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158. Macabre Machinations

Posted on: February 10th, 2013 by Colonel Crabtree-Smythe No Comments

Hello good ladies and good gentlemen, I return with more knowledge than a Greek thinker with the horn but in truth I do not wish to be crass nor offensive to those waiting to be offended. Not that I care that you are offended for what I say comes from a good place so I truly am not bothered as there are real problems and issues to be concerned with like the fact that poverty is on the rise while the elite ascend to a crescendo of hypocrisy and noise.

But I am not hear to mindlessly preach gospels of truth “we all know that the wold is run by fuck heads with fuck head ideas so why worry yourself.” was what I told Sage while we were in “The Prospect of Whitby” pub only the other day. It’s a pub with much history and I wanted to share that with the man Macorkadale over a few drinks as we don’t really see much of each other out side the studio but as usual Sage got the wrong idea and thought I had some ulterior motive other than just trying to be nice and he fled before the alcohol could really loosen him up.

Ron actually reminded me of this night spent in the “Prospect” when he told me of a few things he had for sale during a recent episode of our Radio Show. Now it was I think in the mid naughties I’m not entirely sure as that was a time of great excess in my life when I had a little flat in Tower Hamlets.

So on a said night I staggered into the famous old pub to be greeted by the acoustic sound of Davey Graham playing Anji on a make shift stage.Now at the time I didn’t know it was Davey Graham and was quite impressed with his technique and being pissed I climbed onto the make shift stage to tell him so, however, he became quite animated and told me to “piss off”. Which I naturally took mild offense to and I told him so in no mild manner, “I only wanted to say that your playing is very good but now I take it back, you’re an arse!”

That’s when I heard a Glaswegian voice shouting from the back of the pub telling me to”get te fuck!” This took me by surprise some what  and I shouted “Who goes there?” in my best Captain Mainwaring voice. “Get off the stage you bampot!” was the reply from the Scotsman. By this time Davey Graham had stopped playing Anji and had grabbed me from behind, “a cowards move,” I thought.

So, I stomped on his foot hoping he would release me from the bear hug. This just made him more angry and he tried to grapple me to the ground using on old wrestling technique I had learned from the Wigan Snake Pit many years before off  Billy Riley of Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling fame,by this time the Glaswegian and another chap who I thought I recognised were on the scene. I knew I was out numbered and grabbed Graham by the balls to try to get him to relent it was useless he had me locked down and the testicular squeeze was rendered un affective. Thats when the Glaswegian gave me a swift right hander while I was flat out on the stage floor.

Now bare in mind it was a small make shift stage with a snare, high hat and one ride symbol drum kit, and a microphone and two guitar amps bass and guitar all plugged into a small vocal p/a. So with me being out wrestled by Davey Graham you can imagine the chaos and mess caused as the drum kit went a sprawling into noise and the guitars were strummed by flailing arms and feet. Then I felt another hit to my already over worked head, it was all taking its toll and I felt that the Scotsman had taken leave of his senses or perhaps he was just being Scottish, but I felt he was being unreasonable.

Then I heard a ladies voice scream,a scream of sanity in this madness,”don’t, you will kill him Bert, stop!” That’s when I recognised the other chap with Bert. It was John Martyn the fine guitar player of  “Seven Black Roses” fame. Now he had put on a lot of weight since I’d seen him live in Germany in 1978 and I didn’t want to be clobbered by him. It was at this point my military training kicked in.

John Martyn had recently had his leg amputated his right leg below the knee as a result of a burst cyst, I knew this because it had been on the news and it had reminded me of Jeffrey Bernard who had also lost a leg from over indulgence. Now at the time I was not sure what leg it was so naturally I began to tug on the wrong leg his left leg as id managed to find a bit of wriggle room because Davey Graham was trying to get to his feet without completely letting me go. Bert, now was trying to throttle me with a rape choke, this was not a problem as I had and have been strangled by the best stranglers over the years. I needed a weapon and so I grabbed John Martyn’s lower right leg as the left one had not shifted.

So I grabbed  his false leg and began to tug quite violently while also trying to fight off Bert and Davey. It was a tough assignment but I was not going down with out a fight. Then it happened John slipped on a beer mat as I tugged and he was roaring with laughter as he did so, the fucker was enjoying it and as he landed he false leg came loose.

So I pulled it back and with all the might I could muster I thumped Bert on the chin with  the heel of Johns false foot. Bert went down giving me enough time to foot stomp Davey Graham upwards from the ground right up his cobblers. I now knowing it was Davey Graham as Id started to piece the puzzle together and of course by this point recognising the jazz folk legends.

Yes, it was Davey Graham the man who wrote Anji in 1961.So I told him to “stick that up your DADGAD you bastard!” as he fell to his knees clutching his knackers. John Martyn burst into laughter while shouting that he wanted his leg back, “you god dammed Eejit!”he exclaimed.

That’s when I got to my feet still staggering due to the fact I was Brahms and Liszt. I went for the merry go round technique and I swung Johns leg round the room clubbing Davey Graham and Bert Jansch both on there respective bonces while doing so, they both went down again it was real Key Stone Cops stuff and I backed up towards a window over looking the Thames. “Stand back you fuckers!” I proclaimed half mad half hysterical.

John had got to his foot and was hoping towards me certainly he was hopping mad. “give me back my leg you bastard!” “Never” I replied, John burst into laughter again and I dived out of the window into the great River Thames using Johns false leg as a make shift float. I can’t really remember how I got home that morning but I did and I woke the next day with John Martyn’s false leg next to me. Wonderful stuff.

Happy days I say, pure adventure, just as I like it… reminded me of my war work. I never did see the famous trio again as within a few years of each other they all died but I have to say and this is the point. I do still have John Martyn’s false leg so should anybody want it as a job lot with Ronnie’s for sale items I’m willing to chuck it in so to speak. Anyhow enough of this tomfoolery. I’m off the the Groucho Club to wind up the yuppies… see you next time.

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