It’s always the way with good, old friends, the ones you truly connected with back then, don’t speak to or see for year after year and then BANG! They’re back in your world and nothing really has changed. I spent the most convivial half-hour today on the phone to Duncan Mackay, he in Cape Town, South Africa, I in Suffolk. We connected truly. The familiar cracks were exchanged within seconds, not even minutes, and the loose ground upon which mates shuffle and dance and banter was established as though in a breath. For 30 minutes neither of us let up. Except, that is, to listen. We talked and we listened. Duncan will come to rehearsals and play off-book (no notes). He hasn’t toured since the old King died, but sounds like he’s chomping at the bit for November’s promise.
It’s the same with Jim. We have remained friends, mates, all through the long years since he defected to the Stewart Camp. We’ve written songs together (“A Friend For Life” is my favourite of our collaborations) and partied and dined together many times in the interim. Jim is a good man, one of the best, hilariously witty and we connect, every time, truly. As for Elliott of Pimlico: met as youths, journeyed through a sort of Donny-mania on occasions, and stayed mates and sparring partners all through: we truly connected back then. It doesn’t take The Brain Of Britain to see that we connect truly today. The Fans’ Poll will choose the basis of the first set of the November UK Tour, but The Best Years Of Our Lives will rise from the depths of Cockney Rebel recording history with its head held high, with a passion the four of us are feeling already, and with a true connection to all who come and care. With Barry up there, too…..I might just feel connected, truly connected.