Ideas that took off
As you may know, I have been entrusted with the rather entertaining task of compiling and editing the autobiography of a rather remarkable fellow called Alan Tomkinson.
The book is being compiled a chapter at a time, which you can read on Patreon HERE. If you are a musician, run a business, or have ever tried to fulfill a bonkers idea, Alan is roundly able go one further every time. If I didn't have the evidence next to me in photographs and documents, I would refuse to believe most of these stories myself.
Patreon subscribers will also get extras, including some recordings of Alan's music!
"BLANCO THE LION"
There was a sudden, loud animal roar from a large cardboard box behind Mary's chair. There was soup everywhere -- nobody escaped -- Mary was screaming, and in just a few moments our select dinner party was a disaster. Jack called for calm and apologised, saying that it was his fault and had intended to tell us that he was caring for a lion cub.
"HOW TO BUILD A BOARDING CATTERY"
The bank manager, against his better judgement, agreed to the loan. I was over the moon, and I immediately phoned Mary with the great news that the first problem seemed to have been solved. But I was immediately brought back down to Earth when Mary said, “So how many thousands of pounds are we going to be in debt if we don’t make a success of it?”. I was stuck for an answer, but I did notice that she said “we“, and that was the only encouragement I needed to continue.
"HOW TO BEGIN 64 YEARS OF MARRIAGE"
To save arguments, the band members all agreed that the first one to point towards a particular girl should have the first option to test his chat-up technique at the interval. This idea worked smoothly until the evening when Mary walked in. The whole band pointed (married men as well!) and, for a brief moment, there was no music.
"HOW TO WRITE A SCOTTISH ANTHEM"
Although I have written music for so many different people and occasions, including a Royal Albert Hall concert, it would be an entirely different situation to write an anthem to suit a whole nation of Scottish people. I mean, where do you start? Every Scottish person would have differing views about the lyrical content. The music would be required to be distinctly Scottish, and homely, regal, powerful, not to mention memorable. The lyrics would have to convey the vastly varying sentiments of an entire nation. There were dozens of possible variations, unlike writing a simple love song.
"A CO-ORDINATED MANOEUVRE"
My friend asked me if I would take over the driving. This was somewhat difficult, as we were on the motorway, travelling at seventy miles an hour, and I was in the back seat. But there is always a solution.
(Short) READ FOR FREE HERE
During his working life, Alan was a songwriter for the stars of the day (you can read chapters about BRIAN EPSTEIN and JAYNE MANSFIELD). He was also a saxophone and reeds player in a few famous Big Bands, and a music teacher who won a civic award for founding and conducting the Stockport schools youth band, STAGESOUND, who later played at the Albert Hall.
I'm sure you will love to read these stories as much as I am enjoying compiling them!
COMING UP on Alan's Patreon:
THE BLUE ROOM mobile hairdresser's,
Alan's retirement project: building himself a house,
and jamming up the centre of Warrington with twenty custom-built lorries full of peas.
Your contributions, which can be from as little as $1 a month, will go towards the costs of editing and producing the book.