If you could do a Pete Frame Rock Family Tree for my pub quiz team, I reckon it would bear a remarkable resemblance to his classic graphic for King Crimson 1969-74: Uncle Tom Cobbly and all on the cast list; plenty of broken lines for the part-time associate members; an orchestra one week, a solo artist the next. Since I was there from the start, I might have a legitimate claim for the Fripp role, were it not for the fact that I too have been AWOL on a couple of occasions.
We won last night – just me and my friend John, another diehard prog fan. And there weren’t any prog questions either! The nearest we got was identifying the lyrics from the Four Seasons’ December ’63 (Oh What a Night) – and I still can’t remember which part of the title should be in brackets and which shouldn’t. It was a hit single around the time my interest in prog was at its height, and its theme about being a young man with a hard-on obviously struck a chord. And of course December ’63 was fifty years ago, even if the song itself was mid-seventies.
We won a relatively low-scoring contest, but i’m not too bothered about that; you only have to do better than the opposition. Sometimes you get a nice Oval or Adelaide pitch you can bat for days on, sometimes you get Headingley or Perth on a Johnson-friendly surface; all that matters is you get the other guys out for less than you made yourself.
I was glad of a bit of fresh air. I’d been stuck indoors for three whole days, firmly in winter mode, and even though the weather was a damn sight better than it is today I only went out the door to hang washing up and get some milk. I really hate this time of year, and Christmas isn’t much compensation – even if it includes Stollen bites and mulled wine. I’ve probably missed my chance to get away for the holiday like I did last year, or do the cooking on the day – something I actually enjoy, though nobody believes me when I say that.
But I shall motivate myself with the thought of the bar tab I can claim next week – and this time it only needs to be split two ways!