Folsom Prison Blues…..in Switzerland!!

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“You talking to me?….Do I know you?…”……”Hair of the Dog that bit me…nurse!”….Relaxing in a cafe in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

My drummer reminded me the other day, of a darkly comical time we had on tour in Switzerland a few years back. We were stopping in different ski resort towns, playing in Rock clubs for the Apres ski crowds, who were usually pissed by the time they came off the slopes, ironically pissed on the pistes.
This was a period of time my self-medication was thriving, the Europeans were way too generous with Schnapps, for a thirsty Pirate like myself!.
My “Sober” drummer Vinnie was basically my baby sitter, onstage and off, catching speakers I’d knocked over on-stage and catching yours truly off-stage, post a bucket of Schnapps. Vinnie is a rocking drummer, a wise Irish man who played for Shane McGowan from the Pogues, so his touring with Shane made my antics seem like I was an upstanding Mormon in comparison, but still, I was a pain in the ass.
One night a few songs in a girl approached the stage and I leaned down to hear what she wanted to say?. She asked me if I was from Nashville. I laughed and she further enquired if I could play “Johny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues” seeing as I was American!.In my most ridiculous impression of an American Southern drawl I said “Well certainly I can darling, but just for you”, later on I learnt from talking to the bar staff, it seemed a few European customers, French, Swiss and German mainly, had asked if we were were a touring band from the US, and the bar manager confirmed when I spoke on the mic I did sound American, in the UK people think I’m from Australia but that’s another story.
Anyway, I played up on this mistaken accent, pretending I was Johnny Cash, really milking it between songs for a laugh, amusing Vinnie and Alex the bass player, just silly and fun.
We finished the screaming raucous set and we had rocked the joint, it was past midnight and we were thirsty, well I was, so as we stood outside having a smoke, surrounded by the drunken chattering sounds of mainly slurry French and German, a newly acquainted Swiss friend of ours, in a whispering tone pointed out that any second now, Matt Bellamy from Muse was gonna walk past us into the busy club. I loudly exclaimed “WTF”. I located Matt Bellamy, it kinda of looked like him and the dude definitely walked like a rock star, but it suddenly clicked, he was Matt Bellamy from the tribute band A-Muse, who had played the club the previous night, the poster I’d seen in the club earlier flashed up in my mind. I asked if they were good and our Swiss friend laughed and said: “Not really he sounds more like Axl Rose and in fact, he is also in a Guns n’ Roses tribute band, he just puts a long ginger wig on for that, they are called Appetite for Roses”. I almost choked on my beer at how funny that was.

The Irish and poor Stefenie our driver keeping yours truly conscious for a family photo opportunity. 

The club was still smashing out alternative rock anthems and we went inside to get another beer. People were dancing on the bar, smashing shots and generally not behaving in the usually conservative Swiss manner. At this point, a stunningly beautiful girl sidled up to me and smiling complimented me on my voice and what a great band we were, “You make Party” as they say in Switzerland. At this point I had kept the Southern drawl and told her all about Nashville and how life was so different over there, she was mesmerized and I was enjoying being from somewhere exotic, so I went to town with my bullshit!. We flirted and there was a nice comfortable connection. We moved outside for a smoke and continued chatting, she kept hugging and touching me. Out of nowhere she fell backwards onto the icy ground, in that split second I thought she had just slipped, but Vinnie, who was sat on a bench opposite us, leapt across the beer table and in my peripheral vision I saw him launch himself full weight into a guy who was behind her, slightly slow in reaction from my voluminous sedative lubrication, I turned to see Vinnie pinning Matt Bellamy’s double from A-Muse against the club wall, it turned out the prick was jealous of his girl flirting with me so came outside and yanked her to the floor by her hair, now that pretend mofo needed a bit of Irish right in his face and now he was gonna get a little pep talk from Drew the singer from Nashville, the guy was frightened but still thrashing about and in the words of Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained “Passions were high”, but even in this adrenalin fuelled altercation, I kept my Southern drawl, this was taking method acting to the next level, I told him he was not cool, and somehow the part I was playing, the cool, wise laid-back Southern rock dude calmed the situation down, and luckily for fake Matt Bellamy he didn’t get a taste of the Irish, so yeah A-Muse and Appetite for Roses you owe me one, I’ll send my invoice on a postcard from my home town Nashville. The bouncers sent him home and the girl went and joined her friends, I hope she sees the light and realizes he’s not the Rock Star boyfriend, that he likes to think he is, he’s just an insecure twat and I hope she finished with him, but I guess I’ll never know.
We went back into the club and had a jump about to House of Pain, that’s when I befriended the Norwegian Cage fighting champion and thought it would be fun to have a wrestle with him and scare the door security (Such great ideas with a gallon of Schnapps in one), but hey that’s another story. We recorded the version of Folsom Prison Blues as we sound checked the next day on a portable recorder when no-one was in the bar, as a momentum of our crazy Swiss adventure.

I thought I’d give a chance to DOWNLOAD my demo sketch of JOHNNY CASH’S- FOLSOM PRISON BLUES which seemed to be the catalyst of much mad, rock and roll tomfoolery….

My raw sketch is a bit of a departure from the original, more Elvis meets Prince!
The track is not currently available for sale but as a THANK YOU for being one of my subscribers I want to give it
to you for free – no strings attached.

Download my version of JOHNNY CASH’S- FOLSOM PRISON BLUES here.

If you like the track you might also consider checking out CLOSER. My latest Album of Cinematic, Heartbroken “Alt-Rock” tracks.. dare I say it NOT A MILLION MILES away from MUSE!!!!

Thanks for reading

Talk Soon

Alex

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