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Reminiscences of an Old Git

Will Fly 08 Oct 08 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 08 Oct 08 - 05:17 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 08 - 04:38 AM
Peace 09 Oct 08 - 04:54 AM
Will Fly 09 Oct 08 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,norman picken 19 Aug 11 - 09:34 AM
Thomas Stern 19 Aug 11 - 12:39 PM
Will Fly 19 Aug 11 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 19 Aug 11 - 07:06 PM
Edthefolkie 19 Aug 11 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,john morphew 20 Aug 11 - 01:32 AM
Will Fly 20 Aug 11 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Aug 11 - 05:31 AM
Will Fly 20 Aug 11 - 06:27 AM
Leadfingers 20 Aug 11 - 09:06 AM
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Subject: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 06:06 AM

From 1969 to 1976 I played with a loose affiliation of characters called The Egbert Sousé All Stars, and we had a weekly residency at the Redan public house on the corner of Queensway and Westbourne Grove in London. Our music was a mixture of blues, jug band music, 1920s jazz and, basically, anything else that we fancied. Each week was slightly different, in that some people might turn up, others wouldn't and odd people would sit in from time to time. Most of us were working for the BBC at the time, and that's how we all met up.

The regulars in the band were: Pete Charlton (vocal & kazoo), Brian Catchpole (vocal, kazoo & harmonica), Stefan Dreja (trombone & jug), Robin Wayne (double bass), Norman Picken (alto sax & clarinet), Rita Foreman (washboard), Lawrence - surname forgotten (tenor sax), Ian Chisholm (guitar & mandolin); yours truly (guitar & tenor banjo). Other near-regulars or regular casuals were: Pete Reed (tenor banjo & bass sax), Bob Kerr (trumpet), Graham Reid (tuba), Diz Disley (guitar).

Many of us were just getting into the swing of our instruments, and I can recall regularly being told off - nicely but firmly - by D. Disley for playing the wrong chords to "Doctor Jazz"... Over the years, some of us have stayed in touch, some have gone to the rehearsal room in the sky, and others are I don't know where. If anyone remembers those days or has news of people, I'd love to hear.

Pete Charlton lives in Ealing and tours with his puppet show.

Brian & Rita live in Hackney - Rita had been married to John Foreman and is the mother of Chris Foreman.

Stefan (brother of Chris Dreja) is an art curator somewhere.

Robin Wayne (brother of guitarist Mick Wayne) and Ian Chisholm are still best mates of mine.

Lawrence passed away.

No news of Norman Picken or Pete Reid.

Bob Kerr and Diz are still around, thank heavens.

Any info or other reminiscences - either here or as PMs - would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 05:17 PM

I never had the pleasure of sharing your music, but I love the group name, which appears to be based on an old W.C. Fields character.

May your search prove fruitful!


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 04:38 AM

Hi TJ - thanks for the thought! Forty years is a long time for anything to surface but you never know.

Egbert Sousé was indeed a W.C. Fields character in the "Bank Dick". At the opening of the film he's standing by his mailbox - which has his name on it - when two old ladies walk by and stop. One reads the name and says to the other, "Egbert Souse?" (Sowsse). Fields replies SooZAY, madame, SooZAY - accent grave over the E". Which, of course, is wrong - it's an acute accent over the E. All good fun. We all adored W.C. Fields films - hence the name of the band.

Will


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Peace
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 04:54 AM

Great flick, "The Bank Dick." Recall the scene where he has a cigarette in his mouth, and as his wife enters he somehow gets it inside his mouth by flipping it obver on his tongue. I tried that for about 100 times before getting it without burning myself. Gin helps, fyi.

Will Fly, I would love to read more of your times with the folks back then. Anymore you care to share?


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 10:50 AM

Hi Peace - don't get me started or I'll never stop! The London scene was very varied - then as now - and the "Egberts", as we called ourselves, tended to get together mainly in the Redan public house in Bayswater. The landlord, Johnny Watkins, had been a touring guitarist/singer with the Tito Burns Agency, and had a love of jazz and good-time music. Diz Disley, who was then backing Stephane Grappelly on guitar, lived upstairs. Many musicians and locals of one sort or another (mainly actors) used to drop in and either sit in or kibbitz. I recall being bought several pints of beer by Tom Baker (who was then in the English "Doctor Who" sci-fi TV series - and who wore the same clothes off-set as on-set. Stefan Dreja's brother, Chris Dreja, had been the bass player with the Yardbirds, and Robin Wayne's brother, Mick, had been originally with David Bowie (remember the ethereal guitar solo on "Space Oddity"? - that was Mick), but died in tragic circumstances in the US. Bob Kerr still plays trumpet and fronts his "Whoopee band".

There are 100 stories to tell, but one incident sticks in mind... We were booked to play at a church hall in Basingstoke (alias Dullsville in those days). We turned up to play for three nuns, some children and one or two others - terrible gig! In the interval we went outside for a smoke. Three black US soldiers passing by walked up to us and asked us if we knew an address in Basingstoke. "Sorry", we said, "we're strangers in Basingstoke". One threw up his hands and said, "Man - EVERYONE'S a stranger in Basingstoke!" - a phrase which stayed with us for years...


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: GUEST,norman picken
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 09:34 AM

Hi there Old Git...you must, by the process of elimination be Mike the banjo.

So, I am still around but not playing and so is Chris Kenningly...do you remember him also clrinet and sax..we used to riff on choo choo cha boogie.

Are you still down there in Henfield ?


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 12:39 PM


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 01:45 PM

Hi Norman - email me at: will.fly@mjra.net


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:06 PM

Closed due to Molasses.


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 07:29 PM

Don't stop Will/Mike, even though the last one was 2 years ago. I love all that stuff. Any new Diz stories, God rest him?


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: GUEST,john morphew
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 01:32 AM

To NORMAN PICKEN: If you're the same Norman Picken who played alto in the Middle East with me, give me your eMail address......


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 04:39 AM

Any new Diz stories, God rest him?

(I see that when I started this thread I used the phrase: "Bob Kerr and Diz are still around, thank heavens." Ah well...)

My most treasured memory of Diz - which I think I've probably mentioned in another thread elsewhere - is of us playing at the Redan one Thursday evening, with very few members. Such was the nature of the band - loose affiliations, etc. - that the weekly numbers varied from around 4 to around 10! About 3 of us were there that evening, I think. Diz came down about 8.30 for his usual pint, looked at us, said, "You look a bit short-handed tonight, lads," went upstairs and came down with his guitar. He sat in with us all night and we had a wonderful evening, culminating with Diz turning to the audience and saying "Thank you very much. God bless you - that's his job after all - and good night. Now fuck off!"

When the pub had shut and we were having the regular after-gig after-hours drink, we asked Diz if he wanted a share of the band money which, in those days, was about a tenner for the evening. "No, no, don't bother" he said, "I've got a nice gig tomorrow evening."

"Where's that?" we asked.

"Carnegie Hall. With Stefan (Grappelli)," came the reply.


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 05:31 AM

Will, I hope you don't mind me dropping in here, but I remember Diz back in the early sixties when his gigs weren't so lucrative. He was playing banjo and guitar on the trad scene then and shared a flat with a friend and working colleague of mine. Our office was in the West End and their flat was in Cheyne Walk (Don't ask me how they managed to pay the rent there) but I had to loan Diz two shillings to get home from our office when he called in skint.
Never repaid of course. My first knowlege of Diz was from his great artwork on record covers and in jazz magazines and all those paintings of jazz musicians which adorned the walls of the second hand deparment of Doug Dobell's jazz record shop at 77 Charing Cross Road. Diz was a mate of Aj Cutler. This was before the days of the Wurzels when Aj was still a road manager for Acker Bilk's band. Sometimes on a Saturday evening if they were both free Aj and Diz with a drink or two inside them would drop in to the Ballads and Blues Folk Club. Diz would entertain us with various Monologues such as Albert and the Lion in a strong Yorkshire accent and Aj would sing his various Somerset flavoured material. They were a great comedy duo. Some good memories when characters like that were around and the jazz scene at the time had quite a number of them.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 06:27 AM

I had to loan Diz two shillings to get home from our office when he called in skint.
Never repaid of course.


Of course not! When I moved down to Sussex in '76, I went over to the old Willows Folk Club (when it was run by Bob Hedges at the Arundel Cricket Club pavilion) to see Diz. He spotted me as I came in and said, "Get your guitar, dear boy and come and join me - and play the right chords to Doctor Jazz this time..." So I joined him for the evening, doing guitar duets and sitting there with a grin on my face as he did solo versions of Frank Crumit and other comedy songs.

In the interval he asked me where the nearest petrol station was - he was driving his outsize, petrol-thirsty hearse at the time - and I gave him directions to the nearest garage. Then he said, "You couldn't lend me £5 for some petrol,could you? It might be closed when the club finishes."

Diz got his £5 - I really do wish there was a knock on my door one day and I'd open it to find Diz standing there - with or without the £5!


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Subject: RE: Reminiscences of an Old Git
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 09:06 AM

SO many Diz stories ! I was lucky enough to jam with him on a number of occasions - A Jazz Whistle player has always been a bit of a rarity - after first meeting him at the old Ken Colyer Club all nighters in 1964


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