He now feels he'd like to be in a band rather than working solo. Personally, I think this is a terrible idea because he's such a control freak he won't be able to cope. He's just not a team player, despite the mandatory so-called 'team-building workshop' he attended last month as a modern-style apprentice. It didn't help, of course, that he and Val Nark were the only people attending. Dave had a tummy upset on the day, and couldn't manage - or so he said.
'I learned the principles,' he said afterwards, 'At least that's what Val says. She's going to monitor how I apply theory to practice, and I think starting a band is a great way of doing it. Not that I care what she thinks or anything.'
'I see. Who are you going to ask to be in your band?' I asked, thinking to myself that options would be limited given Tuppence's complete lack of friends.
'You and Uncle Geoffrey first of course. Geoffrey can play triangle and you can be on theremin. And Val Nark will play drums and sing lead. I'm on electric piano.'
'Have you asked her yet?'
'Do you know if she can play the drums, at all?'
'No. But it's not that hard, and anyone can sing. It doesn't matter much anyway. Prog's about how you feel and think, rather than what you actually play in terms of actual notes and actual keeping in tune or time to a beat or rhythm and that. It's about vision Uncle Tuppy. Bleak winter fields and silence and stuff. It's about philosophy. '
'I see. What about your Moog?'
'It blew up several years ago, how on earth could you forget THAT? Exploded due to excess zeal on my part, during an outdoor performance of ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition. '
'What's Dave saying about all this?' I asked nervously.
'Dave says he's looking forward to being a valued member of the team, and he might play violin. We're doing an Auld Year's Nicht concert down at the Puff Inn, Stormy's chuffed to the gutties. He's got triple stocks in of everything - pork scratchings, Scampi Fries, Madeira, Sweetheart Stout, meths, lager even. Dave says he won't feel right about coming out or anything till his tax return is in. Hopefully he'll manage it, cos we really need the extra depth and texture you only get from the likes of a violin. And Dave's got loads of experience - he used to be in a folk-rock combo in the late 60s, down in Norfolk. He even knew someone who auditioned for Fairport.'
The thought of Dave screeching and scraping away on his violin providing 'depth and texture' and capering about the stage in his threadbare home-made 'loon pants' made me feel a bit faint. I reached for the medicine chest. 'This is madness Tuppence,' I said, rapidly unscrewing a vial of sal volatile and taking a deep sniff, 'Utter madness. You've arranged a gig at the Puff Inn, and not just any night but TONIGHT - Auld Year's Nicht, which is New Year's Eve in normal parlance and one of the biggest party nights of the year, if not THE biggest, and one of your band members might not be there, and the other one doesn't know she's supposed to be in the band? Not to mention me and Geoffrey. We don't even have any instruments.'
'That's right. What you don't know can't hurt you - that's what you always say isn't it Uncle Tuppy?'
'I do, but - '
'Well then. Fashion a triangle from a couple of coathangers and consider yourself a member of The Dorty Bizzums. And if Dave doesn't finish his tax return, Geoffrey will be doubling up on violin.'