Jump to content
Heritage Owners Club
  • entries
    71
  • comments
    171
  • views
    94710

Finally, back gigging.


mark555

953 views

What a twelve months I've had, it's been a roller coaster to say the least. It all started at the end of April last year when I was redundant from my job. Thankfully I have always had a mortgage protection insurance policy, so my mortgage is paid for up to two years from one month after the job loss, so we've done alright. It wasn't long before other companies and recruiters were showing interest in me but there was a huge obstacle to over come, which was the possibility of my losing my driving licence in October. Over here in the UK the police have placed so many speed cameras on the roads that it is unbelievable. If you are one mile an hour over the limit, they have you, and three points are on your licence. Get twelve over a three year period and you get an automatic ban for six months. When, like me, you normally drive 50,000 miles a year you are going to get caught sooner or later. This obstacle was too much and no one would take a chance. And, on 23rd of October last year I received a six month driving ban from the court. So, I thought I'll find something where I don't need to drive for work, it was impossible because every prospective employer I approached took the view that as soon as I got my licence back I would go for better employment - in fairness, they were right. But come 15th December, this became a moot point as events took an unexpected turn.t

With two weeks to go before Christmas, My wife Helen and I had not bought each other our Christmas presents and Helen insisted that we go to a shopping mall about thirty miles south of where we live and she was not taking no for an answer. However, she did not know that rain was falling and as soon as it hit the ground it was turning to a layer of thick black ice which in the dark, we could not see. As Helen was driving, I walked down our drive to get in the passanger door. However, I never made it into the car. I fell forward on the ice, with all my weight going on the front of my foot which turned under itself, giving me five breaks in various bones in my lower leg and ankle. It was rather painful to say the least. I spent two nights and three days in hospital, and was superbly looked after.

Well, Helen and I thought if trouble comes in threes, we've had three big ones and things can only get better. However, on Sunday January 13th Helen was coming driving home from church on her own (we usually go together but with my broken leg I was unable to attend for a while) when she was blinded by low winter sun and she lost control of the car and wrote it off smashing down some steel railings and taking out a traffic light. She was taken to Hospital in an ambulance and spent the day there getting checked out and getting X rays and what have you. Thankfully, all she suffered with was some very nasty bruising, but that took quite a few weeks to heal - what we learned was that no matter what, your health is all that matters.

Anyway, without going into it in depth, it's four months today since the injury, and I can now walk without my big plastic support boot if I take it slowly and use a walking stick. But the injuries meant that we had to cancel three months of bookings. In a way, it worked out well because Robin, our other guitar player started with some health issues and the bands down time was helpful to him as well. One of the side effects of my leg break was my getting very fed up with many things in general, but what drive me round the bend was cabin fever, and not being able to get out. Also, because of the cast on my leg I could not take a bath or a shower so every morning I would sit in front of our wash basin and wash and clean up. I remember the first shower I took  after I got the OK from the surgeon (I had two scars, one either side of my ankle from the surgery), that shower felt so luxurious!

I'd given myself three and a half months recovery time from the accident to the first gig, and we played a venue we go down well at in a town near us on Saturday 6th of April. We were rusty, and even though we'd had a couple of full rehearsals we were out of practice playing live shows and I have to admit that we were nowhere near as tight as we needed to be. However, we are our own worst critics and the crowd enjoyed us. My 27 year old daughter has never seen me play live, so she brought her friend with her and came for the night, she was very impressed and even said she was proud of what I'd done and my playing.

This last Saturday saw us play our second booking of 2019 at The Lion Pub in Castleford, West Yorkshire. Castleford is very much what you would call in America a Blue Collar town. It's a run down town which had its history in the coal mining industry, and when the mining industry went into rapid decline in the 1980's, many were made redundant and lost their jobs The town has never recovered and the jobs there are low paid. So the crowd we played for were very much a down to earth group of people. The pub itself was quite rough, but the crowd were a nice enough bunch of folks who just want a good Saturday night out with what they have. The Lion is also known as a heavy rock venue and  as we are not a heavy rock band, we did wonder how we would get on, Robin, our other guitar player (AKA Moaning Myrtle) as usual was making his forecasts of doom. But he needn't have worried because right from the word go we had the crowd with us. At the end of the night, many of the pub regulars told us how much they enjoyed the two sets we played and that it was nice to have something different than the usual bands they have week in week out all playing the same stuff. As a band, we do pack a punch when we rock and one of the highlights of the night for us was when we played the old Bad Company song "I Can't Get Enough" complete with the twin lead guitar solos and it sounded superb. We have a return booking for there next year. One last interesting fact about this pub. Mark, whom plays guitar in Wishbone Ash, is from Castleford, we've known him over twenty years and he is currently touring the USA with Wishbone Ash and this is a pub he is well known at. Robin was talking to him on Saturday afternoon via WhatsApp and he said to give the locals his best wishes, so we did, and we got a real cheer and round of applause for that.

Last of all, I've decided that as soon as I am able to, I am going to pull the trigger on a PRS. Since buying a Telecaster, I have come to love the simplicity of one volume and one tone control. I've also played a couple of PRS guitars and on a personal level they work for me very nicely, and give me all that I require in a working guitar. I feel it would immediately become my go to guitar once I got it. The one I get will be a custom 22 or 24 with trem and mahogany neck, nice burst with a red mahogany back.  Hopefully I will be working in June and that will be when I start looking at the options. The question is, do I sell some guitars to fund one or just buy the PRS? What I may well do is buy the PRS and sell a guitar I don't use. Watch this space, and as usual, thanks for reading.

Best to all,

Mark.

Image result for the Lion+castleford2

IMG-20180518-WA0006.jpg

  • Like 1

0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...