Growing up with the music of the 60’s and 70’s it was almost every girl’s romantic dream to be involved with a boy from a band, or group as they were called then.
I was fortunate for many reasons to marry a man who was a rock drummer. Bari has been in almost fifty different bands of all sorts over his long career as a musician, rock and roll, brass, pit orchestras… and of so many different musical genres. His stories are wonderful and anecdotes about great gigs, fall-outs, betrayals and duplicity all set to great music is a true inspiration for me!
One evening while still living in Oldham, we had a telephone call from the local police station… the officer was a friend of Bari’s and knowing he was a musician told him about a band made up of policemen and traffic wardens who needed a drummer. Very soon he was a member of Classic Gold, a five piece band… and it wasn’t long before they changed their name, thinking Classic Gold sounded either like a brand of coffee or a brand of condoms… and they became Driving Force.
Driving Force played a variety of different songs from Buddy Holly to the present and included music from a band I had never heard of and for some reason thought were Welsh, The Mavericks. We moved to the west country and brought a couple of CDs with us which Driving Force had recorded and they included some Mavericks numbers. I liked the sound and borrowed a CD from the library…. and I was hooked! I was able to see the Mavericks on a number of occasions; I also saw Raul Malo on his solo tours with different musicians backing him, and Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin on tour with the Roadtrippers..
Observing the dynamic of a band, a group of excellent musicians and friends, such as Driving Force, or on the bigger stage, the Mavericks and Raul, really helps me write; to say they are an inspiration is not an overstatement! Watching the way the different members of a band work together, work alone, interact, improvise, back each other when the inevitable glitches threaten to disrupt the set, I find ideas about characters, plot, action fizz up like beer in a glass… I leave a gig bursting with ideas and thoughts, some of which ferment quietly for months and even years before they come foaming out onto the page like a pint of Otter Ale from a pump!
In my next novel to be published, ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’, a band reunion is crucial to the plot. In ‘Night Vision’, music is also a vital strand of the story-line, and my latest as yet unedited novel about the Portbradden family was inspired by the closeness that develops in a band, and also the friction between the different members!
If I have been inspired by the Mavericks, then I owe that to Driving Force who introduced me to their music!