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Sunday, April 22, 2012

4-22-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #110 (Back to Blighty -- again -- and the Mo-Dette’s trial by fire)


(photo by Ralph Alfonso -- small world!  He's BongoBeat records, who released my first solo album, and a friend of mine, too)


After seeing Paris for the first time on my bank holiday trip, I settled back into life in London in the summer of ‘82, living in my bedsitter in the basement at 87 Earl’s Court Road, hanging with Patrick & Nora & other friends, trying out for a band or two.

I kind of remember the time I auditioned for the Mo-Dettes, who were looking for a vocalist/guitarist.  I was nervous and didn’t have an electric guitar so I had to borrow one from the band’s guitarist.  Back home in NYC before coming to England, I’d sold some equipment, among the casualties a sweet cherry red Gibson SG junior guitar, worthy of Joan Jett-dom.  Let me tell you, showing up at an audition without an axe when they’re looking for a rhythm guitarist in an all-girl punk rock band. . . just isn’t good.

They were also scary people with nasty attitudes.  They made me feel really small and uncomfortable.  Part of me was blisteringly angry at them for being such unnecessary assholes.  Another part of me was chiding, “Lauren, why can’t you just be confident?  You were in a BIG NY band -- to hell with these London snobs!”

They’d told me to practice that hit song of theirs, “White Mice,” and added another one that I really liked with a descending chord structure like the Raspberries’ “Tonight,” but of course I don’t remember the title of the Mo-Dettes song -- sorry.

In the audition (in North London?) I didn’t play well, fumbled the chords, didn’t hit the stage with that bigtime pun attitude and charisma (which I can turn on when I feel more welcome)/  Ultimately, as much as I’d wanted to be in a band, especially one with a solid reputation, I really wasn’t into being around these people.

In summary, my Mo-Dettes audition was a total bust (LOL).

According to Wikipedia, they disbanded in November of 1982, anyway, so I guess I’m lucky I didn’t do well & get into the Mo-Dettes. . . just another heartbreak I’d have to withstand, another broken up band. . . and the Nervus Rex breakup had affected me more than I thought it would.

That was all a big part of why I left NYC was because I couldn’t take it: our band failed, it broke up, we were no more.  The other reason being, obviously, that I had been an Anglophile and wanted to live there. . .

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