As a brass player, you do get to meet some interesting people. I was extremely
pleased when Rachel sent round an e-mail asking who would like to be involved
in the launch of Neighbours on Channel 5 TV. Richard Clifton and Martin
Garnett came along as well. The idea was to get Harold Bishop, the star
of the soap to play the tuba (for those of you who don't watch "Neighbours",
he is a brass player apparently). He would then front up a band of about
300 brass players from different part of the country.
It was a beautiful sunny day on the 7th February and we were all given
a very nice light blue T-shirt, a packed lunch a can of Coke, a music card
and a legal form to sign waiving our copyright and then we all assembled
on the steps just in front of the National Gallery. There was no such thing
as a tune up because with over 300 people there, you're bound to be in
tune with somebody. The organisation was pretty good but they had omitted
to provide the conductor with any form of amplification so we could see
him but couldn't hear a word he said.
We played the Neighbours theme through and it sounded very nice indeed
- to the great surprise of most people in fact. There was a huge crowd
and wonderful applause. Harold Bishop then came forward to join in. It
was interesting to note that when you're famous somebody else carries your
tuba on stage for you- a "tuba-caddy" you might say. We then
played the Neighbours theme through again in front of more cameras than
I have ever seen in my life. The audience were again extremely appreciative.
Just then two more coaches of very distressed young brass players arrived.
They had been stuck in traffic and had missed the whole event but the organisers
were very kind and allowed them to join in and we played it through yet
I was interviewed for Channel Ten Australian TV and asked what I thought
of Neighbours and whether it was popular with English people because they
envied the Australian way of life!
Imagine our disappointment when viewing channel 5 News later that evening
to see that was only about 15 seconds of a performance actually on TV.
I did however spot myself in the distance but I hardly think my television
appearance would be noticed by many people.
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