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Big George's Guide To Commercial Success; Band stories By Big George
Published September 2001


This month, Big George takes a deep breath... and expels the usual hot air.

Next month I shall be putting my balls on the line, mentioning the unmentionable, and basically committing Career Suicide, all in the pursuit of your long‑term financial benefit and increased employment prospects — so this month you can sit back and be bored senseless with a single episode in the life of Big George. (NB. If this tale turns up in an autobiography of mine in a year or so, I'd demand your money back if I were you. Whereas if you've already read this tired old showbiz anecdote in another former no‑hoper's pathetic memoirs, then all I can say is what a flipping coincidence, I wasn't even there Guv, it's a fair cop...)

So Anyway

We've all got our own 'being in a band' stories which we can use to get rid of unwanted guests, and I would be abusing my position as a trusted music hack on the most credible music magazine on Earth if I burdened you with any of mine...

... Like the time we were in a minibus driving up one of Great Britain's picturesque motorways when we overtook a coach packed to the rafters with nuns. So after a quick wave, rather than continuing our journey with all speed to our destination, we slowed down, forcing them to overtake us, only this time everyone bar the driver stuck their bums against the left‑side window of our vehicle. Once their mode of transport was in front of us, we sped up, moved to the right‑hand side of the minibus and mooned out of the window there. This was repeated at least a dozen times, and even though I can't say the nuns returned the compliment, I do know they were all having a bloody good laugh. Now whether it was at our jolly japes, or just because we had spotty backsides, I will never know.

No Names, No Lawyers

It takes all sorts in this business. One producer, while the percussion section was being mic'd up, asked, in all seriousness, "can we DI the congas?" Then there was the well‑known singer whom I saw duped into singing a particular song over and over again with a washing‑powder packing case over his head, as the boxy acoustics would sound "wicked". Every time he took it off he was red‑hot and dripping with sweat. Oh how we looked earnest as he put the box back on his head for no sonic reason at all, just to satisfy our warped sense of fun. Sometimes he even kept the box on his head while he listened to the playback. Cruel? Maybe. Funny? Well, that was the last time I worked with him, and now he owns half the gold in the world, so I'm in hysterics.

Didn't He Say One Story?

Then, of course, there was the time when I was on stage and the crowd were going absolutely crazy (a rare occurrence for me, although we were playing to Johnny Foreigner in the middle of nowhere). I decided it would look cool to leap onto the monitor wedge and use my bass as a musical machine gun, mowing the audience down with my chugging root–note. Only trouble was, as I hit the top of the wedge it slid off the front of the stage and I fell flat on my back, SPLATT. Watching from his drum riser at the back, my riddum buddy found the fact that I might have snapped my spine so humorous that he threw one of his drum sticks at me, but when he went to get another from his stick bag he realised it was back in the dressing room. And so from being the most kicking band on stage at that moment anywhere in the world, we had the bass end of the riddum section flat on his back, unable to get up, with a splitting headache and no self‑esteem whatsoever, and the drummist playing panic‑stricken with one stick until the song fell apart, before running back to the dressing room to retrieve his stick bag. Luckily the singer was too wrapped up in the lyrics of the song, which no‑one in the crowd could understand (something about loving some old bint forever even though she's an old cow), to notice the slapstick.

At Last, The End

If you have any humorous stories of childish behaviour, studio stupidity, or pompous posturing, send them to me (details in the box immediately below) and we'll have a Christmas special on the inadequacies of music makers on their own territory. See you next month, when the gloves come off and it all starts getting ugly — and I don't just mean my face!

The Revolution Starts Here!

Starting next month, I shall be laying down battle plans for the emancipation of our industry. It is a major undertaking, and it will not be easy, pretty or convienient. So I will need your help. Either tell me I'm a deluded fool or give me pointers for areas of attack. This is a mission, and if you lot don't come on board I'll just take the first directorship I'm offered, retire to Hollywood, produce low‑budget road movies and write puerile crap for boy bands.

One part of the plan is this: in late November of this year you will hear about the most ridiculous pop single in history, bearing my name. Make sure you get all your family to buy it (and, on the off‑chance you've got any mates, get them to cough up too). My pledge is this: I will give all the money the record makes to a worthy charity while the record makes its way up the charts to be number one on Top of the Pops. I'm serious — the revolution starts here! Contact me at: Big George Revolutionary Secret Underground HQ, PO Box 7094, Kiln Farm, MK11 1LL; email; or visit