He’s got this lethal way of handling his guitar and he’s sooo hot with it she thinks she’ll melt. All gig long he’s been looking at her. At HER! For a moment at the end she imagines he’ll pull her out of the crowd. More likely he’s told his security guy to let her through backstage.
She fluffs her hair as she approaches. The security guy, it turns out, is a gal.
‘He’s waiting for me,’ she says.
‘Sorry, sweetie. He isn’t.’
Ms. Security wiggles her ring finger at her. His name’s tattooed on it.
It’s just gone 7am and you are thinking about waking up. You are questioning the music selection on the BBC 6Music Breakfast Show – how are you supposed to wake up to this subdued stuff? It’s 7:11, it’s January, you don’t need gloom.
You’ve got plenty of gloom yourself.
And then Shaun Keaveny says the words which do two things: justify the musical mood and wake you up with a jolt. You heard that wrong. It can’t be true.
You let it sink in.
And you wonder: Will he sing Under Pressure with Freddie again?
You’d like to think so.
Let’s all thank our lucky stars that we were – for a while at least – alive at the same time as David Bowie.
He doesn’t bother looking. She’s become too squeamish, coming to her rescue every time a bug scares her won’t help.
‘What if it stings?’
‘Them buggers haven’t hatched, I wouldn’t think. It’s January.’
‘Ain’t no bluebottle, though. It terrifies me.’
She stifles a scream. Exasperated, he goes into the other room. She’s cowering in the corner, shielding herself with a book. He freezes before he sees it hovering above her. It’s the sound out of his nightmares – the sound of a hornet drone. He curses the day he had the idea.
I must have been four. My uncle must have been in love with Debbie Harry. I don’t remember but we must have listened to all of Parallel Lines in his Beetle. On the way to or from our hotel, Heart of Glass always seemed to be playing when we traversed the level crossing; little me had convinced herself that going over the crossing while listening to the song meant we’d get hit by a train. I wailed every we went over the train tracks. I drove everyone bonkers.
Isn’t it funny that it’s one of my all-time favourite songs now?
‘Jazz, sonny? Bit ambitious. You’d better keep practicing your scales.’
The old guy wants to walk away, but I am gripped by a strange rage. It makes me do the unthinkable: I offer him the sax.
‘Think you can do better?’
He takes it, searches his bag for something and pulls out the right mouthpiece. He stops my background track and launches into Take Five. Only a few bars in, a crowd has gathered. A pretty blonde girl who sometimes listens sings along.
It’s like magic flowing from the sax. I swear the old guy now looks half his age.