The Jazz Factory
Tuesday November 20, 2012
The "mob" at the old Maroochydore Pub. Sadly now a "boutique" venue.
When you want genuine
music--music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse
your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, remify your
Jazz Factory is based on the Sunshine Coast
THE SEATED DUCK
To be a solo pianist it helps to be a schmuck,
For no sagacious fellow wants to be a sitting duck.
A seated duck would be perhaps a better turn of phrase,
for someone in the spotlight under everybody’s gaze.
And that includes the barman and the waiters who agree,
Your hours are too short (they think your paid some splendid fee)
Tonight the gigs in Kensington, the piano is painted white;
You know that’s camouflage - it means the damn thing got blight.
You stroke the keys, two notes are dead and both the pedals squeak
The treble is way out of tune the action’s up the creek
But now it’s time to set about that keyboard’s broken grin
Which complements your phoney smile already wearing thin.
You sit and from this moment on, you’re everybody’s, but.
The bores, the drunks, the know-alls, and of course the local nut.
You kick off with some ballads, bossas, evergreens and blues,
Forget your soul - you’re only here to help them sell the booze
You amble through some standards ”Soon” and ”Have you met miss Jones?”
A punter lurches up and asks for something by the Stones.
You roll the blues, play ”Lover Man” & ”Here’s that rainy day”
”The BEATLES!” someone bellows, so you trot out ”Yesterday”
You’ve memorised a thousand songs? Ye Gods that’s not good enough!
You don’t know Elton’s latest hit? you must be pretty duff!
Requests come up for “Small Hotel”, for “Stardust” and “Blue Moon”
But when you improvise they say: “He doesn’t know the tune!”
You’re bugged by boogie woogie buffs and singers who can’t sing
And ragtime freaks who somehow always ask you to play the Sting
But really all you need to know are “Misty” and “Take Five”,
“As time goes by” and “Summertime” in order to survive)
Some nights the punters love you and your playing seems inspired:
They hang onto yore every note; it’s nice to be admired
On other nights you’d swear you’ve got two fingers and eight thumbs
It’s time like this you’ll wish you had support from bass and drums
A fan comes up and bend your ears (he’s into self-expression)
You sigh and mumble platitudes with well rehearsed discretion
“Is jazz a craft or art?” he asks, “a thing of brain or heart?”
He means well, tell him “jazz is craft, but getting work is art!”
Last night you were in Newcastle, next week you’re off to Rome
While bills and small buff envelopes accumulate at home
So why not quit, and take a job from nine to five instead?
Or does it sound a bit too much like working