© 2013 A Beer Glass Collector

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July 1980, and I’m on my way home from a parents’ evening in Shepton on my Honda 200.  It’s a bright, sunny evening. I crest the hill from Temple Cloud and start along the long flat stretch along the top of the hill. There are some cottages 100 yards away on the left. I can see a car coming towards me its indicator begins to flash. I throttle back a little; he’s not going to turn into his house across my path is he? He does.

By September my full length right leg plaster is changed to a Salmiento named after, if I remember correctly, a Californian surgeon. It comes up to the knee only so I can walk. Brother-in-law Martin picks me up and takes me to his local, The Peeler, next to Clifton Suspension Bridge. We play darts and I have my eye on the cute half pint Guinness glass I am drinking from. Guinness glasses famously didn’t last long in pubs, the gold lettering and iconic name being the lure. A landlord once told me he lost almost his entire stock of Guinness glasses within weeks of taking delivery.

It is 25th September. I know this because during our darts game the news on Radio 1 announces that John Bonham, Led Zeppelin’s drummer has been found dead at his home. Back home I remember playing Rock’n’ Roll, from Led Zep. 4. Bonham’s pile-driving take on the intro to Little Richard’s Keep a Knocking, is a wonderful launch.

The way he changes the beat round to emphasise the on beat in the two bar breaks between the choruses and that rumbling, explosive coda at the end not to mention the rhythmic tension he creates throughout to drive the tune along. What a great loss, a combination of power, subtlety, creativity and swing made him the greatest rock drummer of all time.

At that time, Martin was a part time barman and stalwart of the darts team so the glass was no problem. Why a half pint? If landing in the gutter with the bottom of my leg partially detached from the rest was one of my lives, the blood clot that travelled to my lung and not my brain , whilst in hospital, was the next. The resultant blood thinning medication said no alcohol so halves seemed about right.

Inspector’s # 147 Liverpool City