Friday, 25 May 2007

Victim of a Hoax

The search for a drummer was on...

While the search was on we had fairly regular meetings. On one of these occasions names were discussed, not for the band, but for the band members. Johny said I should adopt the surname Nelson, apparently Dale Nelson was a notorious American serial killer, and it would be a good choice for me.
The reason that they wanted to push band surnames was because they wanted to discourage the music press from using the surname Smith, as was a habit in those days ie Johny Smith, Stephen Smith etc.
This would have been predictable and highly likely given that the band name was The Smiths.

We had arranged over a 2 day period various drummers to turn up at Decibelle and audition.
Bill turned up, he had played with both Johnys bands and mine before, and although technically very good, was rejected on image.
Tony, another one of my ex drummers gave it a go, but again was declined, a couple more turned up, then Mike showed.

I’ve read his account of events, usually prefaced by “I was out of my head on mushrooms so can’t remember anything”, I wasn’t, and can remember the day.

Curiously I’d known Mike for a while, the Adorables had played several festivals with Victim, and The Hoax, and we had played uncountable nights at the Cypress Tavern, where all the MMC * bands took it in turns to play. We usually ended up with them, and one other band.
He’s never really hinted at having prior knowledge of me, but we were on quite good terms. The audition went well, he was chosen and a date set for the demo.

During the time all this was going ahead, I was building a recording studio and rehearsal complex on Tarrif St in the centre of town. I had been headhunted (for want of a better description) to become a partner in a new studio, he would put the money in; I would bring the expertise and bands across, both to rehearse and record.

This would become “Spirit”, and eventually “The Manchester School of Sound Recording”. John Breakall (the money man), though English had been working as a car park attendant in Australia, and had arrived back with his savings. He’d arrived at Decibelle, and made me an offer which was at the time, an offer I couldn’t refuse.

*Manchester Musicians Collective