Deaf in One Ear
It's a chilly day in late November, and Billy B. deMills is relaxing in a leather armchair by an open fire in his Sussex mansion. A warm confection of Islay malt and Cuban cigars is doing it's best to ease the worst of the winter freeze, and Billy's brain is working overtime... It's been a long time since the old days, a lot of water under the bridge. Families raised, holiday's taken, jobs done, ancestral homes decorated. Lovers have come and gone, friends stayed and moved on, fashions been in and out, and so many songs have been played and sung. But still the old urges remain...there's music to be played, songs to be written... but who with? A chance conversation with long-time friend, merchant banker and drummer Michael Cycle; while walking the family wolfhound pack on the downs, set in motion a chain of events that ultimately became unstoppable. As luck would have it, it transpired that he was of a similar frame of mind. As they walked and talked, more and more ideas for songs were bandied between them, some good, some less so, some old, some new, some frankly atrocious. The next stage was to find a band... So the call went out. Where was The Booger? A private detective was employed and the former bass player was tracked down to the South London nightclub he now owned, named 'Scruples' after his days with the legendary Rhythm Sheds. Free drinks? I don't think so. Guardedly he said yes, he might be interested. But who would play guitar? Could the reclusive Professor Trevor G. Rant be tempted back into the spotlight, after his devastating bout of woman trouble? Even before this vexing question could be answered Michael Cycle encountered the stunning blonde Lady Hayley Whaley-Bailey at a local gymkhana and was immediately seduced by her keyboard playing skills. Having proved herself by playing Busted songs on the deMills family spinet, she was immediately set to work learning the keyboard parts of the deMills/Cycle back catalogue. Lady Hayley brought with her two of her entourage; Jodie the Roadie, daughter of a local poacher, and the enigmatic Tatey, whose clandestine relationship with the local Sexton was one of the major scandals of the Parish. Cycle and deMills now set their sights on luring into the fold the mighty guitar playing figure that was Prof. T. G. Rant. An almost total recluse since working with Cycle on the critically acclaimed 'Acoustic Eighties' album, Rant was currently living in a converted Martello Tower, where he was recording a blues album, and writing a doctoral thesis on the feminine psyche. It took time, but eventually they wore him down. 'All right,' he finally agreed, 'But only if Billy doesn't play guitar.' And so the stage was set. A band was raised from the ashes and ready to bring to the masses what the Professor termed 'Classic British jangly guitar pop with a soul twist'. Inspired by the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks, and carrying forward the standard of American pop they themselves revered - the glorious world of Motown, Stax and the Beach Boys. As for the name? Well, as their song says: 'What's in a name?' Billy had decreed that the name must be something quintessentially British, and thus with a sizable helping of Terry-Thomas, a spoonful of George Cole and the odd drop of Alec Guiness, The Perfect Scoundrels were born. Sounds good, doesn't it? Almost makes you wish it were true...