Friday, July 31, 2009

What do sheep count when they can't sleep?

I’m someone who asks a lot of questions. Most of the time I don’t even want the answers but you can tell a lot about someone by their reaction to a question. I love asking the directions for somewhere that doesn’t exist. If you’re lucky enough to ask somebody who has lived in an area for a long time, about a non existent place, it gets really interesting. I recently went into a musical instrument shop and asked if they had the new guitar strings from Apple called the iChord. The assistant was baffled that he hadn’t heard of them and rang his supplier to ask when they would be in stock! After attempting to sell me another brand of strings, he found the website address for Apple, told me I could probably order them online and promised to have them in stock when I next visited the shop. The one question I want you to answer is: Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Music at it's best.

When we are young children, we react to sound and we react to movement. As we learn what we know as language, we begin to communicate. Bobby McFerrin released an acapella song (song without instrumental accompaniment) in 1988 called ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ which became a worldwide hit. Bobby McFerrin is a well respected jazz musician but has yet to release a song as popular as ‘Don’t worry be happy’. The man is a ten-time Grammy Award winning singer, composer, classical orchestra conductor and engages his audience like no other musician. I think he is a legend. This guy called Adam made a video of himself to a Bobby McFerrin song called ‘Drive’. You may like this or you may not, anyway leave a comment and let me know what you think. Bill Y

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Every breath you take, every move you make, you’re still full of ***t

Dear (You know who you are),

It’s inevitable that we will not get on well with everyone we come in contact with. This is a good thing as things would became boring if we did. That said, I like to think I’m a relaxed person who opens his mouth and delivers a sometimes funny, sometimes interesting river of words. When this happens, I usually get a variety of positive, interesting reactions. With this in mind, how come (refer to Post Title)

Tack, tack, tack.

Bill Y

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Laugh at life

Every morning I wake up and I think ‘how can I laugh at life today?’ Sometimes it’s hard to answer that question but most of the time I just laugh at myself. I think Paulina can explain it much better than I can. Paulina lives in the internet. I like Paulina.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I spy an inexperienced musician

A friend of mine reckons you can tell an inexperienced guitarist because only an inexperienced musician will do a gig and rest their drink on an amplifier. His point being that sooner or later, someone on the stage will knock the drink over and possibly ruin some expensive equipment. I had to agree with his point as it was hard not too but I have a slightly different way of spotting an inexperienced musician. To me an inexperienced musician plays crap music! I think the best way to learn a musical instrument is to fall off the horse, get back on and fall off again but please don't do it when I'm in the audience.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Name the large head guy and win an insult.

The guy with the large head to the right of the page is there for a reason. Actually, he’s not! I had no idea what to write about so I was going to write something about him keeping an eye on the blog. It wouldn’t be too difficult to do. He’s always there at the side of the page and as long as I’ve known him, he just lurks there, hands in pockets and attentively watches. I’m usually good at giving nicknames but for some reason I can’t think of what to call him and that’s where you come in. I need suggestions people. Click on the ‘comments’ link at the end of this post and suggest a nickname. I’m not a rich man so there is no financial reward involved however I can reward you with a tailor made insult. Armed with this insult, you can go forward and further insult a person or persons of choice. The insult will not be a standard run of the mill insult for that is not the way I operate. The insult will be a unique, treasured piece of art. Something you can hand down to your children and them to their children. Alternatively you could bypass giving it to your children and give it straight to your grandchildren. So I need a nickname and the reason why you chose it. Good luck and may your imagination run riot.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The sense of humour will forever be scarred

The plan is to write a film script where a man's sense of humour is held to ransom for an obscene amount of money. The gore will involve the ordeals the sense of humour goes through while in captivity. In the end, the sense of humour will escape and will appear to be intact. In reality, the sense of humour will be forever scarred. It's important that all ages get to see the film and for this reason, the torture of the sense of humour will be implied but not seen. The intention is to have the audience realising how importance a sense of humour is and thankful that their's is healthy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


So much of everyday life is built around routine. Due to nature of the the 9 - 5 job, a lot of this can’t be helped. I always think it’s important to inject a certain level of randomness into an otherwise laid out day. You may be required to wear a uniform in work but your employer cannot dictate who you go to lunch with. Well, I suppose your employer could change your lunch to an earlier or later time which would prevent you from going on lunch with someone but let's pretend your employer has more important things to do. If your employer deliberately changes your lunch time so you cannot go on lunch with a certain someone, they cannot stop you eating what you want during lunch. Well, I suppose they could close the canteen as soon as your lunch starts which would prevent you from choosing what to eat during lunch but what happens if you had a crystal ball and you knew the canteen was about to be closed as soon as you were to go on lunch. You could arrange to bring a sandwich to work that day. If your employer arranges for someone to knock your teeth out just as you are about to eat your sandwich, you can choose to realise that your employer just doesn't like you. If this is the case, you should consider writing a sitcom about your employer because it would be a very funny script.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jigsaw with no matching pieces

I downloaded some software the other day to help with writing this blog. I have a lot of random ideas and needed something to jot them down in a non sequential way. The program is good as it allows the addition of off the cuff ideas, images and text to an otherwise blank canvas. It’s like a cross between a word processor and a desktop publishing suite. I like working this way as there is no format to adhere to. Though the program is good, rather than simplifying the process it’s actually making writing the blog more complicated. I look at the screen and see a representation of what my inner head must look like and this scares me. The inner head looks like a massively confused jigsaw with no matching pieces. There’s definitely no shortage of material to draw from. In fact the opposite is true and I’m considering setting up a second blog and calling it ‘Random acts of randomness’. The only problem I can see with this is that the second blog will spawn a third and this this will in turn give birth to another. If this happens, I’ll be forced to take over the internet and I don’t have the time for that!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Full of beans.

I like coffee. I like the taste and I like it a lot. Other things I like include, laughing at myself, laughing at other people, listening to myself, listening to other people, listening to  music and being part of a band. I tend to speak before I have a fully fledged thought and very often a stream of  unconnected words will flow from my mouth. Watching peoples reactions to this, is another thing I like. When I drink a lot of coffee, the unconnected words flow faster and at a greater frequency. To those who know me, I offer these words by way of an explanation. To those who don’t know me, I offer these words by way of an introduction.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm scared, Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

When we're young we are convinced we can do anything.
When we're drunk we sometimes pretty much feel the same way.
I can't remember how or why I ended up at a venue frequented by pensioners but it was a Sunday night and I had consumed an abundance of alcohol. I was with a guitarist friend and it was hard to know who was making less sense. More than likely, it was me. The entertainment that night consisted of a 250 year old waistcoated man strumming an out of tune guitar, accompanied by his own out of tune vocals. The assembled audience were loving his rendition of Dickie Rock songs. As the night moved on, so did our tolerance and more and more 250 year old folk who knew each other, began to fill the place up. So much so that we were politely asked to move to another seat. This didn't bother us at all as we'd arranged to have one more beer and then said we would move on somewhere a bit more alive. We had an acoustic guitar with us and the Dickie singer noticed it as we were changing seats. Like any good comedian who always has a one liner ready for any occasion, the Dickie singer let out a roar over the microphone 'There's the lads who'll be coming up to sing a song in a moment, how are ye lads?'.I usually come alive when I have an audience but we were fairly drunk and this coupled with the fact that neither of us could sing didn't help. And of course we had nothing rehearsed. All of a sudden we heard over the microphone 'Let's hear it for the lads', a demonstration of approval by clapping of hands and then we were on the stage. Those who know me, know I'm very rarely stuck for words but this was one of those rare times where the cat got my tongue and refused to give it back. All of a sudden I realised that my friend had his guitar to strum on stage which meant I was going to have to sing something. I whispered to my mate 'Is that the sound of your footsteps going to the bar?'. His response was to start playing some chords. He was starting to enjoy it, 'cause he knew I was up the 250 year old creek without a prop. I was terrified so I took to the microphone and told the audience that we were called The Geriatrics and we were gonna need their help with the chorus of this song. I explained that when I gave them the nod, they were to scream the words I'm Scared Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' I got them to practice it a few times and they were clapping their hands, smiling gleefully with not a bother in the world. When this was going on I had heard the chord sequence a few times which at least gave me something to work with. I had a quick word with the guitarist and told him to just keep on playing those chords over and over again. I began to sing words, praising Dickie Rock for his contribution to the music industry! The old folks had no idea what I was on about, but when I said the word 'Dickie Rock' they seemed to react positively. I decided it was time for the chorus, gave them the nod and heard 'I'm Scared Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' followed by lots of giggling and laughter. They were lapping it up. From then on, it was child's play so we just repeated the same thing three more times and left the stage to rapturous applause. My opinion of those 250 year olds really changed. They were out to enjoy themselves and enjoy themselves they did. Nothing eventful happened after that but that was the night I learned to think on my feet and I've been pretty much making it up as I go along, since then.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Camera Fiasco -An effort that went quite wrong.

It was the beginning of a new relationship and optimism was alive and kicking. Cynicism hadn't visited and there was nothing in the air to hint that she would.
April - not her real name but a name none the less, looked great and was in great form too.
Her best friend in the world was getting married that day and I'd managed to borrow a hi-spec digital camera for the event. April was delighted as her camera was old and sick and not working very well at all. I took lots of pictures of the bride and groom as they left the church and we went and had our meal. It was one of those days where everyting fell into place and I didn't even offend anyone with the usual nonsense that comes out of my mouth. As the evening progressed, we had a few drinks and got into the party spirit. I took some pictures of April on the dancefloor and proceded to show off my handywork to her mum who commented that her daughter looked really well. I went over to April to show her the pictures of her funky dance routine and she got a good laugh out of it. She asked if she could see one particular picture from earlier that day and I opened the memory card to look for it. It became clear fairly quickly that I had deleted all of the pictures from earlier that day and April's facial expression changed from that of an sweet angel to one of a demented demon. I've seen Rage Against the Machine play live yet I haver never heard such a loud monotonus stream of abuse come from a solitary person. I remember wondering if she could be heard on multiple continents and if so was she scaring the bejayus out of other nationalities in the same way she was causing half of Ballyfermots eardrums to bleed. I knew there was no possiblity of horns protruding from her head but for one brief moment I witnessed a level of hatred which could have leapt straight out of the pages of Mein Kampf. As you can imagine, I went home alone that night after apologising for nearly 4 hours. The fledgling relationship faded out shortly after and I had no complaints at all. Granted, I had messed up with the pictures but the punishment surely didn't fit the crime. If this was the consequences of the camera fiasco, can you imagine my fate if a condom had burst and she became pregnant! A lucky escape, methinks!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The relief (aka) The demise of the sweet thief

I wasn't always the age I am today. When I was smaller there was a guy who lived around the corner who would take sweets from me and my friends when we walked by him. This went on for a considerable amount of time until I decided it was time for it to stop. As far back as I can remember, I could always step back from a situation and look at it from a different angle. I was coming back from the shops one very hot day with a can of lemon juice when I saw the sweet thief at the end of the road. This was as good a time as ever to put him in his place and I had the upper hand as I had seen him and he hadn't seen me yet. I tuned around and walked towards the church. When there was nobody within sight I emptied the contents of the can onto the ground and and rather than visit the toilet to relieve myself, I used the empty can as a portable toilet. I felt instantly better. I next walked towards the sweet thief with my enticing can of juice. It didn't take him long to distance my grinning self from the can and in one swift movement he gulped down the non-soothing steaming liquid. Watching his expression change from content sweet thief to a consumer of a byproduct of my liver was the first time I experienced total contentment. If I am ever to achieve such a heightened state of nirvana again, I will be truly blessed. For that solitary brief moment, all the wrongs and injustices of the world were put right. If the sun hadn't already been shining, it would have appeared and whisked me off to a chocolate factory. Instead, reality paid a visit and I realised I had to run away from sweet thief and swiftly. Looking back now, I realised it was adrenaline and fear which made me run so fast and escape the irate ensuer whose thirst for juice had been quenched in a way which did not appeal to him but pacified me immensely. The next day I bumped into him and cut a deal that meant I would not breathe a word of the event to anyone in return for allowing me to keep my sweets and sweet nectar from that moment on. All's well that ends well. How are things with you these days, Phil?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tom and Bridget Jones

A long time ago before the recession bit, Ireland was a good place to be if you were a musician. The money was in tribute bands and there was lots of work about. Sure, you may laugh when I tell you I played bass in a Tom Jones tribute band (and you'd be right to) but for those two years I realised how hard you can push the human body and still wake up with organs intact. The destination was Waterford for a midnight gig. Because the van broke down in transit, we arrived at the venue at 11:50pm. If you do your maths correctly, you'll see that we had 10 min's to get the gear from the van to the stage. Then we had to soundcheck and have a few beers. But we moved pretty fast and all of a sudden we were on stage at 12:40am. There were two main Tom Jones tribute bands in the country at the time and the we knew each other so there was never any fear of both bands turning up in the same area at the same time. It also meant we could more or less choose when and where we wanted to play. Because of the music we played, the ladies in the audience were on the more mature side of life. This didn't bother us at all because we had three backing singers who looked after us to the best of their abilities but that's a whole other blog for another time. As I mentioned, this was in the middle of the Tiger when people didn't know where to be throwing their money. Being the creative types we were, we were always coming up with handy little earners. That night in Waterford, the place was packed with old folk who were literally screaming to hear Tom Jones songs. We decided to sell raffle tickets and the winner would get their picture taken with Tom after the show and Tom would sign the picture and give her a CD. Yes, the singer in the Tom Jones band, was called Tom! So we sold a book of tickets and a pissed old lady nearly done one in her Bridget Jones nappy when her ticket was pulled out at the interval. We went up, finished the gig and the venue manager wasn't impressed with our sense of timekeeping at all. We quickly packed up, had a quick beer and fell into the van. The van started to move when out of the back window, we witnessed Bridget Jones waddle towards us screaming that she never got her picture taken with Tom. The van driver stopped until Bridget got closer and as she came to the back of the van, he drove a little further away again. At this stage Bridget was out of breath but the van driver (we'll call him Anto) was having none if it. Despite the pleas and protestations from the contents of the van to stop and let Bridget have her picture taken with Tom, Anto and his new game were not to be separated. Now we could see Bridget's band of merry wives chasing after us, disgusted with the injustices of the world. You can have 2 ends to this story. 1) We drove away in tears of laughter, never to visit the venue again. 2) We contacted the venue manager and posted a signed picture of Tom, Cd's and tickets for a gig in Clonmel. What would you have done?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ego bruising mood

Hello and stuff. There are some folk out there who are scared to Mock. I am most definitely not one of those folk. I find Mocking to be one of the great pleasures in life. I’ve made some good friends from taking the exaggerated piss out of people, however there is a downside. According to research which I have no knowledge of – ‘first impressions last’. It’s probably not massively wise to mock someone when meeting them for the first time but if you don’t have a good enough sense of humour to at least laugh at someone who is laughing at you, then you should open a freezer and chill.

Ego bruising mood

I was auditioning as a bassist for a well known band. In the corridor of the venue, there were a lot of familiar faces. Though there are a lot of musicians in Dublin, you tend to meet the same people again and again. Thinking back now, I didn’t even want the gig but someone had told me that this particular band had some serious ego issues and I was in ego bruising mood that morning. The sight of 100+ bass players in a room surely has some merit for a sit com but After 4 hours of watching and listening to these people play the same tune over and over, I had a headache that no woman could soothe. Eventually I got into the room with the band who looked at me as if I had forgotten something. I had forgotten something – a bass guitar! I shook hands with the band members and told them I had left the bass in to be fixed and it wasn’t ready yet for collection. They had a bass in the room and the grinning drummer handed me the instrument. I should point out that I’m fairly self assured and confident when playing bass, but I was cultivating an imbecile like image in that room and it was working a treat. I was asked if I’d learned any of the bands songs to which I responded by taking out some sheet music form my back pocket. I asked them which Kylie song they wanted to play. The singer thought I was having a laugh so I showed him the various Kylie songs I had brought with me. To say he looked massively confused would be as understated as the 2005 weather in New Orleans! I let them know that if they wanted to play a different Kylie song, that I could watch the guitarist and learn the song pretty fast. It was then that the question came, ‘Why would we want to play a Kylie song?’. I told them that I thought their songs had the same formulaic structure of every Kylie song I had heard. The singer thought I was joking until I pointed out ‘Cant get you outta my head‘ sounded like the last four songs on their last album. If you’re ever going to try this, the trick is to keep a straight face when your natural instinct is to laugh uncontrollably. It was time to leave as the once smiling band members began to take on fairly aggressive facial expressions and stances. I told the guys I had to go as I was meeting up with a singer/songwriter who thought she was Kate Bush!


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