Supporting Eric Random and the Bedlamites

I’m at a time in my life right now in where I’m asking one of life’s important questions. What should I do with my Eros Les Paul Copy? I bought the guitar when I was 14 years old and it’s hard to imagine getting rid of it. But we’re about to move away for a year or so and I’ve been chucking out all kinds of stuff that I haven’t used for years – I’ve given away my Wem Copycat and Electro Harmonix drum machine and lent out the Korg MS-10. But I can’t face getting rid of the Eros Les Paul Copy.

The last time I used it was at a band practice in 1994. I’d just had it serviced at Fiddles and Sticks on All Saints Road and the bloke there had told me that it was probably a late 60s issue and worth a couple of hundred quid so I thought I’d try and get back into it again. By this time I was in a countryish band and the eros Les Paul Copy sound was just not mellow enough, being better suited for 1234 barre chord thrashes. I’d assumed the guitar was new when I bought it in 1979. I’d saved up for months to get it, and had convinced my parents that I could just plug it into the wall socket and play without any amplifiers.

DAD: Great. So it won’t be loud then.
ME: Ha ha. No. The sound gets diffused into the wires of the house and feeds back into the National Grid.
DAD: So it’s the mains socket, then. You definitely won’t be buying an amplifier.
ME: Won’t need one, dad. Got the mains plug.
DAD: Excellent.

I ended up taking my grandfather to a big music warehouse in Bingley, where he helped me choose a little practice amp with a tremelo feature.

DAD: What’s that? Is it an amplifier?
ME: Ha ha. No, Dad. It’s an early prototype of what’s called a ‘personal computer’.
DAD: Why is it making so much noise?
ME: That’s the computer’s memory.
DAD: Why is your guitar plugged into it?

The guitar saw me through the glory years of various bands – Heart Attack, Easy Listening, Boys at their Worst, The Brezhnev Brothers, The Gifted Children and the Fat and Lazy Jazz Experience. The high spot was supporting Eric Random and the Bedlamites at Nottingham’s Ad Lib Club. It was to be the culmination of lots of practice and hard work. Then Eric got ill and the gig was cancelled – we ended up playing a rubbishy Kazoo set for an 18th birthday party at Glentham Village Hall.

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