Cake – A True Story. Part Three.

Dee was a complex character, as mentioned before he had a history of alcohol & drug abuse, & had addictions to other things in his life. These issues plagued the rest of the band. Looking for an AA meeting in the middle Germany or Sweden at 07:00 was just some of the torments we had to endure with life on the road. He made our life hell sometimes, he would also fall in & out of love as quick as it would rain on a scottish hillside, this would drive us insane. He also had a good side to him too, but he had a manipulative side, & this was hard to bare. Does this excuse our behaviour? No, but life on the road is tough, & wind-ups will happen.

Craziness… After Copenhagen, we travelled to other cities in Scandinavia, & soon after we ended up in Uppsala, a rather beautiful swedish university city. The owner of the venue was Irish, & had a reputation for being a gobshite, so we weren’t sure about his part in the wind-up. As it happened our agent had already told him about it, so a plan was set.

Gav our fiddle player was enjoying his birthday on this day, & he had a friend studying chemistry at the university. She came to our soundcheck to say hi & had also been filled in with the ongoing events between Switzerland & Copenhagen. It seemed she had an idea.

Before the start of the gig, she arrived back at the venue, & gave Gav a small gift. ‘Happy birthday’ she said to him give him a hug. ‘Whats this’ said Gav, & as he opened it she said ‘it’s something new, we’ve been playing around with it, but keep it quiet please. Oh, there’s one each for you all. Yes, it was cake. Four little small white pills in a metal box. But what the hell were they? I asked, ‘salt tablets’ she whispered, just plain salt tablets.

She gave us instructions, ‘take it 15mins before going onstage, it’ll take 20mins to kick in’ & it should last for 30mins only, but you may feel a little down afterwords.
We did as instructed (pissing ourselves) & went onstage. Gordy was a great drummer, tight & always in time, he never needed a click-track except when we were recording. 25mins into the gig Gordy start speeding up, Dee turns round & looks at him with a stern face, Gav was a very unemotional fiddler, wonderful player, but never moved his body, ridged. He began moving, swaying as he bowed, Dee was amazed. I just started jumping to the speed that Gordy was playing as I played my bass & forgot about singing any backing vocals. Dee turned to Gordy & shouted, ‘I’m really high’. Cotcha!!!

The venues owner dragged us into his office after the gig, he told us that he knew were on something, closed the door quietly & asked if we were using Cake, & if so, could we get him some?
Dee stepped in & gave a lecture about the good feeling that Cake gives, how it’s made, & how difficult it was to get a hold of, but he would talk to Gav’s friend. How we kept a straight face, I will never know but this what we were used to. We waited to see what he was doing after the gig, so we could do the opposite, which was find a club & laugh until it hurt.

To be continued… Helsinki & home-of-the-opathy


Inspired by Music: Week 2. Abba: Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!

One of my first memories of music was Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with Waterloo. No one can deny the impact they had on the music world, catchy songs with talent to match, & their influence still shows on modern music even today.

Nils Landgren

Im choosing Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! just to be a little versatile, & showing the influence of musical freedom with Nils Landgren’s version of the song. Nils Landgren is a Swedish Trombone player who has been on the jazz/funk scene for a number of years with his band The Funk Unit. In 2000 he approached Benny Andersson & asked him if he could do an album of Abba songs in his own unique style, Benny Andersson replied with ‘Is that possible?’

This is pretty much a musicians album, paying homage to pop in all its glory. Its different, & looking at classic songs from another angle which I support greatly in the understanding of music.


Inspired by Music: Week 1. Pat Metheny Group – So May It Secretly Begin

My last blog entry received a lot of traffic & gave me a real buzz, so this made me want to write more. I needed an idea, & here it is.  A regular weekly post that would give a little insight into myself & maybe inspire others with new music. I cant get enough of new music, I’m always looking out for the newest sounds, greatest musician’s & amazing ideas.

Ive always seen musical notes as a jumbled up puzzle, get everything in the correct order (that hasn’t been done before) & you have a piece of unique music that nobody has ever created. So with that in mind I’m posting a track that has inspired/changed my outlook on the world every week. I’ll also write a short summery why, its nice to have a bit of background, but I wont bore you 🙂

Pat Metheny Group

Pat Metheny

At the age of 16/17 when I was studying music, I had an amazing group of people around me which opened my eyes & helped make me into the musician that I had become later in life. Swapping musical ideas was always a key to writing or playing better, & I was given a copy of the album Still Life (Talking) by Pat Metheny Group. Jazz had been alien to me, I didn’t understand it yet this album turned my head. I learned a new musical phrase from Pat Metheny, texture. I could feel the emotions from the musicians as they played, particularly Lyle Mays on keyboards.

The track “So May It Secretly Begin” is not the obvious stand out track on this album, but its an example of how everything just clicks together, & most bizarrely there is a Güiro playing constantly through each verse & solo adding to the basis of the groove. This is a beautiful track, & I never tire of listening to it.


Track listing

All music composed by Pat Metheny, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. “Minuano (Six Eight)” (Metheny, Lyle Mays) 9:28
2. So May It Secretly Begin 6:25
3. “Last Train Home” 5:41
4. “(It’s Just) Talk” 6:17
5. “Third Wind” (Metheny, Mays) 8:37
6. “Distance” (Mays) 2:45
7. “In Her Family” 3:17