A familiar name in the rarified atmosphere of planet mandolin, maestro Mayor swaps plectrum for pen in this first anthology of words. In verse and prose, and with wit, warmth, poignancy and intelligence, Mayor offers down-to-earth observations of his native and adopted haunts, laced with preposterous accounts of the haps and mishaps of his musical profession. The sticks and stones of the Yorkshire Dales, the delights of Reading, the quirks of Hay-on-Wye, the castles of Cleethorpes (sandy ones), noisy nights and country kissing all covered with perspicacity and humour!
“It was Hilary James who first persuaded me to read a poem during a concert. I chose The Stick, and people seemed to like it. For years we had performed together on stage, she singing (mostly), me playing (mostly), but we both did both. This was usually as a duo, but also with our mandolin quartet The Mandolinquents and in other occasional configurations. Perhaps I’ll be more specific about my poems and her means of persuasion. She got me in an armlock, twisted it violently up my back before threatening to push it that extra inch to tear the tendons, thus preventing me from playing the mandolin ever again. SAS training is so rigorous it becomes instinctive. The thought of not playing the mandolin was unthinkable, but after thinking about it, I thought it best to succumb, and just a few years later we published Of Death And A Banana Skin.”
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Artist’s website: https://mandolin.co.uk/
The film about the book: