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Robb Johnson, A Break in the Clouds

Man Walks Into a Pub

THOMAS AMONG THE DANDELIONS

I went to one of the Mott the Hoople reunion gigs at Hammersmith Apollo in October 09. It was magnificent. For most of the evening the drummer was Martin Chambers, as Buffin, the Mott drummer, has Alzheimer’s disease. However, for the encores, roadies whipped a black cloth off another drum kit, Buffin was helped onto it, sat down and played along with Chambers, and as far as I could see, never missed a beat. Truly inspirational. Rock’n’roll, eh - two fingers to you, Mr Death.

So there was all that buzzing around at the back of my mind when I started finding my way round the chords and twiddles that eventually coalesced as this tune. It was turning out rather more gentle than I’d expected, so I decided it wasn’t going to be called “Two Fingers to you Mr Death” after all. Then Hari’s dear old guinea pig, Thomas, died after seven years of principled straw rustling, philosophical chirping, and generally being a valued co-worker within the Johnson collective.

He was always his own pig, fully embodying both a pig’s determined character and essential gentleness. and he loved dandelions, hence the title. Respect.

 

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