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 Post subject: Harry's Boys
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2015, 13:35 
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Spoiler:
It is so easy to sit in judgement, particularly with the benefit of twenty-twenty hindsight. And I’m not saying that we didn’t know we were breaking rules, of course we did. But we were just kids ourselves, first time away from home; new freedoms and experiences; new challenges. I honestly and genuinely regret what happened. I know I should have intervened; called a halt there and then. But I was neither the ring-leader, nor even involved in the worst of it, and I am ashamed that I didn’t assert more moral behaviour.
In the early days, the groupies were few and far between. We were generally travelling most of the day in a beat-up van, uncomfortable, either cramped three to the bench seat in the front or bouncing around with the amps, speakers and drum kit in the back. We’d roll into town, maybe tea-time, and find our digs, usually a cheap commercial hotel or bed-and-breakfast. We’d dump our stuff then try to find something to eat, before taking the kit to the venue to set up and snatch a sound check before opening time. Some of the dives we played in the early days were dire. Even the best of them were no more than little provincial theatres. More often, they were seedy working men’s clubs: beer, vomit, bingo and hairy-arsed labourers, who knew nothing about music or what we were trying to do. Some nights, it felt like we were playing to a riot: random punch-ups, shouting matches, all sorts.
Once we adjudged the sound to be as good as it was going to get, we were back to the digs to dress up. Then back to the venue. By the time we’d had our first hit, there were usually groupies hanging around; autograph hunters and gold diggers; hangers on. But in the early days, we were generally unmolested until after the gig. We developed a sixth sense for who to take back to the digs. The economics demanded we were in shared rooms but generally this meant two doubles and a single, so we just took turns to use the single: twenty minutes each; lots to get through and we’re back on the road early in the morning. Four of us used the local lasses and Harry played with the boys.
It’s funny looking back. I remember jokes about poofters from our school playground but I never made the connection from them to Harry’s predilections. I don’t think I ever had anyone underage but, if I’m honest, I can’t be sure. I certainly didn’t put much effort into checking, which is shameful enough. And I always knew I would use them, then cast them aside, like offal past its sell-by date. But Harry liked young boys, the younger the better. And I never once objected. Not once.
The girls would usually come back into the double after their “turn” and carry on partying. Harry’s boys never did. Very occasionally, I heard tears down a corridor, but turned a deaf ear.
I can roll out a litany of excuses: they were different times; I wasn’t responsible; the victims were willing; everyone else went along with it. But I knew it was wrong and I did nothing for entirely selfish reasons. So fifty years later, I nurse my elastic conscience and wonder how Harry is. All is quiet, for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry's Boys
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2015, 14:50 
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Oh, now that is dark, Rob. A good piece though and I enjoyed (perhaps that's not the right word in this context) reading it.

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 Post subject: Re: Harry's Boys
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2015, 07:38 
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Many thanks Silver. It's good to get some feedback.

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