Words From Beyond M.S. 1986
As I inferred earlier it was a week between sitting at my brother’s grave and hearing voices that I know were not there and handing in my resignation at work. In that time I managed to think a lot, work a bit and ultimately decide that becoming a guitar player in a band was exactly what I wanted to be and the only way I was going to achieve that was to quit everything else and follow the path to success or failure.
Strangely enough I wasn’t scared of failure, I didn’t know what would happen if failure became my only option but I wasn’t scared of trying. I knew I wasn’t the best guitarist in the world, but neither were hundreds of other guitarists and they had jobs so my future rested more on my finding a job where the guitar earned my wage than anything else.
For the following four weeks, as I said I gave Daphne fair notice of my departure and not only did she take it but I ended up working a few extra days, I still practised every day. I knew I wasn’t great at writing music, and worse at writing lyrics, but I could play a lot by ear and I was able to create my own tunes just not put them on paper. I had more cassettes of me playing than I cared to count and I’d even bought myself a Walkman with headphones so that I could listen to myself. For those too young to know what a Walkman was, in the 80’s they were the only portable music device worth having but instead of digital music and CD’s they only played cassettes because that was all we had.
I’d put out feelers with a few local bands before my departure from Power Touring Company but the bands were not exactly what I was wanting too play. Don’t get me wrong here some of the bands I tried out for were great bands and four maybe even five of them went on to big success, how big depends on how much you like their music I guess, but they just weren’t my style. I was playing a heavier more guitar oriented music than was becoming so popular in the pubs. In general terms it was heavy metal but the genre itself was exploding with different bands and techniques and all seemed to want their own title so simply calling it heavy metal may not be entirely fair.
I answered an ad I found in one of the local street press rags which said.
New Band needs lead guitarist
Influence include Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin
Now while many people consider those bands to be heavy metal Black Sabbath are really the only true heavy metal band on that list. They invented Heavy Metal, the other two are hard rock, but they are all guitar orientated and they were also three of the most influential bands for metal players. I’d been playing the riffs of those bands for a while so I figured I’d give it a go.
I went to audition with the band three days before I was due to finish work with Power Touring. They were relatively local, they had a small garage they were using as a band room two suburbs away, and they called themselves Good Friday. Perhaps that was the first warning sign I should have noticed. These guys were indeed heavy metal, they wanted to stylise themselves on Black Sabbath, so much so that even at rehearsal they dressed like the band. My first thought was they were actually a cover band, a band who only wanted to play songs of Black Sabbath, but after playing my guitar for them to show what I could do, and doing a short jam session with them I realised two things. One, what they wanted was a guitarist who could write their Black Sabbath inspired music for them and two, they were in it for shock value more than to create their own style.
The name Good Friday was purely to offend Christians because they thought playing Heavy Metal and the sacred holiday were some how taboo when put together. They not only wanted someone to write all their music, because they weren’t capable, they wanted the ‘devils tritone’ somewhere in every song. (For those that don’t know the devil’s tritone has multiple names but it’s been regarded as an unstable interval in music and rejected as a consonance by most theorists for hundreds of years. It’s what opens the first Black Sabbath album done the right way it does sound quite evil).
It didn’t take me long at all to realise that the band Good Friday were not going far and while I was not expecting a fast ride to stardom I knew enough that I wasn’t going to be going anywhere near stardom with a band like Good Friday. Although I was offered the guitarist slot in the band before I even left that audition I told them I would think about it and get back to them.
I never did get back to them and I walked home with my guitar over my shoulder wondering if quitting work in three days really was the best option. Maybe I could have gone back to work, without sounding too egotistical, I do think Daphne would have happily expected me back into the fold, but I had just enough arrogance left in me to keep pushing me forward.
It was on my last day of work, we were at some seedy bar in the city named Bunny’s, setting up a show for a band of pop musicians named Chunk who played Top Forty hits. Playing drums in that band was a guy by the name of Willy Bundorf, he had long hair, wore black eye make up, leather pants and a sleeveless t-shirt, he looked as much a part of Bunny’s as I did. Not only that he was looking for a band that played the sort of music I was interested in.