Back in July 2004, two years after the death of my father, I was in back in Byfleet, England with my ex girlfriend and the Muppet, visiting my mother. While there I called in to a music shop to buy some guitar picks. All I wanted was half a dozen picks at 25 pence each. The mistake I made was letting Jessica-Marie tag along instead of leaving her at my mother's, with her mother. You have to know that the Muppet was still three and a half months away from her fourth birthday. It should have been a simple transaction. A short conversation with the shopkeeper (SK) and myself (Me) and I'd walk out with half a dozen picks and a Muppet (J-M). Easy eh? Yeah right.
SK:- Can I help you sir?
Me:- Yes, I'd like.....
Me:- Sweety, I'm busy. Could I see.......
J-M:- Daddy. Drums. Look.
Me:- Yes, very nice. Can you show me.......
J-M:- Daddy, I want a drum kit.
Me:- Yes, well I'd quite like a Baldwin bass, now be quiet a minute. Yes she is cute. Yeah, er, picks.
SK:- Certainly sir. Any particular picks in mind?
Me:- Yeah, I normally use medium..............
J-M:- Daddy, I want the red one.
Me:- Jessica-Marie, I am not made of money. Now let.........
J-M:- You could go busking, Daddy.
Me:- Sweety, this is West Byfleet, I'd more likely get lifted by the Old Bill.
J-M:- What's Old Bill
Me:- Coppers near retirement, as opposed to Young Bill. Now can I finish buying these picks. Medium shark fin please, mate.
J-M:- But Daddeeeeee
Me:- It's no use you 'but daddeeeeeing' me. End of story. No drum kit. Ali Benito Finito.
J-M:- But Daddy, I dream of playing drums.
Me:- Dream on, Jessica-Marie, dream on.
J-M:- I could play to your AC/DC songs.
Me:- It ain't like your Barbie doll. Played with it once, ripped it's head off and threw it in the corner.
J-M:- I'll look after them Daddy. Please, please, please, please.
Me:- Sweety, I'm a bass player. What's going to happen to my street cred if we have a drummer in the family?
J-M:- You don't love me.
Me:- Course I do. I haven't put you in the microwave for months, have I............ Aw shit, this could be expensive. Birthday and Christmas present in one, right...... Okay mate, I think you'd better box up a drum kit.
J-M:- WooooHoooo. We're on the Highway to Hell, dum, dum, dumdum, dumdum, Highway to Hell.
Forty-five minutes later her dream came true. We left the shop with one pound fifty worth of picks and three hundred friggin' quids worth of red drum kit. Two months later she got a signed photo from Angus Young.
Worth it though for the big grin and the chance to wake up the neighbours at 7.00 on a Saturday morning.