Today I am thinking about my good friend Rod Wilson. Rod and I first crossed paths in the recording studio at TLC, Bayswater North. Since that day our running gag has been that we met playing in an all female acapella band; he played drums & I played guitar. We have been good friends ever since.
I still remember what struck me first about Rod was his genuine warmth and compassion. He spoke to me as if he had known me for 20 years. It was so real that I occasionally wondered if we had met before & I had just forgotten it. It didn’t take long to realise that this was how he was with everyone.
Since that day we have spent a lot of time together, sharing meals, holidays, dreams & fears, and of course, making lots of wonderful music. Our favourite pass time though, has surely been trying to outdo each other quoting film lines. We have become so adept at just throwing this shtick into our conversation that my wife often remarked that we will one day be sitting on the front porch in the old folks home, only able to communicate in film lines.
That’s just a glimpse of who Rod is. His ability as a musician is probably how many of you will know Rod. And what an ability he has. It would be almost impossible to give a credible summary of his ability as a percussionist/producer/showman etc. There have just been so many moments that I could speak of and none would really convey a total picture of his ability. It was rare for us to start a session of any kind without me asking him to play the opening shuffle from “Rosanna” by Toto; he would always oblige. Or sometimes during a rehearsal he would completely change the timing signature & feel in the middle of a song and laugh as we all lost our place. (Except for him).
Let me leave you with this. When I was working at the CBM studio I needed his percussive brilliance for an “in house” project. He didn’t have a lot of time so what he suggested was that he would lay down 16 tracks each of 32 bars, each track a different instrument and feel; djembe, goats toe nails, conga, ride cymbal, shakers, djarbuka etc; the crowning piece had to be when he went into the mens loo and came out with a plastic bin that he wanted to use. Classic.
Nowadays you will have seen Rod happily ensconced with his Sons of Korah clan as he rightfully (pre pandemic) was able to ply his craft all over the world. Hopefully those days aren’t done yet. Between that & fulfilling his vocation as father and husband, we don’t get to spend a lot of time together these days. I am ever hopeful that this might change soon. For now it is what it is.These are but a few thoughts that more than fulfil my brief for this article.
PS; To have a listen to the track mentioned above, go to https://mickmcivor.bandcamp.com/track/joy
PPS: If you have your own thoughts and memories then by all means add them below, and lets shower our mate in the blessing of our words oh & make sure you click the like button