8:30 - 11:30 every Wednesday
The Coach & Horses, 391 Leyton High Rd. E10 5NA
Admission: £1 for jammers / £2 for audience
 Blues Jam Profiles
Dave Mason
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Dave Mason
Guitarist and long-standing Blues Jam supporter (although he does occasionally sit down).
Are you local?

Relatively close.

Where are you from, originally?

Stepney, when it was in Middlesex!

What's your tipple?

Bitter.

What's your earliest memory?

I can remember family stuff much earlier than this, but my earliest interest in music was "Cool for Cats" on ITV in the late 1950s, presented by Kent Walton:

Kent Walton presenting 'Cool For Cats'

The guitarists (whose names are unknown by me now, although I am sure I never knew who they were anyway!) with arch-top guitars always interested me.

What was the first record you ever bought with your own money?

"In Dreams" by Roy Orbison.

...and do you still have it?

I believe so. Somewhere!

Any hobbies/interests?

Drawing and Painting, as well as learning to play Blues Guitar.

Do you remember the very first gig you went to? What was it like?

Yes, it was at the Granada cinema in East Ham. It was brilliant - The Yardbirds (with Jeff Beck) and Manfred Mann (with Paul Jones). If I remember correctly, Status Quo were the first or second band on! Way before their first hit record.

Worst job you've ever had?

I've been a painter and decorator ever since signing my apprenticeship indentures after leaving school. I must be really lucky: I cannot think of any really bad job, but I won't say anything about my present one - my guvnor might read it!

What's your claim to fame (not necessarily musical)?

I lived In Wilton's Music Hall, but it was a Methodist Chapel way back when. The building is in a sad state now and needs lots of TLC.

If you could invite 6 people (past, present or fictional) to dinner, Who would you choose?
  1. John Constable
  2. Alfred Sisley
  3. Edward Wesson
  4. Brian Ryder
  5. David Curtis
  6. Trevor Chamberlain

Six really good artists, to my way of thinking.  I could name another six blues musicians, then another six musicians, six footballers, six comics, etc, etc...

Been playing/performing long?

No. I fiddled about a bit on a Watkins Rapier 33, way back in the sixties. I have always liked the idea of playing music (guitar), but life just got in my way.

Been in any bands?

Only the Fare Bands on the underground!

What first got you interested in the Blues?

Hearing The Rolling Stones First two LPs, quickly followed by a Muddy Waters LP, bought because I recognised the name Mackinley Morganfield or Willie Dixon as a songwriter credited by the Stones on a record. Found them in the basement of a shop opposite Barking Station, quickly followed by finding "Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues" in Jack Dobell's at 77 Charing Cross Road. I was well and truly caught - hook, line and sinker!

What other types of music do you like to listen to/play?

I think I have pretty varied tastes. I like some of the old Music Hall songs (I blame my mum & dad for that!), 50s Rock 'n' Roll, 1920s-30s American acoustic Folk Blues and 40/50s/60s American electric Blues and/or R&B as we used to called it back in the 60s; English R&B and a lot of the pop stuff from that time. Because of Sunday night at the London Palladium, some show music, some of the popular opera songs, a little bit of Gilbert and Sullivan etc, etc. It all depends on my frame of mind at the time, I suppose!

Favourite Blues artists?

Very, very Difficult! Usually whoever I am into at that particular moment. Charley Patton, Son House, Bukka T Washington White, Robert Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Shines, Larry Johnson, Byther Smith, Lonesome Sundown, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Freddy, Albert and BB. King, Lowell Fulsom, Sonny Boy Williamson 1 & 2, etc, etc, etc. The more I think, the more I could name.

Favourite artists (any other genre) ?

Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.

Ever been lucky enough to meet or share a stage with one of your musical heroes?

No, but I have been within touching distance of Son House, Bukka T Washington White, Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup, Rooservelt Sykes and Larry Johnson.

Favourite instruments and/or equipment?

Tele's and Strats.

If you had to sum up your relationship with the Blues using just one word, what would it be?

Expensive! - American import LPs always used to cost more than an English LP, and to get them always meant spending fare money on travelling to the record shop, instead of spending the money on records! There was Jack Dobell's in Charing Cross Road or Chris Wellard's rare records in New cross. I even used to go out to Flyright Records in Bexhill on sea!

Who would you pick (past or present) for your dream band?
  • Drums - Odie Payne
  • Guitar and Vocals - Magic Sam and Buddy Guy
  • Piano - Otis Spann
  • String Bass - Willie Dixon
Most embarrassing moment?

I lived opposite Peter Braybrook, who played football for West Ham United. During a pre-match kickaround he spotted me in the crowd and said hallo, and after that the kids in the stand all wanted my autograph!

Proudest moment!
  1. Marrying my wife
  2. The birth of my sons
  3. Not passing out when having blood tests or injections
What do you most enjoy about the Blues Jam?

The music, the friendly atmosphere, the friends I have met.

If you could travel back in time to be present at one moment/event in musical history, what would it be?

I would have liked to have heard Charlie Patton, Son House and Willie Brown Playing Live when they were in there prime.

Who would they cast to play you in the movie of your life?

Blimey guvnor - that's a job and no mistake. Well, I suppose Michael "not a lot of people know that" Caine.  Cor... it wouldn't half be a boring film!

Marmite: - Yes or No?

Marmite - but Pa would. Yes ! Yes!

If you were invited on "Desert Island Discs", which 8 records would you choose?
  1. I Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters
  2. Death Letter - Son House
  3. Crossroad Blues - Robert Johnson
  4. Aberdeen Mississippi Blues - Bukka T Washington White
  5. Milkcow Blues - Johnny Shines
  6. Floating Bridge - Sleepy John Estes & Yank Rachell
  7. What Lucy Will Do - Frankie Lee Sims
  8. Charley Stone - Larry Johnson
...and what would be your luxury item?

Watercolour painting materials and equipment.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Try to Keep smiling!  It's hard, but it don't half get on the nerves of those people giving you grief!

Finally:  go on - tell us a secret!

I'd love to be good enough and feel confident enough to play a set at the jam (just rhythm guitar would suit me)!