I'm doing a lot of reading whilst commuting into London to play the shows in the West End, and have found myself consuming a string of autobiographies. Richard Branson "Losing My Virginity", - Peter Ustinov "Dear Me", - James Caan "The Real Deal: My Story From Brick Lane To Dragon's Den, - Also "The Moon's a Balloon" by David Niven (a lovely book), all thoroughly enjoyable reads, however Rupert Everett's book "Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins" is one of the most well written books I have come across in some time.
I was looking for a metaphor to describe performing on stage, and couldn't think of any better way than Mr Everett's depiction. "It's better than drugs, sex or punishment". It may seem a curious simile, but really does sum up the experience of performing something you have worked really hard at mastering, and then having the results judged and commented on by thousands of people sitting in front of you.
This metaphor comes into play of course, only if the results are positive. There is a reason that actors and musicians use the word 'dying' if things don't go well. To many who push themselves onto a stage to open up their hearts, egos, personalities, and abilities to the unforgiving crowd, it really does feel like a matter of life and death in the fleeting moments on stage. Thankfully, most professional performers have spent countless thousands of hours perfecting their skill, and a consequence "dying on stage" is a rarity, unless of course you've completely lost the plot.
With that in mind, it's always a good idea to pick the very best to accompany you onto the stage. This is the reason I picked the Moody Blues as my "Fronting Band". They think they picked me at an audition to be in the backing band, but little do they realise I went through a series of other groups before (ahem) I chose them as my main fronting band!
When Paul Bliss was in the band we used to call ourselves "Bookem and Risket" (as I distinctly overheard Justin mumble something like that at my audition). I don't know which one I am supposed to be.
I had a great time in Thriller again last night on drums. I have just about got the show together and can relax and enjoy it now I have the arrangements under my belt. Once again the band were "kicking"! Mike Guy the assistant MD was in charge last night, he's a fabulous "jazzer" who directs the whole caboodle with authority, even though he looks about 12. By the way, is it me or are policemen getting younger?