Another Strange Coincidence

In which The Author has a weird dream

Yesterday, one of the girls from work and I were chatting over lunch about gigs (among other things). Yasmine lost her festival virginity last summer, when a couple of the other guys from work persuaded her to join them at the Beautiful Days weekender near Glastonbury.
For my part, I’ve only ever been to two festivals. The first was at Ashton Court, with the Bristol Class War contingent, back in about 1990. The other was the Fairport Convention thirtieth anniversary bash at Cropredy, with Martyn E. and Benji. I’ve been to loads of gigs, of course, but the latter was the only one that actually counted as a proper festival.
You know what I mean: camping in a field, a plastic wristband that got you onto the site, a row of dodgy portaloos that were unusable within hours, a big tent with real ale on the pump, and the village’s one shop and two pubs besieged by twenty thousand visitors. Ashton Court, while great fun, doesn’t really count as I stayed in Andy and Maddie’s house rather than in a tent. And we took our own beer from the off-licence in Clifton, rather than buying it on site. But I digress.
After we’d finished comparing notes on irritating campsite neighbours and gastrointestinal disorders, I tried to convince Yas that Cropredy would suit her down to the ground. It’s full of people from all ages and backgrounds, united in their love of folky rocky music. (While the Levellers have yet to grace the stage, I live in hope that Blyth Power may one day headline the Friday evening.)
Then last night I had a very odd dream. Yas and I, for no apparent reason, were in a theatre with a load of heavy rock fans, helping to shift gear for a band. It turned out that everyone was there to see Yngwie Malmsteen in concert. (I should point out that we didn’t actually stay for any of the music – I’m not so inventive that I can channel guitar licks in my sleep!)
Now, I know the bare minimum about Mr Malmsteen – I’ve never knowingly listened to any of his records, and I honestly wouldn’t recognise the bloke if he turned up at the counter in the shop. In fact, just about everything I know about the guy is encapsulated in an old joke:
Q. How many Yngwies does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. One hundred – one to put the new bulb in, and the other ninety-nine to see how Richie Blackmore would have done it.
There’s absolutely no reason on Earth why I’d be at an Yngwie Malmsteen gig – and it’s even less likely that Yasmine would turn up. But, in my subconscious mind we joined the headbangers all the same. I can’t even begin to imagine why he should figure in my dream at all.
I haven’t bought a music paper for years, and I have no idea who’s still on the rock scene and who isn’t. It was only when the press started making a big fuss about the new product from Guns’n’Roses and AC/DC, late last year, that I even realised they’d both gone away for over a decade. I’ve been waiting in vain for the Blues Band to come back to the Coliseum instead. Yngwie Malmsteen couldn’t have been further from my mind if he’d tried.
And while I was in the pub this afternoon, having more or less forgotten about the dream, my friend Ian casually remarked that Yngwie Malmsteen was lining up a UK tour. Suddenly the dream was back, and Ian saw my expression change as I interrupted his flow. It completely freaked me out, as they used to say. I don’t even know why he should have bothered to mention it. He knows I don’t really follow music any more, and especially not the heavy rock scene, which never really interested me anyway. But he did. Less than twelve hours after I dreamed about a gig by the very same guy.
Maybe it’s a sign. I should check out Yngwie Malmsteen’s website for more details of his tour. I’ve liked Yasmine for ages. If I invited her to see this Scandinavian guitar god in action, perhaps it could be the catalyst we need to get together.
Or am I just dreaming again …?
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