As the stand-up tour is shining it’s shoes and the new novel ‘The Call’ is on it’s final edit I thought I would share my thoughts on role-models and what bands should maybe aspire to.
To me, role models are vital. Someone to look up to, you can ask yourself, ‘What would they do?’. I think we all need someone to hold us to a higher standard
When I was a lad I spend the week living with my Mum and the weekends in Monifieth with my Dad. At the weekend we sat around and watched The Cosby Show’ Being from Zanzibar I thought my Dad had ‘black t.’v;. Yes my idiocy as a child may surprise even you. I loved the Cosby Show, I wanted to be Theo Huxley and just looked up at the man who played Theo’s wise father -Bill Cosby. I just wanted to grow up like him. A hero of mine, an inspiration. Cliff Huxtable had wisdom, charm, intelligence, humour and above all kindness.
Even as an adult I watched and re-watched all 8 seasons. Bill Cosby was the man I wanted to be, the man who would raise my standard.
Well, until we found out he was an utter sh@tbag. For someone I had never met, he had really let me down and re-evaluate my thoughts on the role-model. Are all talented inspiring people simply imposters in disguise? Can the use of the role-model only be used unless we scratch a little too much or dig a little to deep?
So fast forward many a year. I’m at the age of 44 and if I’m being truthful not particularly energised with my life, when Tony Jepson messaged me asking possibly if I could support The Wayward Sons as a stand-up comedian on their first UK Tour. I was teaching science and performing stand-up comedy but I was feeling at best average. I nearly fell of my chair. Toby Jepson, the main man, another role-model of mine. The man I had watched on stage with Van Halen. The dude who I queued up in Tower Records to get my t-shirt signed. I was (and still am) a massive Little Angels fan, seeing them umpteen times including the Royal Albert Hall and their Download re-union. I remembered rushing through the Download crowds to see his acoustic set before Twisted Sister hit the other stage. I remember watching Product of the Working Class on Raw Power thinking , “hell yeah – give me a spanner!”.I was even a Wayward Sons fan – actually having a ticket for the London gig in my pocket and watching in awe as they stormed Ramblin Man’s Rising stage.
Supporting The Wayward Sons? Christ on a Bike. This was special indeed!
But then I thought of Bill Cosby. The disappointment of realising it was all a facade. I had been fooled and in the words of a song, in which Little Angels covered so well, I thought I won’t get fooled again. Did I really want to never listen to Toby again? How many times did I put on the live tracks on side B of the Jam album and belt out Young Gods and ‘She’s a little Angel’. I must have listened to Boneyard, Kickin’ up Dust and ‘ Too Much Too Young a million times. Was I prepared to be disappointed in another role-model, and believe me – this dude was.
For 2 weeks and ten dates in 2018 I did support the Wayward Sons. Touring with Toby Jepson, Dave Kemp, Phil Martini, Nic Wastall and Sam Wood alongside Peter Turner and Sam Hoxley, Geoff Gibson and Nige Crooks – spending all day, every day with these talented cats. Sharing the splitter van, many a pint and many a chat. They taught me life lessons such as placing the word ‘anal’ in front of every caravan name Trust me motorway journeys will never be the same again. Honestly, I don t believe there is a bunch of talented men in the world as nice and as kind as them in the world. If so, I doubt I will meet them in my forty or so years left on this planet.
What a tour is was, what a time. The band’s attitude is reflected in their fan base, or family to be precise. The warmth and desire that goes into every show is mirrored in the audience. And believe me when I say, the Sons love their fans as much as the fans love them. It was life changing for me for many a reason. I met Ruth, I learnt how to dodge paying hotel breakfasts and I learnt that inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility. And guys such as the Wayward Sons not only supply banging tunes but inspiration endlessly.
Who needs a role-model? I do, and my advice to many a band out there is you could do far worse than look at The Sons to fill that post.
Rock and Roll and Kindness
Pete K Mally
Tour dates: http://www.petekmally.co.uk
Find Pete hosting his weekly show 10am-midday on MMH – THE HOME OF ROCK RADIO www,mmhradio,co.uk
Make sure you check out both of the Wayward Sons albums and catch them on tour