The reader of this blog (hi, pal, howya doing?) will recall that I noted here a few weeks ago that our only begotten son was off to Australia.
That passage has now come to, er, pass and I therefore find myself bereft of a useful flunkey to transfer music from CDs to my MP3 player.
This totally unsatisfactory state of affairs has resulted in me having to perform the task myself and me alone. Long story short, I came across a Django Reinhardt album I'd forgotten about. Anyway, I've been listening to the master at work again, affording me a fresh opportunity to become totally depressed about my own plank spanking and, er, where was I? Oh, yes. Memory.
Listening to Django again reminded me of a story from long ago, back before the last Ice Age, when I was settling down on the floor, beer can in hand, at a student party. I was joined by a heavily refreshed guy I sort of vaguely knew and we were soon partaking in the communion that was current in those days, that is, passing round a home-made cigarette containing an interesting and quite challenging blend of selected herbal tobaccos.
The host of the party, very much against the temper of the age, had selected an album of Reinhardt, which I recognised, having been previously introduced to his work by a total nutter who knew more about the guitar than was clinically advisable.
This, remember, dear reader, was at a time when the "music scene" (man) was ruled by popular beat combos called Led Sabbath, Deep Zeppelin and the like, who tended to specialise in 15-minute guitar solos of the genus widdly diddly.
Anyway, my party companion started grooving along and asked me if I knew the identity of the guitar player. I gave him what chapter and verse I'd gleaned on Django including the fact that he didn't have full use of his fretting hand because of an accident, thus leading him over time, to develop his particular percussive arpeggio style.
Or words to that effect.
Imagine the pause as my refreshed party mate takes time to process this intelligence. And then he turns to me and says "It's a tragedy in't it?"
"What is?" I say.
"Well," he replies "can you imagine how good he'd have been if he haudnae been a bit spastic?"
Here's a link to Django playing a bit spastic. It's just a track, despite being on You Tube. Just shut your eyes and listen: