Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Pretty self-explanatory
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krm
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Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby krm » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:48 am

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/445996


Bruce Thomas – Long standing bassist with Elvis Costello’s Attractions was prompted to write Rough Notes when a friend told him: ‘There’s only one history of rock …and pop and you were there!’ It follows his career from the paper-round he did to buy his first guitar and see the Beatles — all the way through to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 …and beyond.

Taking time out to discuss the so-called feud between him and Elvis, the memoir also includes accounts of working with Paul McCartney, touring on Elton John’s private jet, a day at Johnny Cash’s ranch and dinner with Yoko Ono — as well as encounters with Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Abba, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, the Who, Freddie Mercury, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, John Belushi, Michael Hutchence …and a certain Jimmy Savile.

Yet Rough Notes is far more than a personal memoir or catalogue of trivia. It traces the entire story of rock and pop from its beginnings in the 1950s, right through to the present day — despite the fact it’s been said that …’writing about music is like dancing about architecture’. In conversation with Julie Hamill tonite…

sheeptotheslaughter
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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:41 am

I will be there. The only member of The Attractions/Impostors i am yet to meet. Although we speak regular on messenger.

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sulky lad » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:01 am

I'll be there if I can wangle time off work - and that's looking increasingly unlikely :(
Likewise, Bruce is the only Attraction that I've not met in person - though I feel I've championed his playing on this forum to excess !! :wink:

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby krm » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:06 am

I am looking forward to reports from this event. A bit annoying that I can´t go.

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:15 pm

A work commitment means I can’t make it. Likewise I have not met him.

I look forward to the reports.
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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:08 am

It is a joint event with Derek Philpott who wrote a book called please Mr Pop Star.

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:44 am

Look forward to seeing some of you there

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby Neil. » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:17 am

Sheeptotheslaughter, how was Bruce?

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:56 am

Report please - this was nearly 2 days ago and we have nothing :shock: :lol:
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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sulky lad » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:57 pm

It turned out to be a really exceptional evening with Bruce !
I arrived in Camden and bagged the only parking space in the entire city of London by forcing a little Hispanic lady off the road and then made my way to the Dublin Castle - which was a real "spit and sawdust" rock'n'roll venue with a friendly atmosphere as soon as I entered. The staff were great and there was a relaxed feel to both the public bar and the organization for the book club. I met Mr and Mrs Sheep and we strolled into the back room which had a small stage and an open floor and a bar at the back and I got accosted by the lady mistress of ceremonies who got me shifting furniture briefly, and I was all the time aware that Bruce was walking around and helping set up the stall with his books prominently displayed. Steve made himself known to Bruce as they'd been on close contact over their ailing football club for some time ( :lol: :wink: ) and then I collared Bruce and expressed my undying love for his playing and musical inventiveness - I admit I gushed like a geyser ! Bruce was gracious and very self effacing but didn't hesitate to sign 3 of the album sleeves I'd taken with me ( Get Happy, El Mocambo and Blood And Chocolate - which are now fully signed by Elvis and ALL the Attractions !!!)
and then listened attentively as I described to him the moments I loved best from his many tracks and my passion for Get Happy in particular. We then discussed bass guitars and he said he used to have an Epiphone Rivoli like the one I currently own and laughed in memory. More and more people were arriving including a few well worn hipsters who all looked a little past their sell by dates and who, it transpired turned out to be several members of varying bands including some of The Ruts, Will Birch from the Kursaal Fliers and quite a few Attractions fans. John Philpott led off once the evening formally started and his stint was largely spent with him reading some of the letters he had written and then various members of the audience reading their responses, which led to some comical moments. My favourite moment was when he said he'd written several times to Elton John's publishing company asking for royalties since Elton had sung "You can tell everybody, this is your song " - brilliant. As a feature I felt it dragged a little and some of the responses were more long winded and definitely nowhere near as amusing as the original questions but the fan site Dear Mr Popstar is worth a quick flit through because there are some classic misinterpretations of lyrics with hilarious connotations.
After an extended break, we returned to have Bruce interviewed and he came across as witty, engaging and with just a shred of sadness that his relationship with Elvis and the others isn't quite as familiar as he'd like ( or maybe I'm reading too much). He said that The Big Wheel was really written as therapy for himself and much less about hurting or slagging off Elvis and that the stress of touring and not sleeping in the same bed for 2 days running was enormously debilitating. He seemed to me to stress that after Dave Robinson had said that musicians were like pebbles on a beach, that the Attractions were hammered for the first 3 years of their formation and that one of the enduring memories was of them throwing away clothes as they never had time for them to be laundered properly before they headed off to the next gig !
The conversation turned obviously to music and he described the evolution of songs and how Elvis would come in with the basic song and how they'd work it up, often changing it dramatically. He used "Chelsea" as the example and how Elvis brought it to the band sounding like The Kinks "Tired Of Waiting" and demonstrated the way the bass line evolved. He played riffs from several other songs including 5ive Gears In Reverse which was really magical and a little snippet of Lipstick Vogue, marred for me by some idiot standing directly in front to film it on her phone :twisted:
The anecdotes that Bruce told were all familiar with those of us who have read the book but he seemed to have little animosity against Elvis and reserved his distaste for the influence Cait had had, describing the sacking of Jake in some detail and blaming her entirely for that episode.
He had also brought the first bass guitar he had which was a home made 11 fret violin bass copy which promptly fell over during the interview and played a small Fender bass though not the Precision bass he usually had. I had asked which bass he'd brought and asked if it was the Wal and he told me not to get too excited !! His interview and reminiscences probably lasted well over 90 minutes but we suffered from being close to the door to the pub which was far too frequently opened and the noise allowed to penetrate and also quite a few people in the audience are now of an age where their attention span lasts about 40 microseconds and there was a fairly impolite amount of background chat whilst Bruce was talking. Afterwards, I managed to thanks him again and got Trust, Punch the Clock, This Year's Model and my copy of Rough Notes signed and said I really hoped I'd meet him again and he was friendly and encouraging. I didn't have the courage to ask about any live recordings he might have had but I did ask in the Q&A session which were his best remembered gigs and he said Glastonbury 1994, the RAH shows in 1994, and any number of the early 1977-78 shows including one in Norway when the road crew all geneflected in awe when they came off stage. ( were you there then Ronnie, Kjell ?)
I enjoyed myself immensely and was delighted to finally meet my musical hero and inspiration. Now can I summon up the courage to send him my tapes list ??!!??? :shock:
Thanks a million, Bruce :D

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby Neil. » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:01 pm

Glad you got to make it to the talk, Sulky - thanks for that great account of how it went.

I kinda wish I'd gone, now!!!
Last edited by Neil. on Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:14 pm

Good account mate - thanks.
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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby krm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:48 pm

Thanks for the report. And no, my first sweden gig was in 1979 in Lund.

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Re: Bruce Thomas, public interview, LONDON: Dublin Castle WED 3RD OCT, 2018

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:25 am

Sorry for a late post on this I have been very busy with my daughters wedding. I think Sulky lads review was spot on. It was really funny because Bruce greeted me like we were old friends. He was a lovely bloke and quite happily posted for photos


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