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On Sunday, I went to see an amazingly talented old friend, Mark Ponsford, who’s touring with a musical comedy that he co-wrote called "The Complete Works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Pruned". It condenses the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan into 90 minutes, using their music but Mark’s witty words, which are characteristically a teeny bit camp and smutty, but never obscene.
I’m no Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado so missed many of Marks’ references in the affectionately arch lyrics, but they weren’t lost on the almost-full house that the show brought in on a Sunday night. Mark and his co-star, Lawrence, evidently had loads of fun, too, but were never self-indulgent. Why Mark isn’t earning a fortune and living in Hollywood by now, I’ll never know. But I’m glad he isn’t, cause otherwise I’d not have had the chance to catch up with him. I haven’t seen Mark for years, but a few readers of this blog have mailed to tell me how much they enjoy his piano-playing on a song I wrote for "The Lucies", a band I was in, called "Killing Time". What made Sunday super-special was that the other founder members of The Lucies were there too: me, Andy, Shez, Mark and Paul-the-soundman.
Shez was there, and writes of a Lucies gig that went awry in his new blog, and Andy was down from near the Arctic where he lives with his new wife. Andy was the drummer, and is the only one of us to have pursued a successful career in showbiz. The lucky bugger. Mind you, listening to some of the 8 cassette tapes of 13 year old Lucies’ gigs and rehearsals that Paul-the-soundman loaned me on Sunday, I can see why we never hit the big time: my lack of ability on the guitar, and lack of discipline to actually attempt to play the song or the solo the same way twice meant that we could never be tight enough musically. Listening to some old songs that I’d forgotten writing (which I’ll post here some ime), we definitely had some good material – just not the front man. Sigh. But then, we did it because we loved it, and love it we did.
As we all forgot to bring a digicam to record the auspicious occasion of The Lucies reunited, I’ve posted some shots from 1991 of me and Shez waking up in a tent after an illegal Solstice party at Stonehenge. And here’s Andy in a typical drummer’s pose – resplendent in a pink boa, tweaking my nipple while I’m wearing an Elvis suit. Ah, the rock’n’roll life, eh?