Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected colours are: fluorescent brown, fluorescent grey, fluorescent black, fluorescent fawn, and the odd colour of the mould on that satsuma that had rolled under the fridge a months or two ago…
Hey kids!… Do you want to be in a rock band?…
Do kids want to be in rock bands any more?
I don’t know, perhaps they think that it would involve too much effort and learning – even to be in one of those dreary strum-strum bland whining bands that seem to be so popular at the moment.
Perhaps I could draw on past experience of being in a band or two and help you decide which role in the band you might like to aim for?
These brief profiles are based on pithy data from conversations and observations I have made over the years. The following are the six most common roles you might aspire to take on:
The whole band exists for me – without me, it would be nothing! The rest of the so-called musicians are always so very difficult to work with – they don’t understand me at all – I’m sensitive! They are generally bastards to get on with and are constantly moaning about how much their equipment costs and how heavy it is! Luckily I only had to buy a cheap second-hand microphone and a bottle of throat syrup.
I am here to dominate and decorate. Yes, the drums must be the loudest instrument in the band – that is the way it is, and always has been! If there are any available quiet interludes in the music, however short, it’s my job to fill them with a snappy and unexpected roll on the toms, or a bright cymbal crash. Also, I do get to sit down for the whole performance – usually the kit is up on a rostrum – so I can look down on everyone else, which is good.
The Bass Player:
I like my job, it’s easy. I just stand next to the drummer and follow what they do. If I get really bored I introduce some nifty runs or arpeggios into the songs, but no one ever seems to notice, or complain later. I have thought of taking a book to read on stage, possibly on a music stand, but the others didn’t think much of that idea. Sometimes I do get away with listening to football or rugby commentary on my wireless earbuds during the show though.
The Keyboard Player:
The modern keyboard is a wonderful thing, it has all the possible notes and sounds that one could wish for – I could play everyone else’s parts in the band if I wanted, bass, lead, even drums, anything really – in fact I could do the whole show without them if necessary. Of course I am the only one in the band who can actually read music. My favourite device is the ‘swell pedal’ on the floor – one gentle press with my foot and I’m instantly louder than everyone else!
The Rhythm Guitarist:
Once you’ve learned the easy chords up and down the neck, and you can keep reasonable time with your strumming, that’s basically it, and you don’t really have that much to do. You can wander around the stage and tell jokes to the bass player, and look at, and wink at girls in the audience. All that strumming does make your arm ache though, I get through lots of plectrums too, but they are fairly cheap to buy, I get them in bulk you know – would you like one?
The Lead Guitarist:
The whole band exists for me – without me it would be nothing! The rest of the so-called musicians are always so very difficult to work with – they are always moaning about how loud I am, especially the drummer and keyboard player. Look, this is how I stand! Cool isn’t it? Should I wear a black hat or not? I have several – and it would be a pity to cover my hair, By the way I have lot’s of nice guitars and vintage amps, would you like to see pictures of some of them on my phone?