strapped on the guitar and searched around for the jack-plug socket
in the amp. A voice from the back of the pub shouted something
about Oasis and Wonderwall. He thought to himself -Fuck
you, pal! Youre gonny hear what I want to play. Nane o
yur fuckn Oasis shite.
As he connected with the amp - he felt the buzz run through the guitar.
It was always the same - the fix - like a junkies rush; electric
adrenaline. An excitement of images switched on - somewhere
in the back of his mind; Bo Diddley, Clapton, Page, Townsend - then, the
solitary figure of Hendrix strum-storming the stage at Woodstock. He knew
they had felt the same feeling - every time. Nothing else mattered once
you were up there - the strap across your back and the click of the jack
in the box; power!
He spent less than a minute tuning-up - the Strat so reliable it rarely
lost a semi-tone even if it hadnt been touched for weeks. The footlights
blinded for a moment and all he could see was weird rainbow rings round
the bulbs. His foot tapped-out the intro beat and he hit the first chord.
When he came off stage there was still a group of people at the back of
the pub shouting for more. He unplugged the guitar and tried to think
back to his performance. He couldnt remember any part of it. After
striking the first note - he moved on to a different world. He wasnt
there - in front of forty-or more people running through hits from other
heroes pasts - he was inside it all. The guitar - him - the leads
- they all connected to a master mixer floating around past fleeting clouds.
Flash images of centre-stage at the Hollywood Bowl dazzled his brain then
as quickly left - to be replaced by scenes of screaming fans before him
- a wave of thousands with lighters aflame - far beyond the line of his
A young lad slapped Kevin on the back and said something kind; great
stuff - man or some other words of the like. Kevin smiled - thanked
him - and continued packing his gear away. The young lad remained next
him - hovering.
See that wan yi playd the lad spoke to Kevins
back. That Bowie number - mind?
Kevin turned - nodded - yet not really remembering a note of it.
Aye - well - that wus fuckn ace- pal - so it wuz. Yi
ken whit ah mean - that yin.
The young lad imagined a guitar in his hands and strummed the air - shaking
his head from side to side. Didnae no whit time it wuz an
lights wur low-oh. He laughed.
Yi ken the wan?
Kevin smiled. The kid sounded more like Bowie than Kevin ever did.
Aye wull - ah thoat yi wur the bizniz daen that - so yi wur.
A girl came up to the lad and started pulling at his sleeve.
Cmoan Tam! Brendas huvin a party ut hur place.
Cmoan! Wur aw gonn in a taxi.
The lad was being dragged away but turned and shouted back. Ah fuckn
rate you pal - nae kiddin.
Kevin slid the Strat into the bag. He found himself thinking about the
lad; the night; the future. The biggest gig you play - is yourself! Thats
good enough! Like the young lad - next week - hed be here again
- and gone again.