Tuesday, 3 August 2010

If You Try Sometimes, You Get What You Need

There’s a knock-knock at the door. It’s Sheldon. “How are you Lily?” he asks. “I’m fine” I say and then burst into tears. “I’m sorry Sheldon,” I say, between sobs, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I keep getting like this. I should be better by now.”

“Lily,” says Sheldon, “Imagine that you hadn’t seen me for a year or so and then we met and you said, ‘Hey Sheldon, what’s been happening?’ And I told you that I’d had cancer and chemotherapy and then I’d gone out to Australia and when I got there I found out that my girlfriend had been cheating on me and she left me and I’d had a mental breakdown and wound up in a rehab, then I’d come back to London and gone back into hospital again for more surgery. How do you think I would be feeling about now?” I look at him, “quite devastated,” I reply.

To cheer me up, Sheldon takes me to dinner at Makan, the lovely Malaysian café down the road. Then we jump in the car and head over to Shepherd’s Bush to see The Jolly Boys. This Jamaican Mento band has been going, in one form or another, for over fifty years. Most of them are in their seventies and eighties. The band was recently rediscovered by Jon Baker, co-owner of GeeJam studio in Port Antonio. Now they're doing a world tour and releasing an album. The Jolly Boys shuffle on stage. The lead singer looks like Freddy Kruger. They perform a line-up of cover versions rendered in Mento style including Blondie’s Hanging on the Telephone and The Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want. It’s just hilarious. Finally they break into Amy Winehouse’s Rehab. The crowd go wild, dancing and singing along. World changing music it aint but if The Jolly Boys turned up to play at my wedding I think I would be very pleased. And their current success is testament to Lily’s first principle of living well: Never give up. Follow your dreams until you die.