Isn’t it strange how something as little as liking a certain song can change your life completely? My husband Bari is a rock drummer and he used to be in a fabulous band called Driving Force. They played many great songs but a couple I really liked were by a band I didn’t know called The Mavericks. For some reason I though they were Welsh and when I borrowed a CD from the library I was surprised to find they were American.
This CD was ‘The Mavericks Collection,’ and I stared at the front cover and four confident men stared back at me, very cool guys indeed. I looked at their names, trying to work out which was which, Paul Deakin, Nick Kane, Robert Reynolds and Raul Malo. I figured that maybe the one with the Spanish name was the guy on the left with the beard, or the dark guy standing at the back… I got to know them very well since then, since 2002.
I listened to the CD and was totally hooked, the music, the voice, the way they played their instruments, the driving drums and bass beat, the lyrics… the sheer exuberance and sexiness… I was in love!
I soon discovered that the man with the sensational voice was Raul, lead guitar was Nick, bass and vocals Robert, and on the drums Paul. When I leant that most of their music was original, much of it written by Raul I was even more impressed and in awe of their talent. I began to buy every CD of theirs I could find and also discovered a great on-line community at the Mavhouse, a fan site which sadly no longer exists.
The Mavs were having a bit of an intermission but Robert and Paul were touring Britain with Kevin Montgomery and the Raodtrippers. It was a truly miserable night when I first went to see them at the fantastic Polish Club in Bristol and I was completely blown away. The music was so loud it made my fillings ache, I danced non-stop and had the first of many amazing nights in their company. Raul came to Britain on a solo tour and I saw him in Birmingham; it was a dreadful venue and I was stuck right at the back but he was just fantastic, truly a star.
The Mavericks returned to Britain with Eddie Perez on lead and I saw them at the Liverpool Summer Pops in 2003 and then at Warwick University, in Oxford, in Cardiff, several times in Bristol… and each time I was just stunned at their talent virtuosity… not to mention their charm and wit! A night with them was full of laughter as well as music!
Through that site and others I began to make real friends, Hannah from Coventry who I met at the Liverpool gig, and Carol Lee from Pennsylvania who came over to visit me and my family in about 2005.
For various reasons the band split up but Raul continued to tour solo and I saw him in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Belfast, and Robert and Paul visited a couple of times a year with Kevin Montgomery and I followed them to Bristol, Cardiff and Devon… and now they are reunited and will hopefully come back across the Atlantic to wow their European fans!
This is not all, however. I have already mentioned Hannah and Carol Lee. Through Raul’s web-site I have made some wonderful friends on his forum and had some amazing adventures and fun!
Elly from Holland is a great Mavericks and Malo fan and we meet a couple of times a year, either at her home in the Netherlands, or here in England.
I love to get together with Mona from Belgium and Willem and Marianne from the Netherlands. I always enjoy meeting up with Susie from the Midlands who is a great cook and lives in the most idyllic cottage.
At gigs I look froward to meeting Mand and Carolyn and Fiona, Maureen and so many other really great people.
I have yet to meet my forum friends from the USA but I have had such kindness, generosity and support from them over the years in so many ways. When we do get together one day, it really will be fabulous!
And this is all thanks to the Mavericks… they truly have changed my life, and inspired my writing too!
A favourite picture of the boys when young: –
Just a little footnote, remember I mentioned my husband’s band was Driving Force? Looking on Wikipedia I noticed this comment: Writing much of the material, and being a versatile singer, Raul Malo was a driving force behind the band.