Working Class Love Songs from the Moseley Border
I always knew I’d be a pop star.
Lee Scott Revelle. I had the name and everything. I couldn’t possibly end up a fat, middle-aged bloke whose prime concerns were a wife, a child, debt and work. No. That was for the rest of the rat-race.
Me? I had a fantastic destiny on my side. All I had to do was stroll towards it. And so it (almost) proved.
I first formed a band whilst still at junior school. A few classmates at Kingsland Road J&I and myself talked about how great it would be when we were famous, fantasising about world tours and world domination. We were a heavy metal band, driven by the music we all listened to at the age of eight. We figured that not being able to play an instrument wasn’t a hindrance to being in a great band. Punk hadn’t long happened and I loved the DIY ethic. What does tend to stop you being in a great band, as we discovered, is that none of us actually had any instruments.
The first band I had any hands-on “involvement” with went by the glorious name of White Warrior. My involvement meant sitting around a school friend’s house, watching other people trying to write a song. Rob’s brother, Nigel, was there, along with his mate who had a bone-fide electric guitar, the first I’d ever seen in real life. It was an ugly instrument, a Gibson SG copy, but when its owner let me sit and try and pluck a couple of chords on it, I fell in love all the same.
We were all into metal at the time, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple and Rush being the most popular amongst us. The first White Warrior song, I heard, would be a rock ballad that built gradually and totally rocked for the last five (or was it fifteen?) minutes: think “Stairway to Heaven” turned up to eleven.
Nigel and Foulksey went upstairs to write the lyrics, this apparently being a sensitive and secretive part of song-writing. Half an hour later they were back, Nigel bursting into the room with an ecstatic “we’ve got it!” His mate struck up a riff using the four chords he knew before Nigel began singing the inevitably-soon-to-be-a-hit, “White Warrior” by the soon-to-be-famous metal superstars, White Warrior. It went:
In days of old
When knights were bold
A Warrior came from hell
A blind of white
A flash of light
And a fucking awful smell
He’s a white warrior and he lives alone
Ten minutes later, after much giggling, they’d changed the penultimate line to “and no one else to tell.” I already thought they were in danger of selling out. I was ten. Nigel and his mates a couple of years older. But already I had the bug. I was going to be in a band.
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