Sipping a final benedictine

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My party-piece was singing Jake Thackray songs (or Thackery as I have wrongly called him for the last 50 years). With my Craviola CRA-6N guitar – the odd shaped one which distracted from me being barely able to play it – I changed my voice to a deep slightly plummy Yorkshire accent and – at the drop of a hat – played Brother Gorilla and Sister Josephine.

It was the early 1970s and Jake Thackery appeared almost weekly on That’s Life. I would use my ATT mono cassette recorded to record his songs and later attempt to emulate him. I never saw him play, I never met him. But my friend Jenny spent a summer in England waiting tables. She met him at the hotel he was staying at. She mentioned me to him. When she told me that I walked about just slightly above the floor most most of the rest of the day. The I found radio, punk and “doing discos” at rather good fees for an hour. Jake Thackery was left behind. As was my ability to imitate him (poorly). One of my most profoundly embarrassing moments 15 or so years later was taking a professional singer’s guitar at another party and trying to perform Sister Josephine. I could not remember the words, the chords the sequence or how to get off a chair at the top of the room and walk back to my table.

I’m looking forward to reading Beware of the Bull: The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray by Paul Thompson and John Watterson.

 


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