DIARY: Blakey hits bum note so IoW venues beware

Well, Blakey certainly managed to go out with a twang. John Blakemore, the veteran media controller of GlaxoSmithKline and an aficionado of the Golden Age of Rock and Roll, held his retirement bash at the 100 Club last week. The choice of venue wasn't entirely driven by nostalgia on Blakey's part - rumour had it that he was to have one last stab at making his mark on pop music history.

At a previous party at the club a few years back, Blakey had grabbed a guitar, plugged in and attempted to join in a rendition of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction being pumped out by a band comprised of a handful of his mates. He struck a few poses but someone moved quickly to turn off his amp.

The word this time was that his contribution would suffer no such censorship.

And happily, the same band had been rounded up again. Fronted by Mark Chippendale (vocals) and Bob Wootton (guitar), who have days jobs at Sky and ISBA respectively, it specialises in popular tunes from the last century.

And then Blakey, resplendent in a QPR replica shirt, was on stage and plugging in as the band launched into Johnny B Goode. His performance was just about plausible. Then Chippendale was calling him forward for a solo and the spotlight was on him.

Blakey, we are sad to relate, was like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

He attacked the strings once, twice, producing a discordant twang on each occasion. And then the moment was gone. He even declined to mime to a solo being faked for him by Wootton hunched by the side of the stage.

He did give us a valedictory brandishing of his axe in true Springstein-style but the diary can't help thinking there's unfinished business here.

Blakey is retiring to the Isle of Wight. Local pub rock venues be warned.

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