Sometimes something nothing to do with what you eventually write, inspires you. For Lois Elsden it is music, and over the last fifteen years or so, it has been one particular band, the people in the band, the music, the lyrics… Endless inspiration. Here Lois explains how it came about:
Growing up with the music of the 60’s and 70’s it was almost every girl’s romantic dream to be involved with a boy from a band, or group as they were called then.
I was fortunate for many reasons to marry a man who was a rock drummer. Bari has been in almost fifty different bands of all sorts over his long career as a musician, rock and roll, brass, pit orchestras… and of so many different musical genres. His stories are wonderful and anecdotes about great gigs, fall-outs, betrayals and duplicity, all set to great music is a true inspiration for me!
One evening while still living in Oldham, we had a telephone call from the local police station… the officer was a friend of Bari and knowing he was a musician told him about a band made up of policemen and traffic wardens who needed a drummer. Very soon he was a member of Classic Gold, a five piece band… and it wasn’t long before they changed their name, thinking Classic Gold sounded either like a brand of coffee or a brand of condoms… and they became Driving Force.
Driving Force played a variety of different songs from Buddy Holly to the present and included music from a band I had never heard of and for some reason thought were Welsh, The Mavericks. We moved to the west country and brought a couple of CDs with us which Driving Force had recorded and they included some Mavericks numbers.
I liked the sound and borrowed a Mavericks CD from the library…. and I was hooked! I was able to see the Mavericks on a number of occasions; I also saw Raul Malo on his solo tours with different musicians backing him, and Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin on tour with Kevin Montgomery and the Roadtrippers.
Observing the dynamic of a band, a group of excellent musicians and friends, such as Driving Force, or on the bigger stage, the Mavericks and Raul, really helps me write; to say they are an inspiration is not an overstatement! Watching the way the different members of a band work together, work alone, interact, improvise, back each other when the inevitable glitches threaten to disrupt the set… I find ideas about characters, plot, action, fizz up like beer in a glass… I leave a gig bursting with ideas and thoughts, some of which ferment quietly for months and even years before they come foaming out onto the page like a pint of Otter Ale from a pump!
In my novel, ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’, a band reunion is crucial to the plot. In ‘Night Vision’, music is also a vital strand of the story-line, and my soon to be published novel about the Portbraddon family was inspired by the closeness that develops in a band, and also the friction and fall out between the different members!
If I have been inspired by the Mavericks, then I owe that to Driving Force who introduced me to their music!
You can find ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov, ‘Night Vision’ and the forthcoming ‘Lucky Portbraddon’ on Amazon: