Nuclear fusion, clever riffs, and punctuation…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s letter of the alphabet is the capital Z – chosen for its forthright swan-like spikiness.

It was mid-afternoon on a hot day last week; all the cafes in town were full of noisy sweaty fat customers, some with their yowling running-wild toddlers, so I decided that I should postpone my tea and cake treat until later in the day when the ambience might be more relaxing.
I drifted into a nearby remainder bookshop to pass the time, and also to get out of the naked glare of the sun’s persistent nuclear fusion. The shop wasn’t really very interesting in the way of books; there were plenty showing pictures of shiny handguns, tanks and battleships for the chaps, and lots with romantic flesh-pink and gold embossed covers – ‘ladies’ books’, as my mother used to call them. I did pick up and thumb through a copy of Perfect Punctuation – all you need to get it right first time, by Stephen Curtis though; the chapter on the semi-colon was interesting, as you can see from the sprinkling I have added to this piece of writing… (ellipsis…)
There was music playing over the shop’s loudspeakers; it seemed to be a compilation of 1970s/1980s pop music. Just starting, was a track with a vaguely familiar thumping drum beat, now what is that song? Oh, an extended riff comes in; it is slightly bluesy, but drifts momentarily into an eastern sounding scale with a nice flattened fifth in it… Oh, yes, of course, it’s Donna Summer doing her hit song Hot Stuff from 1979! I’ve heard far worse pop records than that – especially in the last ten years.
I was about to pay for my punctuation book (only £2.50) and leave the shop, when I remembered that Hot Stuff had a rather nicely inventive and unusual guitar solo in it towards the end (I have subsequently looked this up and discovered that the guitarist was someone called Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter from a band called Steely Dan) and I decided to hang around for a while so that I could listen to it…
Ah, not yet… another vocal verse and chorus coming up, I’ll stand here and admire the bright energetic covers of the Marvel Comics on these shelves… they are really quite… Damn! the staff behind the counter have started having a loud bubbling conversation about someone’s recent wedding… and guess what happened later at the reception!… and are drowning out the music. I’ll move further into the shop where it is quieter – ah, this is fine down here by the Sudoku books… here comes that solo – I really like the bit where he does that little… Oh, bugger!… On this compilation they obviously thought the track was a little bit too long and they fade the solo out after the first few notes…
Still, I did buy a nice punctuation book…
(Hot Stuff)

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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