Wednesday 15 July 2020

One Moment In Time ... What Didn't Happen Next

It takes just one moment of decision (or in-decision?) to change the future.  If that little butterfly in The Philippines chose not to flap it's wings at a given moment, the landscape could've been a very different place.

6 July 1957
The weather in Liverpool is overcast with intermittent rain storms.  There's a Church Fete taking place in nearby Woolton featuring a band that a school mate has said is worth a look. Paul McCartney looks a the weather, decides he doesn't fancy cycling the 3 miles in a belting rain storm.
What Didn't Happen Next?
- Paul McCartney follows hid Dad into the Big Band playing piano, clarinet and saxophone at weekends whilst holding down a Middle Management position at Royal Liver Assurance.  He marries old school friend Helena Rigby, and when not working at the office or playing in the band, is also a published author of short stories and novella.
- John Lennon finishes his studies at Art College and takes up the post of Visiting Lecturer at Southampton University.  On a clear day from Southampton Dock he can see the Isle Of Wight.  With the day free, he decides to buy a ticket to Ryde.
- George Harrison completes his apprenticeship and becomes a fully qualified electrician - he expands his business and a fleet of Sparky George vans can be found across the City.  The Company Headquarters is a small lock up behind the barbers on Penny Lane.
- Ringo Starr, after a largely uneventful time as a drummer for hire at Butlins Holiday Camps and around Liverpool, hangs up hi sticks and throws his energy into crisps and snacks eventually inventing a circular potato and maize snack that bares his name.  Bags of Stars fly off the shelves, but he fails to correctly declare his income to the Inland Revenue and now the Taxman is after him.

20 or so years later, Noel Gallagher joins his brothers band, and informs them they should try and sound more like Gerry and The Pacemakers

December 1974
Mick Taylor, exhausted from touring, strung out with his new habit, and miffed he didn't get (promised) writing credits announces that he is to leave The Stones.
Mick Jagger asks Ronnie Wood to fill the gap, purely because he's standing next to him at the party.
Ronnie mulls it over, but keeps loyal the Rod and the other Faces.  Yes, it's true that relationships have not been great since Rod's increasing solo success, but it's still a bloody good laugh with his mates.  Plus, he also knows that discussions are taking place with Steve Marriott to re-join if Rod ever does leave.  "Cheers Mick, but no thanks".
The Stones give the job to Jeff Beck (who stays for one tour) to be followed by Peter Frampton.  Frampton is not a foil or soulmate to Keith, and The Stones fall apart in 1978 after they tour the world for the last time.  Time is no longer on their side, and continuous touring is not giving them any satisfaction.

1 December 1976
Freddie Mercury takes a couple of aspirin to dull the pain of a toothache.  He's feeling fine, and Queen can attend the scheduled TV interview (EMI were preparing to give the gig to their new signings, but were hoping Freddie's choppers would be OK).
Queen get to the Thames TV studios, but the pain in Freddie's mouth re-occurs.  He downs a bottle of brandy to numb the pain.
In the studio he remains silent whilst Bill Grundy goes through the motions of reading out the press sheet word for word.  He then turns to the band and says: "Bohemian Rhapsody - what was that all bout.  Faux classical music in a pop context.  Are you serious, or are you just taking the mickey".
An incensed Freddie stirs from his slumber: "Oh, you drunken old bitchy queen".  Brian May smiles inanely, John Deacon says nothing (as usual), and Roger Taylor just looks confused.  Freddie launches himself towards Bill Grundy and starts screaming, shouting and slapping the host while tears roll down his face.  Security are called, and the band led away.  The front pages of the following days papers all lead with the continuing strikes and and damage to the UK economy.  On page 9 of The Daily Mirror is a short piece about the events last night, with Freddie Mercury saying "I'm sorry, but I was very very drunk at the time".
As an apology, Freddie agrees to become co-presenter and news reader for the next 3 months.  When the stint is over, the press asked him if he enjoyed it.  His reply was: "I've read the News time after time, I've done my penance, and now it's all fine".  He then goes out for dinner with Bill Grundy to a French restaurant.  Bill Grundy pays the bill - he bought the champignons. 

30 October 1982
Paul Weller announces to the press that the current Jam Tour will be the last ... for a year or so.
He's taking a year off to build his studio and develop his record label.  After 5 years constant writing, recording, and touring with the band, he needs a rest.  Bruce and Rick could do with some time off too - just to get more into the groove of where Paul is trying to take the band.
When they do reform 12 months later, the band has fattened out with a horn section, a troop of female backing singers, and Mick "You Need Wheels" Talbot on keyboards.  They also have a new name - The Elegance Committee.
And it was in that Studio that the band began to fall apart - as did the Studio.
Whilst recording their second album 'The Boutique We Quite Like' (the follow-up to 'The Green Takeaway') that the structurally unsound Studio began to crumble - they sat and watched as the walls came tumbling down.

11 January 1984
Despite it falling down the charts, Mike Read becomes almost evangelical about the debut single from Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  He declares it as a "dancefloor banger" and particularly enjoys the near the knuckle lyrics, which he says has a touch of Punk about it, and may well get up the nose of parents and squares.  He plays it incessantly for a week, nut the British public are un-convinced, and it disappears from the chart a couple of weeks later.  Frankie Says ... nothing.

23 October 1984
After an eventful gig with the Boomtown Rats, Bob Geldof arrives home nursing a hangover.  Arriving home he shows the family a new pet chimpanzee that he won in a drinking competition while on tour.  He retires to his bed to sleep off the last of the excess and misses the early evening News.
Paula Yates tells him about the News Report in the morning, but he stand in the kitchen looking disheveled, and says: "What the f*ck can I do about it?  Maybe I should give 'em the f*ckin' monkey"

which leads to another "it never happened"
13 July 1985
Just another sunny July day.  Nothing much going on in the world.

1 February 1995
Despite not being in fighting shape, Richey Edwards boards a plane to the US with the other Manic Street Preachers.  Their albums to date have been solid, if un-spectacular and not really living up to the hype and bluster they once pedalled.  Maybe now it's time to push their case in the US?
During a day-off, the band visit DisneyWorld, and Richey is entranced by the new world before him.  Back at the Hotel he announces that he will not be returning to the UK, preferring to seek the simple life of a ride attendant at the Theme Park.
And he's there to this day spinning the tea cups on the ride shouting "Faster!"

June 25 2009
Reports state that Michael Jackson, who has not been seen in public for at least 3 months is missing.  Reports speak of his re-location to a dessert island, his attempts to go under cover and live a simple hobo life, or even his demise.  There is much to support the latter story with Doctor's confirmations, and even a body seen lying in state.
However, just before Christmas Jackson emerges from a hidden alcove in the dining room of his Neverland mansion.
"Yes, I know I've been bad but I do love a good game of Hide and Seek.  You can't beat it" 

Of course, none of this happened (merely the dumpings of a fevered mind).  But it could have been a reality but for one random flutter of a winged insect.


  1. Can you explain the butterfly in the Phillipines reference.

    1. Chaos Theory / Butterfly effect. Any action can have a consequence

    2. Ah - thanks
      In my head I am thinking Hank William, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline , ets
      If Hank hadn't met Audrey, If Johnny had not been discovered by Sun, if Patsy had missed that plane

  2. What an excellent post.

    "20 or so years later, Noel Gallagher joins his brothers band, and informs them they should try and sound more like Gerry and The Pacemakers." Genius.