[Harp-L] What first attracted you to harmonica?

Mox Gowland mox.g@xxxxx
Mon Mar 6 08:40:03 EST 2017

My first harmonica came to me on Brighton beach. 

It was a sunny bank holiday weekend in the early sixties. 

There I was, hanging out with the beatniks when, all of a sudden (as they say), from our left we saw, walking slowly down the beach, a gang of, 30, maybe 40, "Mods" - you know 60's style fashion victims  - crew cuts, Lambreta's - remember Tommy from the Who? 

You get the picture?

Here we were six or seven longhairs, blue jeans, roll-neck sweaters & corduroy jackets, the anti-thesis of MODernity. Nobody said anything, but you could feel the tension mounting.

Then low and behold (now nobody says that anymore!) from our right, appear 50 or 60 leather clad Rockers - yes the deadly enemy of any self respecting Mod and vice versa!

It was clear to us that we were in a difficult situation. 

My new found friend -Fred the Carpet- turned to me and said "can you hold on to my harmonica for a while? I think I'll go for a swim" and off he ran into the sea fully clothed!

All Hell broke loose.

I managed to escape - don't ask me how - and, about 3 months later outside of a London pub called the Duke of York I met up with my long lost friend - you guessed it - Fred the Carpet -

who said " weren't you the bloke I gave my harmonica to on Brighton beach?" to which, when I replied in the positive, continued "well, if you've started playing it you can keep it";

And I've been playing ever since. 


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