The definitive history of Passion Spent – by Patrick (the parrot)

PART 4:Nothing seems right in cars’

Go to part: 1 | 23 | 4

The seventeen-year-old Dave Rushby was eking out a teenage living holding down a job at the Hull, Prospect Centre branch of Boots the chemist. Unable at the time to drive, he had been driven to and from gigs and rehearsals by his dad. After an initial tentative period in which members of the band became more familiar with each other’s personalities and characters, Brian offered to pick Dave up and take him to and from gigs. This worked pretty well for a time, although Dave’s alcohol consumption levels changed markedly; but as I’ve pointed out before, he was only seventeen (oops! surely I mean eighteen…): a young lad having a good time in preparation for rock-guitarist superstardom!

If I were pressed for a view, I’d have to say that the slightest amount of alcohol in the system will impair anyone’s performance, whoever they are. Don’t try to persuade me that a pint, or even a half, has no effect, because you’ll be wasting your time. I’ve seen a pint, and a half-pint, make decisions for people they never should have made; and they think they’re being sensible and are in control. But if there was anyone who could make me think again – just for a microsecond, though – it would be Brian, who, some would say, was a better bass player after he’d had a drink or two. However, after that microsecond, I’d have to take myself by the shoulders and give myself a good shake. Even where Brian was concerned, I’d have to disagree – based on the grounds of wasted potential. Anyway, shandy under the bridge.

As an isolated example of alcohol and self-image perception, let’s look at an incident involving Dave.

Passion Spent, along with a couple of other bands, had been asked by Dick Lovejoy, landlord of the Endyke Hotel, to play a charity gig at the venue. The agreement was that the bands wouldn’t be paid, but that they could have free drinks from the bar all evening. Dave, not a heavy drinker by nature, took full advantage of the situation and had his fill of the ale on offer. The following morning, he was talking to his dad, who was at the gig, about how good the band had played, and how great he himself had performed. His dad brought him back to reality by telling him the barefaced truth: “You were rubbish”. Never, I think, did three small words have such an effect on an aspiring musician. (Eventually, the members of Passion Spent would agree not to consume any alcohol before they’d finished playing for the night; but that was a while away yet.)

One night, when Brian was driving Dave home after a gig, he was asked by a couple of men in uniform to pull his car over. That was the last time for a number of months that Brian sat behind the driving wheel of a vehicle. Of course, the car had all Brian’s and Dave’s gig gear in it at the time. Dave had to call for assistance – from his dad, I think; transfer all his equipment from Brian’s car; and make his sorry way home in his dad’s car.

With Brian now unable to drive, Jim agreed to temporarily sort Dave out with transport. But what about Brian? There was no room in the vehicles of other band members to fit Brian’s equipment as well as their own, so for a while Brian was reliant on friends to get him around, but eventually his position became untenable, and a new bass player had to be found.

For some time, Dave had been talking about the progress of the band with a work colleague. Ben Lourie worked with Dave at Boots, as a Saturday sales assistant. He was learning to play bass, and had shown great interest in the kind of songs Passion Spent were covering. After discussions with the rest of the band about replacing Brian, Dave invited Ben to an audition. Ben seemed to be just what the band were looking for: great bass player, great image, easy to get on with, and with no baggage from previous bands. He was asked to join the band and he agreed.

One interesting thing about Ben was that his dad was / is a luthier and had made Ben’s bass guitar – and what a superb looking and wonderful sounding instrument that instrument was.

Watch this space for PART 5!!

Go to part: 1 | 23 | 4