• Keith Dersley

Chats in the Time of Covid, #3

Updated: May 9

What about the ‘act’ in the time of Covid? Plenty of time to practise and strum the gee-tar, but by the time we can go back to the Leisure Centre and a receptive audience you could for all you know have gone stale. Your fingers can always ‘forget their cunning’.


Back at the old Leisure Centre, will there be any gaps around the tables (there must be)? Will I even be there myself?


I saw where on YouTube a Greek guy took an old classical guitar, got the pick guard off with a small blowtorch it looked like, scraped and sanded the top, and, with a soldering tool, drew a stylised skyline complete with tv aerials and trees and shrubs all around the edge and around the sound hole (forming a new rosette). Then he put a coat of lacquer on, let it dry, sanded, then laquered again. It came out great, looking ‘rough’ but interesting.



Now, I daren’t attempt that on my Yamaha C40 that Joan bought me, but if I get an expendable half-decent acoustic from a charity shop in the future, I might try it.


In the meantime we’ve got the Zoom concerts via the Mac, the greatness of the digital, just as there are, also thanks to Zoom, the exercise sessions on Sunday morning at Richard’s Boot Camp.


Skeletons are dropping into the quicksand, man. It’s not a run-through, this pandemic pandemonium that could have come out of the Dark Ages.


I had been watching Spanish and Mexican bullfights on YouTube. Plus the running of the bulls at Pamplona. As well as the bullfighters there are now in Spain the bull leapers, recortadores, just like those on the walls of ancient Knossos. It’s like bullfighting minus the blood. Mary Renault and her novel The King Must Die have been vindicated, the bull dancers are back. Theseus and his team would not have been out of place there in the arena, and the shouts of the crowd would have sounded the same as 4000 years ago.


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