Hmm. Hidden Danger, eh? To the preternaturally aware, there was ample foreshadowing there. At the time, I held on to every little pleasure every day -- laughter, jokes, a nice cup of tea, crunchy toast, my favorite “bikkies” (biscuits -- McVities chocolate covered home wheats), writing letters home & writing songs, making music, partaking of the occasional Silk Cut, kisses, hugs, a good night’s sleep -- and dreamed of bigger things, like being taken seriously for my music.
I’d come to the U.K. with a limited amount of $, maybe around 400 pounds. Because of its sterling rep, I went to London Central and opened up a deposit account at Lloyds of London. I looked at my bank book and felt the stirrings of fiscal confidence -- just from the logo and the great rep of Lloyd’s of London!! Yes, friends, marketing is a powerful tool, as is money a powerful salve and healer and aphrodesiac -- TO THOSE WHO NEED IT. At least, that’s how it’s gonna go down in my book.
Living in London at last, I figured out that I could easily go out and do some “busking” for much-needed change in the tubes. Glenn Tillbrook said he did it (probably for a lark -- he didn’t NEED the spare change). I knew a pretty big repertoire, including songs from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, mostly rock and country and folk. I could play original songs, too -- mix it up, you know? I had my trusty old Guild F-30 acoustic guitar and several pocketfuls of chutzpah (as if you could hold chutzpah in a pocket!).
Anyway, it was a plan. Different days, I took to different places in the tube stations and played and sang my heart out, doing “Up On the Roof,” “Carey,” “Labelled With Love” (Squeeze), “There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Thinks He’s Elvis” (Kirsty MacColl), “Almost Saturday Night” (Fogarty), and “You’re So Vain,” along with my own numbers like “December Pledge,” “Bandages,” “Pour Out Your Heart To Me,” “I’d Like to Think,” “Reminders,” “Mercy Killing,” “London Rain”. . . and, of course, those two John Bentley songs I loved, “Workin’ Class” and “Hidden Danger.”
Did I make much money? Was it fun? Did I get arrested or molested? Hmmm.