"At the equipoise, illusion and reality are indistinguishable. Everything is a work of fiction."

(Shrucius Traesus, Annals of the Tree Shrew Club)

 

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Frammenti 

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Eileen Reynolds

 

In four years she mentioned Rick Wakeman only once. We were studying the B flat, opus 22. I had just made a pig's ear of the first movement. For Eileen, to get anywhere near these hallowed works was to be in the presence of a divinely inspired soul. (A truth only experience can attest to.) The last chord died away into an awful silence. " You know," she said, at last, "you remind me a bit of that Wakeman fellow. Odd chap! I think I advised him that he probably wasn't best suited to a wholly academic career."

 

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Humphrey Searle (Hilarious text pending)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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William Lloyd Webber (even more hilarious text pending)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Donut King)

 

 


People are always asking me for the story behind this piece. "Donut King" was the nickname given me by the regulars at the donut shop of the same name, situated in a little square just off the El Cajon Boulevard, near Marlborough Avenue. 


At the time I was gigging and hanging out with a small group of local musicians, one of whom happened to be Ray Charles' tour drummer, who had recently moved down from LA to San Diego. He and his girlfriend had taken a small house on Marlborough Avenue and needed someone to help with the rent. As I'd recently split with my girlfriend and was looking for somewhere to hang my hat for a while, I moved in with them. 

My contribution to the rent was modest, apropos my circumstances. The downside was that I had to sleep in the practise room - with the drums and the cockroaches. I became a nocturnal creature, walking for miles up and down the El Cajon Boulevard, always ending up at the donut shop, which, at any time of the day or night it seemed, attracted every breed of miscreant in town. I got to know everyone, and after a month or two was well acquainted with every type of donut and every breed of miscreant. The shop had been robbed at gunpoint at least twice during my time at Marlborough Avenue, so I, for one, was always pleased when the police rolled up in the small hours for their fix of coffee and donuts.


The tune Donut King was composed about a year later, when I was living back in the UK. It was written in a flash after a disturbed night of vivid dreams and flashbacks. When it came to arranging the big band version, I made sure it included the sound of car horns and police sirens!

Donut King was commissioned by Dave Corsby and the Mission Impossible big band, who gave the first performance.


( adapted from Memoirs of a Tree Shrew)

 

 

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The Pellicci cafe in Bethnal Green owes its grade-two listed status almost exclusively to my grandfather, Achille, who was responsible for the panelled interior. How proud he might have been of his Norfolk grandchildren if only my own father hadn't hated him with such a vengeance. And how ironic that my father, who really just wanted to be considered an average Englishman, should have thus initiated a family rift of such typically Italian character, passion and longevity. 
 

 

 

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(circus)

 
The load - the generator tractor and two trailers - is stuck on the hill adjacent to the ground, facing upwards, about 300 yards from the junction at the bottom. The brakes have failed. Septic is revving the engine and riding the clutch while his trailer-mate, Strange James, clambers - in a state of some agitation - over the back of the tractor searching for blocks. No shortage of those! He throws a few over the side, then jumps down and quickly wedges them under the wheels, kicking them hard into the worn rubber. It wouldn't be so bad if the bottom trailer - the one nearest the junction - wasn't full of lions, five at least, who've now started grunting and groaning. One of them is poking his snout through a small triangular shaped hole at the bottom corner of the trailer. He snorts, then grunts. All is silent for a moment. The snout vanishes. There is a loud bang and a kerfuffle going on inside the trailer. Growling, grunting. The trailer sways on its springs, then all is still again. Eugene's babies! Eugene hasn't arrived yet, but is rumoured to be only a few miles away, so everyone is trying hard to create the impression of things being under control when he turns up with the poles the the tent. 
 
Septic climbs down out of the cab. Engine still running. He's not in any hurry. 
 
"We'd better wait till Eugene gets here. You know what he's like. I reckon we'll have to wait for Conrad to get here as well, you know - we're going to need the forklift, take 'em in one by one. What'd you think? I hope he gets here soon - I got red diesel in the tank! You know what these Welsh cops are like - they'll lock me up with a ruddy male voice choir. Don't think I could stand that! He always has white diesel in his load, mind you..."
 

 

 

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"Immersed in it [life] one seldom considers its abundance."

 

 

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Not much to do in the interval, really. 

 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous quotes

 

 

 

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"You are the oldest friend you'll ever have."  

(Shrucius Treasus, attr)

 

 

 

Voglio essere un toporagno d'albero

(N C, Annals of the TSC, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

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