Dobby’s Shoelace

Those of you who have read Words and Music, will recall a dazzling young man, and Ritchie Blackmore fan extraordinaire, who goes by the name of Gareth. Though he would be loathe to admit it now, there was a time in his youth when Gareth would willingly accompany me to Saxon gigs, deriving pleasure and entertainment from both the music and the band’s ‘stagecraft’. Gareth found bass player Steve ‘Dobby’ Dawson particularly entertaining and, indeed, I remember a line from the Crusader tour programme which greatly amused us both. Asked what he liked to do after a gig, Dobby replies: “Get showered, get drunk, get laid, in that order.” It’s a great line, and one I’ve used myself from time to time. (Try it out, it’s an answer that fits an extraordinarily large number of questions.)

Anyway, Gareth has a great anecdote that, try as I may,  I just couldn’t quite manage to work into the book. So here it is now for your reading pleasure. He writes:

“Do you recall us going to St.David’s Hall to watch Saxon and running to the front as the lights dropped? Anyway, the bassist (Steve Dawson … you have no idea how it pains me to think that I might have that name right; that a useful piece of information could be esconced in my brain in place of an old rock band member’s name…the horror, the horror!) put his foot on his monitor a la Spinal Tap (I think Tap toured with Saxon to learn a few things) and I industriously began to pick his lace out of his basketball shoe (shoes which, as you know, have about 200 holes … it was indeed a labour of love). I recall our friend Richard laughing hysterically beside me as I picked away at the tightest bits, ‘Strangers in the Night’ reverberating through the hall..pick, pick, pick…anyway, I finally freed the lace (I think I still have it somewhere) and he started prancing about the stage and stared down in horror to see this long lolling tongue flapping away and his shoe half off … classic indeed. Anyway, my brother Duncan sent that story to John Peel who read it live on Radio 1! I have the recording of it somewhere …”

Gareth was last seen on these shores wandering the old town of Salisbury, checking out Ritchie Blackmore’s minstrel tights, which, thankfully, he didn’t try to remove and won’t be sending to Radio 1.

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  1. Relics 2: Programmes That Can Be Read « Words and Music

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