Almost a rock star

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Mon, 14 Sep 2015 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

My mum and dad gave me an acoustic guitar for my 16th birthday. Previously, my dad taught me how to use a capo and play G, C and D; all you need to play any song in church. I was ready to join a youth band.

A few years later I made it to the church youth band. My ability to play the riff at the beginning of Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive’ got me in. There were two others playing guitar. They were much more talented and so their channels on the sound desk were actually switched on.

One night, during band practice, a man arrived to install the youth-hall’s new sound system. When he was finished his work he wanted to show someone the ropes. Gav, the band leader, volunteered me. I was insulted at first but since my Bon Jovi riff never really fitted with ‘My Jesus, My Saviour’, I put Maggie back in her box and made the permanent move from one end of the hall to the other (Maggie is my guitar. Say it fast and you’ll get it.).

As I was studying Electronics at the time, the sound system made sense to me, so I stayed there. Not that I had a choice.

The sound desk can be a lonely place. The only time people acknowledge your existence is when someone with a mic gets too close to a speaker. This causes feedback like a wee girl getting her hair pulled by her big brother. Some of the glares are terrifying. Folks, please remember to smile at your sound-man.

A few years later, the band started to make it big. And rightly so, they were quite good really. They stopped shaving and gave themselves a name that wasn’t ‘the youth band’. They were even asked to play gigs at other youth fellowships. My association with the band ended one night after a gig in Larne. They forgot half the drum kit and were about 40 minutes late. I cannot tolerate lateness.

Fast forward almost 20 years – I live in the lateness capital of the world and that disorganised youth band evolved for a while and is now called Rend Collective (ask your grandkids).

I wouldn’t say I suffer from Fifth Beatle Syndrome but I do wonder if Bon Jovi was the best band to emulate when learning guitar. Anyhow, I might not be playing gigs in Larne and such places with Chris Tomlin but I know how to dig an awesome pit latrine.

I guess you could draw several points from this story; God has given each of us unique gifts or, God has a plan for each of us or, Paul is having a mid-life crisis. The only thing I can think about is why I didn’t learn a riff by U2 instead.



John & Catherine Kirkland said Wed, 16 Sep 2015 04:02PM
Great blog Paul. When I listen to Rend though I do often find it would be much better if they had one more guitar... God has gifted you an emense sense of patience with Ugandan time keeping. Long live Bon Jovi. We are all just 'living on a prayer'. J&C
sandra johnston said Sat, 03 Oct 2015 07:08PM
Brilliant blog Paul, lol sorry but it did make me laugh . Rend Collective should go to Kiwoko and wot a concert thatd be all the ugandan worship & praise along with them would sound amazing & you to of course ! Just one thing , you have to let me know cause thats one concert id hate to miss. You need to get onto that & you could teach them to dig latrines lol Bless you Tania and Lana, and sorry we missed you. Hope to see you all next time we are over. sandra x

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