With the video in the can and it not achieving what we wanted to achieve from it, as a band we were a bit deflated. We had worked hard on our image, music and publicity but there was still something not quite right with our sound. We had perfected our stage presence, mad a great impact locally and we were ready for gigging as far and wide as we could to gain exposure and experience. Around that time I had made contact with a guy called Ray Davies who was a synth player. We would sometimes mess around with keyboards and our Teac porta-studios. Ray, as I remember, was into Thomas Dolby amongst others and although not a skilled keyboard player, he had an ear for a good riff and could work a synth so we invited him to join us.
What followed was a series of gigs in and around South Yorkshire, more photo shoots, tightening up and adding to our sound and writing a few new tracks. We had expanded our visual image and had now obtained scaffolding which we painted bright red and which was used to hang props and lighting. All in all we were ready to go but the call never came and we stayed stagnant, frustrated and increasingly disillusioned.
In retrospect, I suppose one or two of our band had lost enthusiasm and interest, including me. I was working longer and longer hours after promotion at work and found rehearsals a chore rather than a pleasure. My heart was no longer in Scaramouche and inevitably the gaps between rehearsals got less frequent, booking gigs was becoming a problem due to the difficulties in coordinating 6 band members and without serious backing from a dedicated manager I think we all realised that Scaramouche had danced the last fandango. This is one of the last photos taken of the band and you can tell by our faces, the spark was no longer present.
It was disappointing to see our hard work and dedication disappear into the ether but life for all of us took various twists and turns. We sort of lost touch with each other for the first few years but I kept hearing news about other members from various sources and four of us have kept in touch to this day. Pete is still playing bass guitar, guitar and synth, Linda went on to sing backing vocals semi-pro for a while but is now busy with work and family life, Ray changed career and like me, after a 30 year break, he has bought himself some gear and is now back writing new tracks and publishing them on soundcloud. Ray and I will collaborate later in the year when he is due to visit me here in Spain. It will be interesting to see what we come up with after all these years as we now produce very different styles of electronic-based music…watch this space.
I have very fond memories of my time with both My Pierrot Dolls and Scaramouche – hence this blog. I learnt a lot about myself during that period and the journey of self-discovery was one I will cherish forever. I did things I never thought I could or would, like performing live dressed in outrageous clothes and makeup, playing a synth with other musicians which resulted in a reasonable sound, sang in front of hundreds of strangers, participated in radio shows and interviews, went into a recording studio and made a demo track, scripted and filmed a video, signed autographs for adoring fans, had police escorts of out nightclubs, went on road trips with other members of the band and much much more some of which I will keep as a memory and not commit to the written word….. Great memories.
The next blog post will be by Linda – she has written a short account of her memories with photos. Bookmark or subscribe to get notifications.