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Blog: Hello West Virginia

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At the end of last week I received an INTRIGUING email from Ms C Gaffin of Charleston, West Virginia, formerly of Old London Town. She told me that her husband, Mr J Gaffin, was the DJ on The Afternoon Show on the radio station WTSQ, and that he'd recently been playing our version of Glory Days by Mr B Springsteen. The public reaction, she said, had been "incredible" and "almost a riot." In a good way!

I was, of course, RUDDY DELIGHTED to hear this. 'Glory Days' is a bit of an OUTLIER in our mighty canon - I've played it more often with The PopArt Allstars (twice) than with The Validators (once) and have very rarely done it solo, yet in some ways it's one of our most well-known songs, as it seems to do EXTREMELY well on Spotify. This is MOST LIKELY because it is SO GRATE, but there's a slim chance that it gets recommended to people who have a) listened to other people's versions of the song or b) listened to other tracks by much more well known bands who appeared on the compilation album that it was recorded for i.e. Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool from Mr J Jervis's marvellous Where It's At Is Where You Are Label.

So it was that I agreed to call into the aforesaid radio show last night (Wednesday) for a CHAT. I had sat myself in front of my laptop at home GIRDING myself for a painful session of SKYPE SHOUTING so was amazed to find my PHONE ringing. Caitlin was using Facebook Messenger like a PHONE line, which meant I could sit and just YACK AWAY to Josh on the show like it was some kind of normal conversation or something. Isn't the future GRATE?

The conversation what we had was an ABSOLUTE DELIGHT. Josh seemed to have the uncanny ability to ask questions that led DIRECTLY to an Interesting Anecdote e.g. "So, have you ever done a gig in the USA?" led IMMEDIATELY to the story behind I Did A Gig In New York and over the course of about half an hour we RANGED across such diverse topics as Andy Bell's position in Peterborough (Josh had been there!), the 155th Birthday of the state of West Virginia, and the need for Dinosaur Planet to have a West End/Broadway run before being adapted for film. We also played a bunch of our other songs, and I told the tale of how I was FORCED* (*asked) to change the lyrics BACK to Bruce's original rather than the English Translation I had initially recorded.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself, so was extremely pleased when, halfway through, Josh asked if I could come on the show on a monthly basis for a CHAT. I said "YES PLEASE!" The only downside of the entire experience was that, due to a prior engagement, I had to decline the offer of joining in with an on-air IMPROV SESSION with a local group and... TV's Greg Proops. I have had many unusual experiences in this crazy world of rock and roll, but declining an invitation to do Improv Comedy with Greg Proops in West Virginia was certainly one of the least foreseen outcomes I have experienced!

The whole thing was ACE - Happy Birthday West Virginia!!

posted 21/6/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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