I Could’a Been A Star

30 Jan

Went to a blues jam session today. The sound of the harmonica brought back a flood of memories. I could’a been a star!

horses-behindPicture this: London 1956. The Boy Scout troop, the Kiwis. My patrol, the Peewits (I kid you not.) We are going to put on a big concert in the local school. I loved to sing; therefore I must have a great voice. I auditioned and ended up as part of a dancing horse, the hind part; OK the horse’s rear end; OK  then, as the horse’s arse! I could’a been a star!

Now picture this. It’s the mid ’60s. I am a camp counselor. Off to sing campfire songs. I bought myself a guitar thinking someone at camp would be able to give some lessons. With guitar on my back, Kumbaya  and Michael Row The Boat Ashore dancing through my head I hitchhiked to the camp.  Watch out Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary.  It was the ’60s remember. But, surprise, surprise, no-one at that darned camp knew how to play a guitar! So no-one got to hear my chords, my plunking away, my embryonic talent. It might have helped also if I knew how to tune the thing. Eventually gave it away to a nursery school teacher who claimed to be able to play it. Hah! I could’a been a star!

scared-dog-4Many years later my innate musical talents burst forth again to entertain the world. I bought a harmonica. Oh those sweet sounds from my harp, the blues world beckoning me. Watch out Little Walter, Charlie Musselwhite and the like, ‘Blues Barry’ is coming to town. I practised and practised. ‘Where’s the catch?’ you might ask. That came in the form of our little wheaten terrier, Ginny, who for some reason or other didn’t like my playing style. Now a normal dog when frightened will run away and hide after a bark or two. Not Ginny. She would come and sit in front of me, eyes wide, trembling, shaking, quivering, quaking, glued to the carpet, upon which she would then pee profusely. ‘Stop it, you’re scaring the dog,’ would come the yell from the kitchen. No mercy from the critics. No more harmonica playing. I could’a been a star!


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