly as I could past them, fearing a knife in the back at any moment, and then walked down a few streets, with my panic and discomfort levels rising. Everywhere here seemed to be small groups of men, just standing around shooting the breeze and watch the world – me! – go by. I really felt that I was a walking wallet, with a target painted on my back.
After about 40 minutes of exploring this impoverished part of town, I’d had enough. I went back through immigration, rescued my Rent-a-Wreck from the car park, and headed off for more adventures in America. I went to California, and spent a few weeks trying to live as cheaply as possible, until I felt I’d left my friends enough clear space, and I headed back to Arizona, to finish out my trip.
What makes me smile in retrospect, is that I had with me an 8mm handheld video camera. I have videos of all over America on that trip, but Mexico? Nothing, nada – I guess I must have been too petrified to show I had an expensive consumer goods item. Wonder why? Anyway, that explains how I visited Mexico for less than an hour. Sorry if it’s not what you expected Genou!

PS. When I turned the car in to Rent A Wreck, and explained that for weeks I'd been driving around in unbearable heat, unable to use the aircon because of smoke, the desk clerk said, "Oh, didn't we mention that? It smokes for a couple of minutes, then clears up and works fine afterwards." Thanks a lot pal.

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Re: A near miss

#340300

Postby Clariman » September 14th, 2020, 9:28 pm

Maybe not quite the same, but I was on a business trip to California with a large group and one asked if anyone else fancied going to hear some jazz in San Francisco. He had heard it was a good line up. I was impressed when I found out at the gig that included John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana. :)

kiloran
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Re: A near miss

#340301

Postby kiloran » September 14th, 2020, 9:38 pm

Clariman wrote:Maybe not quite the same, but I was on a business trip to California with a large group and one asked if anyone else fancied going to hear some jazz in San Francisco. He had heard it was a good line up. I was impressed when I found out at the gig that included John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana. :)

Was it this performance at the Fillmore?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRMzVMe18cA

If so, I am green with envy. One of my absolute favourites. JLH, Santana, Paul Butterfield, Elvin Bishop

--kiloran

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: A near miss

#340302

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » September 14th, 2020, 9:42 pm

Many years ago I used to go to play snooker in Cannock with my Dad and a couple of other guys. One evening as we walked up the steel stairway to get to the room I heard a musical din from about 400 yds away.

"What the hell is that noise?" I asked.

Dad smiled and said "It's Slade they practice just up the road".

To this day I have no idea if he was taking the smeg or not

AiY

Clariman
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Re: A near miss

#340305

Postby Clariman » September 14th, 2020, 9:50 pm

kiloran wrote:
Clariman wrote:Maybe not quite the same, but I was on a business trip to California with a large group and one asked if anyone else fancied going to hear some jazz in San Francisco. He had heard it was a good line up. I was impressed when I found out at the gig that included John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana. :)

Was it this performance at the Fillmore?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRMzVMe18cA

If so, I am green with envy. One of my absolute favourites. JLH, Santana, Paul Butterfield, Elvin Bishop

--kiloran

I'm not sure if that was it. I'm pretty sure it was in 1990, possibly May? Yes I think it was at the Fillmore. I think there was also a band called something like the Coast to Coast Jazz band or maybe West Coast band?

didds
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Re: A near miss

#340347

Postby didds » September 15th, 2020, 8:31 am

NomoneyNohoney wrote:Don't know but another story for my collection of whimsical tales, to rival my other classic, "How I visited Mexico For Just An Hour."



PLEASE!

Update : aha!

didds
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Re: A near miss

#340349

Postby didds » September 15th, 2020, 8:38 am

I've not had any such luck, but my wife has several times.

Including the day she got home from work to hear the neighbours playing Fairport Convention, loudly enough to hear but not over loud. It didnt quite sound like the albums she had so she popped round to ask what album or bootleg they werre playing.

It was Fairport Convention.

Oh and the time she and a friend were out on a motorbike and stopped in a village to rest. They could hear rock music coming from the local church so they went inside to see what was going on.

Led Zep practising. So they stayed to listen at LZ's invitation

didds

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Re: A near miss

#340538

Postby sloth » September 16th, 2020, 6:20 am

Clariman wrote:
kiloran wrote:
Clariman wrote:Maybe not quite the same, but I was on a business trip to California with a large group and one asked if anyone else fancied going to hear some jazz in San Francisco. He had heard it was a good line up. I was impressed when I found out at the gig that included John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana. :)

Was it this performance at the Fillmore?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRMzVMe18cA

If so, I am green with envy. One of my absolute favourites. JLH, Santana, Paul Butterfield, Elvin Bishop

--kiloran

I'm not sure if that was it. I'm pretty sure it was in 1990, possibly May? Yes I think it was at the Fillmore. I think there was also a band called something like the Coast to Coast Jazz band or maybe West Coast band?

The Coast To Coast Blues Band. John Lee Hooker toured with them as his backing band.


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