Often when we write, we write to music. Sound tracks mostly. Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, John Wiliams. Sometimes we’ll do voices as well. Sarah Brightman, Enya, Era.
Occasionally, too, we listen to full soundtracks. Particularly Whistle Down the Wind and Paris.
The problem with both of these is that that people speak in between the songs, which can be distracting. But the music in between is fantastic.
Paris was written by Jon English and David MacKay. It’s brilliant, and I can’t remember which stories they were now, but at least one book, and part of two more, were written with John Parr singing his heart out as Paris in the background.
Sadly, it was never produced professionally, although we did see an amateur version of it here in Melbourne.
Jon English was part of my life growing up. First, as a touring rock star—he was one of the first rock stars I remember who toured our country town, and later when we were old enough to drive around the country chasing pub gigs, he was around too.
Later, on television, he was in shows like Against the Wind and All Together Now.
Even later still, when we started going to the theatre and he and Simon Gallaher put on their version of Pirates of Penzance. I don’t know how many times we saw Pirates. We loved it. Absolutely loved it.
The timing, and the way the cast worked, together made this show awesome. (And later the Mikado too, but always, especially the Pirates of Penzance.)
Every once in while you’d run into Jon English. Mostly at gigs. He was always approachable, ready to say a few words.
RIP Jon. You were a talented musician and an accomplished actor. And from what we saw of you, you were also a nice guy.