Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost Making History 1

It seems that making history, becoming famous, changing the world is as much about having dumb luck as having great talent, superior intelligence or innate predisposition. There are so many stories of people that just happened to have the right idea, at the right place and at the right time that I decided to write about those that happened to have the wrong idea, at the wrong place or at the wrong time. Note that the names, dates and events have been changed to protect the innocent and ensure their continued anonymity.
This first installment of Almost Making History will focus on Baltazar Stewler. Baltazar Stewler, known as Bar to his friends, was born in the town of Skelmersdale, West Lancashire. He grew up going to school at Brookfield Park Primary School and later at Lathom High School, and learned the facts of life playing along the river Tawd. When he reached his adolescent years, Bar became really interested in music and, after practicing drums on discarded cans and plastic containers for years, finally received his first drum set for his 17th birthday. His father told everyone : "The choice was between buying the drums or having him amputated. The drums were cheaper...". Bar thought of himself as the future Buddy Rich, minus the bad temper. If left alone, he would play drums all day and all night, driving his family, neighbors and dog mad.
Once he felt confident with his playing abilities, Bar started looking for opportunities to play in a band. The music scene was quite effervescent around Skem and bands were often advertising their search for new members in the local paper. Bar went through many adds but finally narrowed his choices down to two: The Philosophers and the Raving Texans. The Philosophers add read something like this:
"A new band for a new era,
The Philosophers need a drummer!
Interested aren't ya?
Just call 44 33 33 22 11 and we'll consider!"
Bar thought the add was quite interesting and had sort of a musicality to it. Also, having decided on his stage name, Bar Stewl, he believed he and The Philosophers were meant to be. Bar scheduled an appointment with the band members and, after a quick tryout, was welcomed on board. The Philosophers had an interesting sound for the time. Their Leader, whose stage name was Socrates, liked to mix German Oom-pah music with a new style called Rock 'n' Roll. There first local hit, popular in bars in and around Liverpool, was a remake of "Ein Prosit". In order to accommodate Bar's talent, they included a drum solo in the song that became the highlight. The Philosophers travelled around Lancashire for a time but were never build on the early success and, finally, disbanded after a few years. While drumming for The Philosophers, Bar became involved with a nice girl from Bold Heath and decided to settle down. Seeing that he couldn't make a decent living with his drums, he went back to school and became a well-respected roofer in Skem (he always said that his drumming technique had a lot in common with hammering).
Having picked The Philosophers, Bar never called the Raving Texans. They ended up recruiting another drummer and changing their name to Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. In the early 60s, they shared a stage in Hamburg with a band called the Beatles. Later on, the Beatles, looking to replace their own drummer, contacted the Hurricanes drummer, Richard Starkey. The rest, as they say, is history.
Some people say Bar has no regrets, others say he never really realized the potential consequences of his choice of band. The fact of the matter is that Baltazar Stewler will forever be forgotten by History while Richard Starkey, also known as Ringo Starr, has become famous around the world.


  1. Very funny story, Saben. Keep 'em coming.

  2. Thanks Nick! Keep on reading and I'ill keep on writing!

  3. Hilarious! Poor Baltazar Stewler (what a mouthful)...maybe he'll make history through the blogosphere! Thanks for sharing this!!