A small error crept in to the piece Scenes From The Past Lives Of Tiny Enid, where it was said that sixties psychedelic rocker Basil Groove had hung up his plectrum. In fact, Basil Groove was the drummer in the band Turquoise Eye Of The Lobster King, so it would be more accurate to say that he had stowed his drumsticks in a cupboard.
Soft-spoken and hairy, Basil Groove used to thump his drumkit with gusto. To interviewers, he would quietly explain that â€œthe drums do my talking for meâ€. If that was really the case, it is very difficult to know what Basil Groove wished to communicate, for his thumping could be skittish and haphazard, as besuited a band given to twenty-minute bouts of noodling. Such instrumental pieces were given titles of mythological resonance, often involving wizards and dwarves and mist, but neither Basil Groove nor his bandmates had a knack for writing lyrics. Instead they claimed to conjure up an atmosphere, and wore ridiculous clothing.
What made the band so compelling was the authenticity of their sound. This was no accident. Basil Groove was taught to play the drums by a genuine wizard, a figure as hairy as he with a long grey beard, who was accompanied by a dwarvish assistant, both of them always enshrouded in mist. He first encountered them while still a schoolboy, on his way home after a long afternoon of Latin declension. Passing a cave, he was startled to see the wizard and the dwarf loitering at its mouth, in mist. It was a no-smoking cave, and the eldritch figures were taking a quick cigarette break. Seeing young Basil Groove, the dwarf began to gibber in a high-pitched caterwaul.
â€œAs it is destined, here he comes! The boy weâ€™ll teach to play the drums! Not yet as hairy as heâ€™ll be, but wait and see! Wait and see!â€
And then the dwarf pounced upon the boy and dragged him into the cave.
Basil Groove emerged five years later, grown and hairy and possessed of an idiosyncratic drumming technique. On the very same day, he answered an advertisement in the underground newspaper Felix Dennisâ€™ Capitalist Truncheon and joined the Turquoise Eye Of The Lobster King. The age of groovy noodling was upon us.
It was a golden age, whose memory we treasure, when hairy menâ€™s music gave us such pleasure. They were groovy and fab and their beards were so wild. When they noodled their noodles we were all beguiled.