Continuing the Bandmates project, last week I donned the Lycra and went cycling with my good friend Richard (henceforth to be referred to as Boris).
Boris and I have a long history of making a racket in pubs with our guitars stretching all the way back to the mid 90s when we formed Blues Assembly, or Blues Academy as one pub advertised us, which made us sound like Rock School affiliates offering courses on waking up in the morning, fixing to die and trying to find your baby.
Our twin guitar assault, powered by the compact yet obscenely loud Mesa/Boogie MkIIb and MkIII respectively, was the scourge of many a landlord keen not to upset his neighbours with antisocial levels of noise after nightfall. The way we got around this was to turn the amps down for the sound check and then incrementally turn them back up throughout the night with a kind of simmer to a boil effect. To be fair to Boris he was, and still is, half deaf and so couldn’t be blamed for cranking it up as it was something of a necessity really and in my own defense, I was just trying to keep up.
Were we really that loud? Well, I remember one night looking up to see the audience all as far away from us as they could possibly get without knocking a hole in the back wall, all wearing a strange kind of grimaced look on their faces. I also remember playing at an outdoor beer festival and my wife returning from the park half a mile away to tell me that she could hear the guitars clear as a bell while she pushed our son on the swings. Then there was the time that Boris’s amp was set up on his ‘deaf’ side and he turned it up so loud that I thought I might faint at any moment. So, yes, we were probably that loud but, as I’ve stated in the past, nobody really minds loud so long as the band’s great, which we were.
These days Boris equally enjoys the sound of the air rushing by as he hurtles down dirt tracks on his mountain bike at a gazillion miles an hour. Never one to do things by halves, Boris.