Monday, 23 February 2009

Brothers and Sisters get down upon your knees and worship the majestic lord Craven as he delivers the gospel in his first sermon straight from the horses mouth! It helps if you are mad, yeah, in a fkn mad world it does! Otherwise known as week 16 of The Riverside Sessions and what a week that was in 1985. Unfortunately part of it and both tapes from week 15 were lost by Johnny Tasker and Dave Stead in a rather careless manner and I've not forgiven or forgotten Mr Stead, poor Johnny died a sad and tragically young death. Going through these tapes has been like skiiing up the Alps but week 16 makes the task lighter. It all finally came together and all the work we had put in paid off. We changed our position in the room that we played in, didn't use the P.A. system and set up the mics differently for recording. This meant that Ian Craven had to bend over double to vocalise as they were at waist-height. I can still see him in my minds-eye giving it rock, we couldn't hear what he was saying until tape playback time and then - Wow! I had met him thru Terry and he was nearly 20 years older than me. He was going thru a bad time, had no job, was getting divorced after splitting up with his wife and leaving his two sons. He had never done anything like this before and never did after. We invited him to rehearsals and one night he started to join in, gradually gaining confidence until this stuff just started pouring out of him in a stream-of-consciousness, all totally improvised on the spot like the music. A while after the group fell apart he moved somewhere down south and became an R.E. teacher. A few years later I heard that he had died, of a brain-haemorrhage I think. The sound is not so good at first due to the age and condition of the cassette but it gets there in the end. I am very proud to present this for your edification. It's the high-point for me so far but I am sure there will be more.

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