Those little silly wire strings pinged and twanged to make a sound inside the plywood case. The guitar was up to scratch. “I want to hold your hand” by The Beatles just flowed out of the contraption. The vocals of the pair of musicians were excellent, as good if not better than the original. Tonight the crowd in the pub swayed and rocked, stamped and screamed their appreciation, even clapping their hands above their heads to the beat. Last orders were called but no one took the slightest notice as the pair took up the strains of yet another favourite, “Rocking all over the world”. The volume was up to full blast. What the neighbours thought of the pub tonight, no one cared and no one complained. Rye was alive tonight for a change. Chuck Berry’s “Johnny be good” was the last tune. A few minor adjustments to the playing tools and away we went. “Eight days a week”.
What a night that was to remember and when was it? Why, the twenty sixth of November, two thousand and four. Who said pop and rock ‘n’ roll would have its day and fade from history? Long live the sixties and seventies. You kids can keep your tunes and noise!
Just when they said it was all over “good night”, the noisemakers struck up with another old favourite. They were enjoying playing to us as much if not more than we were listening to them. People thrown out of other pubs in the town heard the rhythm up the High Street and poured in the door. The pub was filling up faster than at any time before. The police were surely going to arrive but this was Friday night and Rye Police are rare visitors to town. The Beatles music was the only thing in this ancient town tonight. Perhaps they were standing somewhere but they did not make their presence know. Now it’s “Twist and Shout” Will the pair not call it a night? Roy Lemon, have you got no home to go to? Your partner Jimmy Phillips on the tambourine must be getting hoarse. The beer has gone flat vibrating on the ledge beside me. “Ah ah ah …go home!” The roof nearly lifts, the bar bell rings out; over and over the neighbours have threatened to call a stop but the pair have more to sing about, now the phone is ringing itself to death. The noise is going up again. I’m by the door now. It’s “Day Tripper” at full blast. Heaven help us all, it must be jail, or at least the pub will be closed. I wonder if the noise was this great last time the bell over the door was rung and that was VE day in nineteen forty four!
“Hippy, Hippy Shake”. They are off again. The way we are all moving to the music none of us will be capable of moving anything, never mind the left and right. Just getting up in the morning will be an achievement!
March 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
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