7 July 2008


We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The Internet... a phenomenon that science fiction writers in the middle of the last century never anticipated. It's lke a window on the world, a portal to a vast treasure house of information and entertainment. We surf. We wander. We find. And there who should I encounter but my old mate John "Jock" Hornby. He was a brilliant lead guitarist but now in his fifties, I guess that any dreams of rock guitar stardom are long gone.
He works for the Forestry Commision now and lives in a Hansel and Gretel house near Burley in the New Forest. But I remember his fingers dancing on the fretboard as we practised in his father's barn or gigged around East Yorkshire so many years ago that I am loath to add them up. Jock played lead and I was the singer - belting out "Black Night", "Alright Now", "Summertime Blues" and some of our own compositions - including "Fieldhouse Rock" after the Hornby family's Fieldhouse Farm. It was long ago and far from here...though it seems like yesterday. And oddly, it now appears that one of his sons - Joshua - also sports his father's nickname - another Jock.
The Jock I knew was a great lad and we got on famously. I went to his wedding to Sally in Winchester and he came to mine to Shirley in Owston Ferry in the early eighties. In my life, I have had many friends but they are scattered far and wide. I sometimes think how lovely it would be if all the people I ever called friends could live within walking distance of this house. Better still, Jock would live next door so I could bang on the wall to tell him to turn his bloody music down!


  1. The room was humming harder
    As the ceiling flew away
    When we called out for another drink
    The waiter brought a tray

    And so it was that later
    As the Miller told his tale
    That her face, at first just ghostly
    Turned a whiter shade of pale

    How ironic. I downloaded that version by Procol Harem just yesterday. (Did you know that Annie Lenox did a cover of that song?!)
    Also, on those occassions when you're waxing nostalgic on age and growing older, here's something you may get a kick out of: you got married in the early eighties...I got married in the late eighties (yes, for real). Less than a mini-decade. So you see, we're not that different, you and I. The generation gap is hardly worth even mentioning. Friends, however, are always worth our memories, thoughts, care and hold special places in our hearts that not even our families can invade.

  2. Old friends doing interesting things is wonderfully refreshing; friends chugging along as if they have a second life planned is not.

  3. Anonymous4:14 pm

    Hey, I was in a band with Jock. "Oharas Playboys" great guitarist as you say. Also his brother Mark.__________ steve short


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits