FOOLS RUSH IN, WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO GO……but wise men never fall in love so how are they to know?

So goes the lyric written by Johnny Mercer in 1940, later sung by Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson and Doris Day to name but a few; and in the spirit of this project that sort of fits the sentiment this week.

Last week, just after I published my post on here, I managed to speak to what I thought was going to be Kip Heron’s son, though I must admit to a slight nagging in the back of my brain that something might not be quite right. With a name like Jacky Arrowsmith…hmm well, could be male or female, but if he is a man why then has he changed his surname? When I finally got through on the phone the first thing I said was (I so hate calling people for the first time)

“hello, is that Jacky?”

“Do I sound like a woman?” came the reply

“erm no I guess not!… sorry it’s Neil here, the artist interested in Kip Heron” (now forever to be known as ‘total dipstick’).

Well in my defence I was only going off what I had been told. Turns out Kip never had a son, but had two daughters, and to further confuse matters I was talking to her husband.

“Hey, in the North East ‘wor Jacky’ is as common as whippets” I offer up… ho hum.

And yes I admit, 30 minutes after I published last week’s update, I did a tiny tweak. I changed all references to Jacky from ‘him’ into ‘her’. I should probably have left it, as it sits interestingly within the framework of this work, as in, ‘misinformation passed on and digested into assumption and fact’. For some reason I decided not to leave it; I think because I had so recently published the piece and felt if I had the ability to quickly revise it then I should.

A friend of mine had commented this week that the story of ‘my story’ is probably what the piece should be about. I certainly seem to be uncovering, or at least piecing together, a jigsaw of forgotten things that hitherto hasn’t been assembled so rigorously. When I did finally speak to Jacky she expressed a similar sentiment; that so much is passing away with a generation that came through the wars and experienced the most rapid change of any previous century.

More foolishly it turns out, I was very wrong about Kip not having travelled much. It seems he spent quite some time in London playing and touring with big bands of the day before returning to his native town to form his own band. There is another wonderful link here, as he was a member of the big band Musicians Unlimited, right up until his death in 1997. If you have read my previous posts you may recall this is the band who will be playing the song I’ve written for the installation.

Overall – progress may be a little ad hoc but I am both concerned to be sensitive to their stories whilst remaining deliberately ‘open agenda’ in style. In truth; none of this would get done unless I did jump right in there and started splashing about a bit.

So, there I was, in the fab Hartlepool maritime museum, wearing rubber gloves and handling the well worn, nay, beaten up, brass tubes and three valves that comprise the object we call ‘a trumpet’. A passing punter happened to ask;

“is that Kip Heron’s trumpet?.. it has a link to the Beatles you know – he used to play in George Martin’s band”

No I didn’t know that – but thus far I can’t confirm or deny it, though I know a man who can, as in the cabinet there is a biog. about Kip, written by a gentleman called Gavin Smith, whose name I recognised. I have in fact met Gavin before, but despite that didn’t know he used to play in a band with Kip.

It really is all about asking the right questions.

But knowing what the right questions are is the ultimate trick.