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The Strange Story of How I Found a New Band

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The Strange Story of How I Found a New Band


It’s been about fifteen months since the demise of my band The Jackals (you can read the blog about it here; especially relevant is the last entry called Afterword). Gigs had become a fading memory but how I’ve missed the thrill of playing the blues live with other musicians! I placed a few ads in local music stores – the only response was from two saxophone players. A small brass section and one guitarist does not add up to a band! No one wanted a lead guitarist; the store owner told me that as a breed we are ten a penny so I packed away my dreams with my beloved telecaster.


You never know what life has ‘in store’ for you: two months ago, whilst buying a tuner in my local music store, I noticed an advert on a pinboard - "Lead guitarist wanted for local blues band". I had to read the card twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. I felt sure this was for me; this was what I’d been waiting for - so I was really surprised and somewhat disappointed when I called the singer (Howard) only to be told that the advert was old and the position had already been filled. It seemed like my telecaster was doomed to stay in its case. However, I still had an illogical feeling that this was a band that I'd play in one day. 


It’s Funny How Sometimes Everything Happens at Once!

Jump forward six weeks to an interview I was doing in my studio for a podcast (you can hear it here). Tania, my interviewer, and I were in full flow of an engaging chat about creativity and ideas when my phone rang. I tried to ignore it, I even put the phone down, but the caller was insistent and called again. In order to end the disruption Tania encouraged me to take the call. You can probably guess who it was: that’s right, it was Howard.


"Do you remember you rang about being in my band?" He asked. "Our guitarist has suddenly left; are you still interested?’ Yes, I definitely was but, being in the middle of an interview, I was unable to talk/  I scribbled Howard’s number down on a scrap of paper. My studio was a mess of sketches and scraps which I had pulled out to show Tania so I made a point of telling her, ‘Don’t let me lose this; I need to call him back by six.’ At one point, knowing how important it was, I even held on to that piece of paper but before long the conversation began flowing again and, distracted by our lively discussion it left my hand. At the end of the interview I joked, ‘I hope I haven’t lost that bit of paper!’ Guess what? I had. Having been a witness to the whole thing, Tania by now felt involved and helped me go through every possible place in my studio that it could have ended up in. We even went through my waste paper bin checking each scrunched up bit of paper three times, could we find that bit of paper? No, and time was running out.


I felt as though, if I didn’t call Howard by six as I had promised, one of those other ‘ten a penny’ lead guitarists out there could step in and take my place. Eventually I found a contact number on one of the band's websites and called it. Having garbled out my ‘found and lost' story, the man on the other end gave me Howard’s number. Within three hours I was auditioning for the band in the Howard’s kitchen. The next morning I got the call to tell me I was the lead guitarist in The Midnight River Blues Band. Hooray! I now have weeks to learn about thirty songs before our first gig on the 31st of May. You can see a list of our upcoming gigs here:


I’ll post some music/ videos when we have something recorded.


P.S. I never found that missing bit of paper with Howard's number on it; it seems to have vanished into thin air. Another odd thing is that Tania told me that the recording of the podcast stopped (due to dead batteries) just at the point of the phonecall. What’s the moral of the story? Some things are just meant to be.

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