Duncan’s Blog – October 2012

Very glad to see the end of September. It’s a month I’ve always disliked, as it marks the end of summer – not the beautiful colours of autumn, but faded, tired greens, chilly damp air and short days. Ugh. It’s also my birthday month, so I get to be a year older…I say I’ll stop counting, but you can’t fool yourself – time marches on! Nice gig at Mugdock to finish off the month, too – quite a good turn out, which would have been excellent if everyone who said they were going did – around 17 no shows. Ah, well.

October’s gig free, so a wee bit of time spent sending emails to clubs and promoters, a job I really hate. Some reply, some don’t…plus ca change! Cy and I have some library tracks to finish, so that’s good, but I really need to start thinking about writing songs again – I gave myself a holiday from writing after all the energy spent on the album, but it’s high time I got my mojo working again, such as it is! Hopefully the new guitars will spur me on a bit.

Home life has been a bit stressful – my poor old father-in-law is having a real struggle with the last stages of emphysema, which means that my wife Irene is constantly running back and forth to hospitals etc, and looking after her mum. As an only child, she has a tough job, but our beautiful daughter Julie shares the load with her, despite her own hectic career as a TV producer. I’m very proud of them both.

Just as things were bad enough, I managed to get involved in a serious road accident on the first black ice morning of the autumn. I’ve been told that the car will cost £6000 to repair, and may be written off, but neither I or the young guy in the other vehicle were hurt, thankfully, so it’s just so much metal, glass and rubber. Could have done without it, though!

Anyway, this is starting to sound a bit too doom-and-gloomy, and life’s actually really good. Three gigs have come in for 2013 in the past week, and work at PRS/MCPS has been good fun.

We heard this morning that the wonderful songwriter Michael Marra passed away this morning. Michael was just a lovely guy – gentle, witty, humble and blessed with the most incredible talent for songwriting. I recorded his song ‘The Lonesome Death of Francis Clark’ back in 2001, after asking his permission first. I remember how pleased he was that someone liked his work enough to record it, and he gave his blessing. I met him several times after that, and had the honour of playing support to him twice. I’ll never forget how nervous he was before a performance, and how assured amd professional he was during it. Rest in peace, Michael.

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