my first attempt at being in a band came when i'd just turned 15.
i had a friend at school who had been playing classical guitar since the age of about 5 or 6 and was incredibly good at it.
unfortunately his favourite bands were big country
and the proclaimers
he also had a penchant for the housemartins
a mutual friend of ours had decided to be a bass player.
mainly due to his love of geddy lee
he was also a big U2
i was listening, as you know by now, to a blend of june brides
, sigue sigue sputnik
and the jesus and marychain
i also still liked marillion
quite a lot.
one day the two boys - richard and neal - found me in the playground have a kick about and told me their plan.
they'd been writing some songs and wanted me to do the singing.
mainly because i was a bit of a show off.
no one had ever heard me sing.
they gave me a tape of 3 songs they'd recorded on some uncle's 8 track (!yeah i know!) with a heavy drum machine backing.
i listened and listened and then wrote some lyrics, the thought of which now make me feel rather unwell.
they were the lyrics of a 15 year old trying to be deep.
you know - BAD POETRY
there were probably a couple of lines nicked from truman capote and oscar wilde as that's what morrissey did.
urgh, the cliche's still hurt when i think about them.
anyway, i recorded the lyrics using two tape machines.
one playing the cassette i'd been given and the other recording me singing along.
i was ever so pleased with myself.
we called ourselves the 4th man
and neil the bass player went out and bought a geddy lee style white sports jacket in celebration.
our first and last, ahem, "gig" was one morning during school assembly.
we placed the drum machine on a table in the middle of the assembly hall stage and took our positions around it.
bass on the left, guitar on the right, and me in the front.
the rest of the school filed in and giggled and pointed as we waited for our cue.
neil had brought his jacket to school especially and had rolled the sleeves up in geddy's honour.
richard was wearing one of his dad's white button down shirts so that it was all floppy and hung down at the back in the nearest approximation of simple minds as he could manage.
i wore my school uniform.
but i TOOK MY TIE OFF!
we played three songs.
in fact we played them pretty well actually.
each one was greeted with sniggers hidden behind applause.
just as we were leaving the stage feeling like we'd just concquered wembley stadium someone shouted out, "NEXT TIME TRY DOING IT WITHOUT MIMING TO THAT TAPE RECORDER!"
turns out everyone thought the drum machine was our backing tape.
that afternoon i left the band.
i no longer have the tapes of the band.