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Top Man with Bob Rodgers and Davisamerica


by

DWL

 Genre: Spoken Word-Poetry

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Description
Sometimes things don't turn out as you expect.

My Suite for Queen Caroline project is a collection of songs representing the views and feelings of the various individuals affected by the demolition of the QC estate and the possible rehousing of the residents. So far I've written the main song (http://www.macjams.com/song/54777) and the council leader's tale (http://www.macjams.com/song/56840).

This is from the demolition man. I wanted a spoken word piece to break up the series of songs and be like a talking head documentary and I asked a mate of mine, Graham Hodges (not the Graeme from Amokopera!), to write a short bit of prose about the demolition man. Graham surprised in the twists and turns he put into the piece and although I wasn't going to do the narration it didn't really suit the guy I wanted to to use.

Then I wanted an ambient backing and having worked with Jack on these type of narrations I asked him if he had any ambient pieces he needed a home for. What he sent back was a backing track Bob Rodgers had sent to him a while before that hadn't progressed. Having worked with Bob as well before I knew it'd be a classy rock track and thought it wouldn't work as it was nothing like what I wanted. So I was a little surprised to find that it did indeed work. I just played around with the EQ a bit and added the ambient ending I was intending to use anyway.

Jack then gave me some harmonica and some other ambient stuff that I worked in and, more importantly, gave me a pep talk and the confidence to post it (thank you my friend).

It's part of a bigger picture and shows things aren't always black and white. The guy starts confidently describing what he does. Makes no odds to him, it's just another job then things don't quite go where he expects them to....

So here's the cast list and many thanks to them all for letting me ride on the back of their creativity.

Words – Graham Hodges
Main backing track – Bob Rodgers
Harp & stuff – Jack
Narration and ambience – me

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Lyrics
Copyright 2009 Graham Hodges

You start at the bottom. Not like that; everyone starts at the bottom, but really; physically they say, don't they, is that right?. At the bottom. On the demo. Not a demo like they say now, demo; that political stuff; "demonstration", like protests and things; don't hold with that; know your place I say. Who am I to say they're wrong? No, demo; demolition. That's what you do, knock stuff down. It's gotta go; so it does. Someone's decided that it's gotta go, so bang, that's that; gone. I don't decide what goes and what stays. Knock that down, so on the site I go and smack it. Well, not me on me own like; the gang, the crew; we all go, work together. That's the point, the gang.

I'm Charlie, I started on the demo, at the bottom like and I weren't much more than a kid. Out of school, nothing to do, so this bloke he gave me a job on the demo; at the bottom; clearing stuff away. Is there promotion? Yer, definite. After a couple of years they give you a shovel. No, not really, no, I always had a shovel; but later they gave me a hammer; a big one. Well, it was to me. I thought it was big. Heavy bugger, couldn't half do some damage with that. Still that was the idea really. Breaking stuff. Knocking it down. It's good that. Anyway, that's not the point. There's lots a blokes with shovels, not as many with hammers. Are you with me? What is it the farmers say? Pecking order?

It's a funny thing you see, coz you start at the bottom on the job, but the job starts at the top. Actually you got to, half the time there isn't room you see. You can't go blowing things up. Mess that would make; and you can't just take out the bottom and run. Land on you it would. Dangerous that. So anyway, you start at the top and work your way down. Me, I was at the bottom for a long time; Frank, though, he was at the top already when I started.

Frank you see, he was Top Man, that's what it means you see. When you say someone's a top man. Where it comes from; the demo. He's got the most dangerous job. Got a lot of respect too, see? Coz he's top man. Dangerous up there. Had to have his wits about him he did. Don't want to be standing on a wall you're knocking down. Don't want to be standing on a wall someone else is knocking down, neither. Lot of the guys were jealous, sure, the longer you stay in the job, the higher you get to work, but there's only one Top Man, stands to reason, dunnit?

I wondered sometimes, still do; if it was really an accident. Did he just lose his footing? Did he take out the wrong bit? Don't seem very likely. Careful man, Frank. Gotta be, being Top Man. Did someone give the wall smack? Like I said, I've though about it.
Afterwards, I'd av moved up, wouldn't I? But well, you know...
There's an order, you see, an order to things and it wasn't right, no, not right.
Song Stats
Hits: 3150
Comments: 56
Fans: 21
Plays: 197
Downloads: 73

Uploaded: Dec 10, 2009 - 11:38:15 AM
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2009 - 12:28:28 PM Last Played: Sep 08, 2016 - 04:42:08 PM
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Comments
Feter said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Top Man
Man you chose the best mates to front ..Mr.Bob
is always a top notch rocker ..Jack hard is cool
nice reading ..this is a cool track from a
classic rock vinyl indeed ...rock on ..thnx alot
for sharin !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
DWL said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
That was quick!
Thanks Feter, I still haven't finished updating the post!

Yeah, I struck lucky with my collaborators again.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
magnatone said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Top Man
back for real comment later - this is GREAT!! wanted you to know i listened and loved it!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
DWL said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Thanks Karen
The fact you've listened to it all and liked is enough for me!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
lengold said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
I'm starting to
really understand now where you are going with this. It is actually turning into a real show. Great conception Dick and it all comes together perfectly. Bob's perfect backing track fits as if it was made for it and Jack's contributions work too. Love the composition and execution of the narrative. Quite thought provoking.
Cheers
Len

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
DWL said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Method in my madness?
I am going somewhere and I hope you'll be along on the journey at some point!

Bob's track worked so well and as you say It could have been written for it.

Thanks for the comments.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Moviz said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Turned out
to be the perfect backing for this commentary.
" Ye-e-es" he said stroking his beard, "it must have been an accident."
Excellent reading of this Dick.... I think I would have got lost in it, but it all sounds so natural, excellent, Cheers M
Check out my latest song called Angels
DWL said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Accident?
Perhaps. The idea is that each of the songs wil be one person's take on it. This guy didn't actually give a toss what he knocked down but then he gets distracted by his own thought process. Nothing to with the estate but that's the point as this is just a snapshot in time.

Thanks for the listen and the comments Maurice

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
smokey bacon jnr said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
great
This works really well - look forward to the west end musical!
Check out my latest song called April
DWL said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Free tickets to the premiere!
Actually it's like being a Lib Dem politician I can promise anything as the Lib Denms have got about as much chance of getting inti power as I have of making the West End. Very kind thoughts though. Thanks!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
woofer3 said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
one for the Blockheads or Joboxers
Very imaginative and entertaining - Ian Dury would have loved it. Good message, excellent collab chaps.
Check out my latest song called Drunken bakers [08-01]
DWL said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Thanks John
I thought Blockheads as well after I'd done it. Strange that...

What happened to "Chewing"?

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
woofer3 said 2867 days ago (December 17th, 2009)
Hi Dick
sorry for my late response - Chewing - is being remixed and is nearly finished - I shall post the new mix asap.
Check out my latest song called Drunken bakers [08-01]
jiguma said 2874 days ago (December 10th, 2009)
Reminds me of Ginger Baker's
"Pressed Rat and Warthog" - maybe it's the accent :)
Fantastic stuff guys - very impressive.
Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
DWL said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Now that you mention it
It's not a million miles away is it?

Thanks Neil, I hope we're still on for our collab ;-)

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Mr.Langford .....
You amaze me! Well done. Bob's track was a good choice.
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
DWL said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Down to you my friend
First the track, then the pep talk then the harp.

Thanks for everything!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Char said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Excellent,
well done. Makes sense and keeps your attention. Good group you got together. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Soory Char
Been neglecting my replies.

Thanks for the listen. A bit weird to do something like this but I hope it works and it's taken in context.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
michaelkoppenheffer said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Love the narration
And how it fits into the stately rock of the the backing track: a piece of fine art, this is! It does put one in mind of the stage: it gives you a really fully realized picture of "Charlie" through his monologue.
Check out my latest song called Till the Tap Runs Dry (album version)
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Thanks Michael
I'm pleased you enjoyed it. I wasn't sure but it seems to be having the desired effect

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
awigze said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
amazing
I love this kind of work! Nicely done all the way through... everyone involved should be happy with this
Check out my latest song called Sometime Tomorrow
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
And luckily they are
Happy that is!

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
mr. langford....
8th listen and a download
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Beyond the call of duty
Thank you for your contribution!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
guitapick said 2873 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Nice...
..."ambience"...

Taking steps outside the box...nicely done, guys
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Outside the box
yes indeed! Thanks for the listen

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Vic Holman said 2872 days ago (December 11th, 2009)
Power Trio
very cool! rarely do you ever hear a narration over a rock tune. I think it was a old Ian Hunter song was the last time I ever heard it done.

great story and backing music!
Check out my latest song called Mean Streets
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
And you probably won't here narration again
AN odd idea but I hope it worked.

Thanks for the comments Vic

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
hackneybloke said 2872 days ago (December 12th, 2009)
top man
dude...where were you when blur wrote park-life? i laughed when i read that feter had commented before you'd even posted. hilarious. great concoction.
Check out my latest song called If Symptoms Persist
DWL said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Park Life
Great song but not sure I could rival Phil Daniels. I'd posted the song but not finished the info when Feter commented.

Thanks Julian

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Outtaorbit said 2871 days ago (December 13th, 2009)
Who.....
Could not do damage with this
Check out my latest song called My Last Great Depression
DWL said 2867 days ago (December 17th, 2009)
Damage is my middle name
or was it my brother's middle name?

Thanks for the comments

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
ShadowofNine said 2870 days ago (December 14th, 2009)
Interesting
work, a journey, the lyrics are really thought provoking...enjoyed...
Check out my latest song called Gone (with Eagle)
DWL said 2867 days ago (December 17th, 2009)
Thanks!

I will pass your comments to the wordsmith Mt Hodges.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
SmokeyVW said 2870 days ago (December 14th, 2009)
brilliant
this is great

how to talk about something by talking about something else...

i loved the spooky turn at the end

thanks
Check out my latest song called Glyph
DWL said 2862 days ago (December 22nd, 2009)
Thanks Bill
It was fun to try something different and the words I was given were excellent.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
damiengh said 2870 days ago (December 14th, 2009)
nice collab
Definitely the opposite of a demolition crew that put this baby together.
Nice collab. You must have been really happy to have this background to read on top of. Your the top man now.
Check out my latest song called Tea and Scones
DWL said 2862 days ago (December 22nd, 2009)
Top man indeed!
Thanks Damien!

Serendipity, it all fell into place.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Monkaton said 2869 days ago (December 14th, 2009)
Dramatic Music
This is great stuff. I love the narration, the prose and the music. Now all you need is to get Michael Caine to do the final narration when you go big time.
Check out my latest song called The Chord
DWL said 2862 days ago (December 22nd, 2009)
Michael Caine?

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" - yeah, might work

Thanks for the listen and comment

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
kingbee said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Cool
This is a really ambitious of all of you..and works so well.
The music track really compliments the narrative and from what I've heard of the other tracks in the 'series' it will fit in really well.
Great stuff
cheers
Check out my latest song called No expense spared
Moses said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
Top Man
Sounds like one of those shows on TV, like Deadliest Catch, except about demolition! Interesting piece, the music and story are fitting
Check out my latest song called Found Myself Again
Bob Rodgers said 2868 days ago (December 16th, 2009)
I'm
glad you was able to make use of this track of mine and it worked well for your project, the narration from you is superb and you tell a great story.
A great production and mix of your vocal with Jack's harp and the music, you always do this so well.
I have to thank Jack for sending this on to you, it was a nice surprise when I listened to this the first time and was most unexpected!
An excellent piece of work and very much enjoyed!

Bob
Check out my latest song called The Lonely Man
DWL said 2867 days ago (December 17th, 2009)
It was an unexpected pleasure Bob
and it really worked well. Thanks for letting me use the track and thanks for your support.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Doug Somers said 2866 days ago (December 18th, 2009)
Do you also work on the stage?
Brilliant reading Dick, this comes off so very well. Clever writing too, the way the words are played with. Great choices of collab partners here, the backing really adds atmosphere. The turn toward the end is all the more viscerally felt as a result.

Nicely done, and good luck with the project.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
DWL said 2858 days ago (December 26th, 2009)
Thanks Doug
The only time I've been on a stage is to play guitar but I do love performing and really miss it.

My life seems to be a series of projects at the moment but it keeps me sharp - I hope!

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica said 2865 days ago (December 18th, 2009)
still
absolutely wonderful
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
DWL said 2858 days ago (December 26th, 2009)
Beyond the call of duty
but much appreciated!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
crissew said 2865 days ago (December 18th, 2009)
LOL
Pretty cleverly written. I have a dry sense of humor and this suited it perfectly. Deep thoughts with Graham Hodges!
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
crissew said 2865 days ago (December 18th, 2009)
Of course if it was a true story
I wouldnt be very amusing
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
DWL said 2858 days ago (December 26th, 2009)
If it were a true story...
we'll never know........

Thanks for the listen and comment

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
VicDiesel said 2863 days ago (December 21st, 2009)
Tops!
Again a great addition to your song-cycle-to-be. The breaks in the music come at serendipitous points in the text. Nifty.

In the final bit I find the reverb a bit overdone. Maybe I would have done the opposite: remove all ambience from his voice to make it starker. No matter. Cool track.
Check out my latest song called Black Recorder
DWL said 2860 days ago (December 24th, 2009)
Thanks Vic
It's all coming together. I had to work the narration around the breaks but yes it was lucky there were some!

Perhaps I should have tried removing the ambience. Interesting idea.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
kassia said 2840 days ago (January 13th, 2010)
very cool idea
the entire concept is wonderful Dick. i think this all came together perfectly. the backing track has a nice energy that's not overwhelming but keeps things moving. love those little bits of harmonica that jack put in. this is great.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
DWL said 2837 days ago (January 16th, 2010)
Thanks!
Very kind of you to drop by and comment

I wasn't sure the backing track would work but it fitted perfectly!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
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Name: Dick langford
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10 years here (at time of writing!) - it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote "it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote 5 years"... Older but no wiser. The musical projects that make up Amokopera are now complete and Distant England (the story of... [see more]

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