Sometimes there is a defining moment in your life….I had already had my brush with the 1970 IOW festival to whet my appetite to be a muso….It’s odd that fishing should lead to the other shaping event in my youth.
I fished in my early teens from the shore and from Sandown pier and I used to sneak of for a spot of underage drinking in the Blue Lagoon bars opposite the Pier while my folks thought I was casting my line upon the waters!
The Blue Lagoon was a real dive, occupying the floor above some seedy amusements and the floor below a dodgy nightclub called the Birdcage. It had a full length balcony covered in roaches and a largely leather clad biker clientèle but the music there was fantastic. The Mecanix played there regularly and their punk/pub rock versions of Whisky in the Jar and Cherry Red kept me riveted. I watched their guitarist like a hawk and modeled my emerging style on his. I started to devour LPs as fast as I could get them, and that was pretty fast. My parents dealt with a local cash and carry for their hardware business and it had a record section……I bought albums by the clash, the Vibrators, Dr Feelgood and just absorbed everything I could.
If anyone asks me my favorite guitar solo though after all those years it’s still Eric Bell's brilliant jewel in Whiskey in the Jar…..if you cover the song you play it as is, because you can’t improve on perfection…..even the mighty Metallica in their version, like the Mecanix all those years ago, leave the solo largely true to the original.