Sunday, 19 June 2011

Family Troubles

The guitar solo from Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing was having a bad time of it: his best friend, the lead vocal from Tom Waits’ Blue Valentine, had fallen out with him over a Joni Mitchell lyric; his wife, the horn section from JJ Cale’s Hey Baby, had left him for the synthesizer part from Duran Duran’s Rio (a shock; he hadn’t realized she was a lesbian); and his younger brother, the riff from Money for Nothing, hadn’t spoken to him since he’d discovered that they had been played on different guitars.
            The guitar solo went down to the pub. It was difficult no longer being famous; instant recognition had been a real boost to his fragile self-esteem, but now, when he went out, hardly anybody knew him.
            The barman, a sampled bass-line from an old Stereo MCs track which no-one had really noticed, asked him: “What’s it to be then?”
            “A pint of flats, please.”
            “Hey – don’t I recognize that coda?” asked the barman. The solo from Sultans of Swing blushed. “Yeah,” said the sampled bass-line. “You’re the solo from Dire Straits’ Telegraph Road! Wow! Have a drink on me.” He started pulling the pint, whilst the solo from Sultans of Swing was too embarrassed to say anything.
            “Your brother, that riff from Money for Nothing, was in here the other day; we got to talking about your big brother, the solo from Sultans of Swing. Man, what a twat! I didn’t know that they were played on different guitars. Mind you, I can hardly talk; I never even met my bass guitar. No idea who he was. My cousin, the sequenced drum track from Happy Mondays’ Step On, reckons it might have been a Fender Precision, but I reckon I’m a Rickenbacker. But that solo - total loser. Oh, hang on the barrel needs changing.”

But by the time the sampled bass-line from a little-known Stereo MCs track had returned, the solo from Sultans of Swing was nowhere to be seen.

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