It is usually a spontaneous thing. We tend to meet The Tuckers around the ‘reduced to clear’ section in Tesco and then head back to our house - or their house. We pool the kids in the garden and have a glass of wine.
I play guitar with the Tuckers’ eldest – he’s 12. I recently taught him the Elvis version of ‘That’s Alright Mama’ – something he’d never heard. It felt like we were rebooting Rock and Roll.
Maude enjoys a singalong and always makes the same request:
‘Play ‘How Long Will I love you?’ Pleeeease!!!’
The ‘Ultimate Guitar Tabs’ app on my phone has come in very handy lately. I can’t remember chords or lyrics any more – my brain is full of shopping lists and clouded by apprehension of impending children’s parties.
‘Of course my darling – anything for you.’
As I played the Waterboys song I realised how similar the chord progression is to ‘When will I see you again?’ by ‘The Three Degrees’, so I slipped seamlessly into that song.
Maude suggested I ‘pack it in’ and return to her favourite and her only request. I did as I was told, but playing The Three Degrees reminded me, obviously, of Prince Charles.
When Prince Charles was an eligible bachelor in the 70’s they forced him into the company of leading figures from popular culture – mainly to make him appear fashionable and less out of touch than he inevitably was and remains to this day. He memorably met and became a fan of the black all-girl group The Three Degrees. He was apparently quite taken by the lead singer – Sheila Ferguson. Some reports have used the word ‘besotted’. He even invited the group to perform at his 30th birthday party.
What a missed opportunity.
Had he gone with his instincts, we would now have a mixed race heir to the throne and the monarchy could worry less about its inability to connect to the majority of modern humanity.
Queen Sheila would have looked tremendous at state occasions and she would probably have brightened them all with a song and some sequins. The other 2 degrees could have become Ladies in Waiting and/or Overseas Ambassadors for Disco.