Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Long Live Rock and Roll

As I drive down the track, I see a man fishing on the bend swim. He's standing by his rods hunched over with his back to the road, shaking his head from side to side.

Any good mate..?

"I'm outta my head can't take it..."

Why's that podna, bit slow..?

"You cast a spell, so break it... Wo-a-wo-oh, wo-a-wo-ah-wo-oh... EVER SINCE... YOU BEEN GONE..."

When he turns around, strumming an imaginary guitar, I half expect to find myself face-to-face with Graham Bonnet, who sang on Rainbow's 1980 classic Since You Been Gone.

Perhaps even another member of the band's line-up, which featured Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Roger Glover on bass, Don Airey on keyboards and Cozy Powell on drums.

Instead it's a short, bald chap, who blushes bright red as he pulls the hood of his suit down to reveal a pair of headphones in each ear.

"Wh'assat..? Hang on, I can't hear yer," he says, as he pulls an iPod out of his pocket. "I was miles away there bud. Miles away list'nun to music I was. Wh'assat - you'll have to speak up a bit. Frickin' thing does my ears in."

We go through the formalities when strangers meet on the bank in some far-flung corner. Any good/not yet. You ever done any good here/sometimes. You fish here much etc etc.

I bid the Rainbow fan goodbye and he slips his headphones back in his ears as I drive away down the track.

When I've found a swim I half fancy and got the rods out, I check up and down the bank to make sure no-one's coming.

Then I stick my 'phones in, find Rainbow on my iPod and wonder whether I fancy listening to Down to Earth, or the band's earlier and some would argue far stronger album Long Live Rock and Roll.

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