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24th October 2014:

 

I’m selling a drum kit.  Quite an extraordinary drum kit too.  It’s a Trixon Speedfire  - have a look at it here.  It’s lovely isn’t it?  It looks like something that would be played by a band in a groovy night club in The Jetsons.  Here it is being played by me in the gym at Harrow School.  (the first time I’d been in a gym for about 35 years).  

 

Back in 2003 I fancied buying myself an unusual drum kit.  A chap in Munich was selling one so I decided to motor down and purchase it.  I took along my old drumming mate John Sutton so that he could keep me amused on the autobahn.  It was a freezing night and inevitably my clapped out Nissan Prairie broke down – we had conked out by a little emergency telephone box and so I whimpered in English and in five minutes a big burley mechanic turned up and 

Richard Pite, a professional musician (drums, double bass, sousaphone) & founder of the long established music agency Party Jazz & the UK's premier producer of authentic live recreations of great moments in jazz history, The Jazz Repertory Company.

asked me to open my bonnet.  He then proceeded to start bashing something underneath the bonnet with a very large mallet.  I have no idea what he did but the engine started immediately and we made it all the way back to Leytonstone with the Trixon and with no further trouble and they didn’t charge me a penny. We love those Germans!

 

So the poor Trixon has been living in the cellar for quite a few years now – it’s absurd design hidden away in its cases.  Now I wanted to buy a painting.  My wife Joy thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to raise the funds by selling my ridiculous mid-life crisis car.But as I’m still going through the mid-life crisis – (so far I’ve clocked up 15 years and have about another 5 to go)  I said I’d sell the Trixons instead.  

 

So, before it goes on ebay is anyone interested?  It’s £2,900.  (a drum shop in central London had one up for sale at £5,000 – it had been used by the drummer in Bill Haley and the Comets but the condition was rotten – not a patch on mine).  You don’t have to be able to play the drums just have the room for a little bit of modern art – you could use it as a coffee table.

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29th July 2014:

 

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a heaven but I’m completely convinced that if there was one I wouldn’t be allowed in.  Back on July 19th I had an evening at Boisdale Canary Wharf listening to the Bratislava Hot Serenaders whilst eating oysters and other delights.   This put me in mind of Sydney Smith (3 June 1771 – 22 February 1845)  English wit, writer and Anglican cleric who said “My idea of heaven is eating paté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.”   I’ll drink to that. 

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12th July 2014:

 

A hot topic in the JRC office this week has been perfectly summed up in a recent blog by Pete Long.  I'll leave the explanation to the eloquence of the man himself.  A pertinent comment at a time when the budget for Jazz Services has been cut.

 

From Pete Long’s blog about 100 Years Of Big Band Jazz at London’s Cadogan Hall:

"...Within nanoseconds of the jungle tom-toms at the top of Sing Sing Sing firing up, the power of this music to transfix the young is still every bit as potent as it was back in 1936. No-one’s told them that this stuff is good, they just reacted to it....Frantically gyrating youngsters were in evidence all around the room. Up on the balcony an Indian dad in a turban and his three nippers were going at it like not only was there no tomorrow, but not a great deal left of today.

 

Perhaps those at the funding bodies who grant a hundred thousand quid a pop for people to go around supermarkets with percussion mallets in order to investigate ways of making a soundscape of available sounds from foodstuffs (I’m not kidding, alas) could divert a share of this dough to send big bands (and classical ensembles) round primary schools to interest the young in the visceral power of music.

 

In the long term, who knows, perhaps the huge cultural wasteland that exists in our green and pleasant land between the X-factor at one end, pumped up with ordinary folks’ money by Simon Cowell, and the X-perimental at the other, pumped up with ordinary folks’ money by the Government could actually be filled with accessible art enjoyed by many.  God forbid it might even provide a career or two for some of the terrifying hordes of young virtuosos piling out of the conservatoires in manner similar to commuters disgorging themselves from the 8.46 from Cockfosters."

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11th June 2014:

 

Some of you may have seen the film of the drummer Keith Moon conking out at the drums when playing with The Who at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.  It turned out the twit had taken an elephant tranquiliser before going on stage.  This is something I’ve tended to avoid in my career but in the last month I’ve been laid low by some strange lurgy which has felt like I’ve been on Keith Moon’s medication three times a day.

 

After the roadies had dragged Moonie off stage Pete Townsend asked if there was anyone in the audience that could play the drums (there was – but he wasn’t much cop).  To avoid a similar situation the excellent drummer Bobby Worth will be on the substitute’s bench at the Cadogan Hall this Sunday.  I’ve told him to stand by and if he hears a body crashing off the back of the drum riser that’s his cue to come on and send the band to swingsville with his poundcake ( a little hip lingo there for you hepcats). 

 

That’s all for now from knackered of Leytonstone.  See you at the bar on Sunday.

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7th May 2014:

 

Mr Pite goes into hospital this week to have his nose sorted out for the umpteenth time. He complains that he was bestowed with the Ford Edsel of noses ( it’s big and most of the time it doesn’t work). He’ll be bouncing back at the weekend to resume duties behind the drum kit and smell the roast beef at the Boisdale Canary Wharf Sunday Lunch . In the meantime try these:

* www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/jul/04/readers-recommend-songs-smells-results

* www.content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1658545_1657867_1657781,00.html

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30th April 2014:

 

Richard Pite was in the studio this week recording a new ad for McDonalds & The FIFA World Cup. He described the two minute ad as spectacular and added “I think this is the first musical soundtrack for an advert that features the washboard tie, bok-a-de-bok cymbals, Chinese temple blocks and a Chinese tom tom that’s over a hundred years old. Together this lot will undoubtedly help the burgers fly out the door.”

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