Memories of twanging and live wires…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s outside temperature is 280 degrees Kevin.

I had a phone call from a friend of mine last week, he sometimes calls when he has a question involving electricity – I still remember some of the science I learned at school. He and his partner have recently moved into a nice Victorian house in a pleasant part of Dulltown; in the front room downstairs there are two sets of wires with red sticky tape on their ends poking out of the walls just above head height in the alcoves each side of the fireplace. He said that he thought that they probably once had wall lights connected to them, and was wondering if they might be still buzzing with lethal electricity, and as they didn’t need any new wall lights fitted they were considering what should be done about these unsightly and scary protuberances. I said that I would pop round with my little voltage detector and give the areas a quick sweep for spurious voltages…
The walk round to their place takes about half an hour, and there is a nice, but sometimes muddy, short cut across a large green urban park. Halfway through the park one passes a fenced off area with a stand of trees and an old disused open air theatre, well the stage wasn’t open air, but the audience accommodation was – a raised sloping area of ground where people would sit or stand to watch the performances. Is that what you’d call a grassy knoll? Oh, and around the theatre, and its grassy knoll, there runs the circular track of a miniature railway for the kids.
Anyway, as I passed this I recalled that one warm summer’s day a long long time ago I played my electric guitar with a band on that stage; in fact it was one of the first performances I ever did in front of people.
I can’t remember the name of the band, or who else was in it, but I think the event was one of those ‘battle of the bands’ contests that were popular back then. I was very nervous, especially as our first song was to be kicked off by my guitar alone; it was a Chuck Berry rock & roll tune with a clanging solo guitar intro. We were introduced to the audience over the PA system by the chap running the thing, I stepped forward, turned the volume up on my guitar, curled my sweaty trembling left forefinger around the first and seconds strings, gripped my slippery plectrum as tight as possible in my other hand, and played my four solo bars as carefully as I could…
Towards the end of my intro I noticed that some cheers broke out from the crowd; I was very pleased and also relieved – things were going well! Then the bass, drums, and singer came in with the first verse. Immediately I could hear groans and jeers coming from the elements of the crowd who had, just a few seconds before, been so positive… That’s really all I can remember from that day, and I’m pretty certain that we didn’t win the contest…
Anyway, back to the present; those wires buried in my friends’ walls made my detector flash red in no uncertain manner, and arrangements were made for a further visit to find out where the wires originate, and how they are to be isolated, snipped off, and the holes in the walls filled……
Oh, and as I was passing the old theatre I crept around the side and took a quick picture of it for you:


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...
This entry was posted in archeology, cool, Dulltown, guitars, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, music, photography, physics, science, serendipity, theatre and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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