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Chair and Guest of Honour liaison
Hotel liaison and tech
Membership and treasurer
Publicity, publications and WebMaster
And your chosen specialist subject?
My life, as it applies to filkdom.
Mr GK, you have four paragraphs on "Your life as it applies to filkdom" starting now. Try not to be too boring...
If I'd been my sister, I'd have met the Whitaker family a lot earlier. My sis had often mentioned this teacher "Mrs. Whikiter". Ten years later, I actually tracked down who her son was... why is it that no-one can ever spell your name, Myke?
You can probably... no, scratch that. You can definitely blame Mike for getting me involved in all this ("all this" being a wide definition that includes bass guitar playing, writing my own songs, performing my own songs, reading SF to any degree and any mention of fandom or filk). We met while working on a musical in Cambridge, where Mike was playing and I was teching (so what's new?). After chatting on and off for about six months, often about equipment we'd used before in our schools, we discovered we were talking about the same school. Someone had merely burnt down the tech control booth between Mike using it and me - Mike strenuously denies all knowledge of this...
My first co-write on a song was "Edge of the Night", and my first performance in filk (and my first convention) was Mabinogicon, in North Wales. Where I met a lot of other musical-type people. Specifically Smitty, Valerie, Minstrel, and Robert. Which got me involved in "Razing Arizona", which meant that by the time I reached my first filk convention, Fourplay, I was already on stage, living dangerously, parodying people. There's such a thing as starting as you mean to go on, but really...
Other intere...bleep, bleep, bleep, I've started so I'll finish... plays bass guitar, drums, sax and clarinet. Sings a bit. Worship leader and bass guitarist at Oakham Baptist Church. Married Andy three years ago. Plays bass guitar in Patchwork with Neil, Andy and Minstrel.
Dan Bennett first came to my attention at Surrey University:
Overheard 3rd party: "Who's that pratt in the silly jacket who keeps coming in and playing our bloody piano!?"
Overheard 4th party: "That's Dan Bennett."
Overheard 3rd party: "Can't we ban him or something?"
Having established that Dan shared my liking for the works of Mike Oldfield (but was way ahead of me on buying the albums) I soon found out that Dan also likes to make music using bits of home-built or cheaply purchased electronics (but his had proper tunes, and people liked them). And he also wrote silly stories and dished them out to friends and colleagues (but his were much funnier and surrealiererer than mine). And when we finally escaped from Uni, he also went into a computing-based career. (But he ended up working for the prestigious, profit-sharing and jolly-nice-to-work-for Hewlett-Packard, while I got stuck at the Ministry of Agriculture). Oh, and he likes Yes and Jon & Vangelis, too! (Only he can do the voice properly. Actually, he can do almost any voice properly!) [ I draw the line at James Brown! - Ed]
If I'd had to grow up with him at school, I would surely have detested him. However, being a much maturer and more level-headed person by the time we met, I hit on the more subtle and devious approach of co-opting him. Thus, when I wanted to do a set of songs at Obliter-8, it was to Dan that I turned to do all the bits involving proper music, and practising on an instrument, and things. (And of course, it turned out he does filking much better than I do, too. Done a tape and everything. Rotter. It's called "Lavender Wine". Knowing him, he'll probably turn this mere passing reference into a hotlink to his more than competently produced Web Page [Ed's note: Me?! Would I do such a thing? Naah!] which has been in existence almost as long as I've been talking and dreaming about doing one. Linked, that is, from his more recent and steamingly brilliant XIlophone page, wot you're reading.
And we're still friends. Honest.
Now, forgive me if I'm missing something here, but surely this is wrong. Surely, surely in my darkest heart of hearts there must be some self-respecting glimmer of hatred for this over-shadowing genius. [Grabs telescope from shelf, opens up inner core of being, applies wrong end of telescope to eye and does yet another quick scan round] Nope, still can't find it. Blast. [Slams telescope back down on shelf.]
Please send your donations, and any recommendations for competent and inexpensive psychiatrists, to:
Please give generously. Or better still, money. I thank you.
Actually, Mike didn't set out to be chairman. He merely waylaid the original XIlophone committee and said Why Not Have These People As Guests, and they said "yes, Mike". When Real Life got in their way (through no fault of their own), he caught the convention off a bottom edge (easier when you actually play cricket, which he does) and ran with it (never knew William Webb Ellis played cricket, did you!).
It's not as if he's inexperienced at this - he did volunteer get mugged in a well documented incident at FollyCon to run the UK's first filkcon, and was on the committee for TranSept. His filk accomplishments include two solo tapes/CD's, one (and one in the works) with Phoenix, being British filkdom's floating accompanist and playing in the lamentably occasional band Separated At Birth with his wife Anne and Bill and Brenda Sutton.
Dan keeps pestering me for a Bio.Honestly it's a brand of innocuous yogurt found at Sainsburys and I can't understand why he can't buy his own!!! Oh not that kind of bio.
I had never heard of Filk until 1994 when Martin mentioned a music convention he was going to and invited me along. So VIbraphone was my first con. This is where the trouble began in more ways than one.
Firstly I trogged all the way from Cambridge to Brighton, to find I did not exist as far as the hotel were concerned. However I was booked into my room as Andy Gordon-Kerr, amusing but slightly pre-emptive since Martin and I had only been going out for 5 weeks (Nice one Minstrel. It's all your fault)!!! Secondly I enjoyed myself, had a fun con and have kept coming back every year since then.
I am a techie so you will often find me near the tech desk. Incidentally it always amuses me when people prevent me from lifting our own kit. How do they think the stuff gets loaded into the car in the first place? Anyone got any good spells? Not that we mind help...
I am also a musician, playing flute, piano/keys and vocal. The set I have most enjoyed playing in was the Patchwork set at Obliter-8 when Minstrel was GOH in 1996.
How did I become a member of this committee? By asking the fatal question "What does being membership and treasurer involve?"