Stick loved these old Ford Consol cars , they were like a Ford Prefect on steroids , unfeasibly chubby , faintly American , bench seats , no seat belts , column gear shift and a steering wheel guaranteed to remove your head in any serious collision .
He was a slim guy who perhaps resembled a rockabilly Muppet and the rest of the occupants of his car also resembled a collection of post punk Muppets.
We were young and more than a bit foolish hence the comparison to the Muppets, it’s just that life was still an adventure, a bit of a cartoon show, Stick had a band, the bass player was really good but I was a mate and if I got a bass, learned how to play it … So that is why we ended up at musical instrument auction in Birmingham.
The auctioneer was a bit of a witty guy, a formidable piss taker and hugely entertaining, ‘Here we have a Gibson flying V in Canary yellow , looks like Canary puke to me, seventy quid.’
The axe’s came and went, Stick put a bid on a bass for me, I think I was too stoned,’Are you bidding sir or is it you’re ear rings dangling in the wind.’ , I went home with a blue glitter Japanese bass.
I never made it into Stick’s band, Pete Kember and Jason Pierce changing destiny forever by forming the embryonic Spacemen. The notorious ‘Turkey’s Party.’ debut, the catatonic Exchange performance, the second Exchange performance to a void and then I joined The Push with Gavin Wissen, Tim Morris and Mick Hurdley.
1985 The Push were playing with Stick’s band , by this time he still had a Ford Consol, perhaps his third , his mate also had a Consol which they had parked in the car park.
During the gig the cars got vandalised, as some kind of gesture of sympathy I decided to trash the bass, we had on stage an old tv for a prop which I thought should die too. I took a swing at the tv but the bass hit the screen and rebounded off, I took a bigger swing and the screen went pop and the screen exploded and glass showered the stage.
Outside the snow was piled hi, I took the bass and stuck it neck first in a snow drift, it looked great, I don’t know why but The Push felt like it was coming to an end and I just thought fuck it, I don’t need this any more.
I walked home, all I thought about when I got in was the bass so I went back, it was still there sitting head first in the snow drift. The bass got repaired and repainted with car paint and was alive again, the bass did an unbelievable amount of work from SP3 to many other bands, loaned on many occasions but somehow the thing always came back to me.
On time a young guy who was a likeable fool offered me some money for the bass, he became the proud owner of my first bass guitar but not for long, he became in a short space of time the sort of person who would sell his own grandmother , he sold the bass to the local pawn shop, my friend and bass player Andy Smith bought the bass and eventually it became mine again.
This time I stripped the paint off and gave it a make over, a local metal band borrowed it for a rehearsal and stole it, it came back after a few phone calls.
I think the truly remarkable thing about the bass is that it has managed to survive and I got to watch my eldest son play Spacemen 3 bass lines on it.