An intimate evening with John Coghlan Aug 25, 2017 19:54:50 GMT 4th Chord, Whoppa Choppa, and 8 more like this
Post by curiousgirl on Aug 25, 2017 19:54:50 GMT
I really enjoyed the intimate evening with the one and only John Coghlan last night. And meeting some fellow Quo fans from the board, Markquo and ptquo. Here is my gig report.
It was held in a small pub in North London. As I approached it, I saw a man ahead of me, long haired, denim clad, carrying a plastic bag that probably contained vinyl. And I knew that I'd found the right place.
The pub has a great back room for intimate gigs and talks. Even with approx 35+ people, it felt full. On the stage were 2 sofas, a TV monitor, and a number of lamps to create the impression that we were in someone's front room, eavesdropping on their conversation.
The evening was excellently hosted by Steve Blacknell. I hadn't heard of him before but then I don't watch MTV. He and John knew each other well and that made for a relaxed and funny evening.
John was quite the raconteur and really enjoyed telling stories.
My favourite example was early on when he told us how Roy Lines left the band. John was sat comfortably on the sofa, holding a mic. The story began after they'd finished a gig. These aren't John's exact words but they give you a flavour of his style.
"On a train Roy said, 'I've had enough of this.' And we all said, 'yeah, it is tiring, touring ...' And he got his case down off the rack. The train pulled into a station and he left the compartment. Then the train started again" At this point John did the sounds of a train moving off into the mic which was very effective, before continuing. "And we all said, 'where's Roy?' And we saw him waving at us through the window." And then John mimed waving.
It was a delightful performance and I pictured it all, as if I was there with them, back in the 60s when this occurred.
The conversation in the first half was sparked off via a series of photos which prompted John to tell us stories around them of his life and times with Quo. I'd seen nearly all the photos before because most of them are in the 1st Quo John Sherlaw Autobiography. That gives you an idea of what was shown.
What I didn't know was that John's drumming hero was Buddy Rich and they met - we saw the photo - and Buddy asked John to play for him. Which of course made John very nervous as he was a hard man to please and regularly sacked his band members. Buddy approved of John's drumming.
The stories were all familiar Quo ones but it was interesting to hear John tell them.
The 2nd half of the set was a drumming lesson and I now know what to listen out for. He played us a range of tempos/rhythms and ways to hit the drum kit and cymbals. For example, I know what '4 on the floor' sounds like. He started off by showing us how not to drum by doing a wonderful impersonation of "Animal" - the puppet.
And there were great stories about other drummers John knew - including Keith Moon, John Bohnam, Simon Philips and others I've forgotten.
John was great at twirling the drumsticks throughout this section and it was tricky to get a good shot but I tried.
There was a Q&A at the end. And the most interesting question was from our ptquo - 'what other band would you like to have been in if it wasn't for Quo?' And.... it was the Hollies.
That surprised me but then I forget that John, and the rest of the band, grew up prior to rock music. They were part of the first wave of rock and John's early drumming inspirations were all jazz, big band stuff.
In the bar afterwards I spotted the back of John's shirt. In the low light it was hard to do it justice but I tried. I also love this image because John and Gillie are such a lovely couple.
The talk was over around 9.30pm. I hung around for a short while before heading home. The rest of the audience looked like many of John's friends, who knew him and Gillie well. There was a drummer from the Searchers, and one from the Travelling Wilberys in the audience - told by our host Steve. So I left them to it.