Day 112 ‘The one-armed bandit with magic muffins’Arriving by the skin of my teeth to my next show, I was in somewhat of a hurry to unload my gear and get set up. Carrying more than I could handle, I blocked my vision and subsequently bowled headlong into a gentleman standing in the doorway. A sturdy gent, he withstood the collision better than I, and the ensuing clatter of musical accessories went sprawling everywhere. As I peered up from the floor, a big grin split his face and he chortled, “whoops.” Feeling very embarrassed, I apologised profusely for my ungainly entry, “I am so sorry, I didn’t see you.” He stood there smiling, steadying his beer from toppling out. “I’d give you a hand up, but I don’t have one.” I glanced at his t-shirt, and at the space where his right arm should be. Taking my cue from him, I responded, “Yeah well, I’ve got two but it’s still me on my arse, not you.” He gave a big belly laugh, placed the beer down and proceed to help me reassemble. I introduced myself to him and told him I was doing the show today. “Yes I know”, he replied. I’m Bud Moore. I know my eyes got bigger, and I quickly bit my bottom lip, hoping my incredulous face kept its thoughts to itself. “Bud Moore, the bass player?” Beaming from ear to ear, “yes ma’am, that’s me.” His infectious warmth and smile oozed likeability. Ten minutes in his company and he was already an old friend. I nodded at him and returned his smile, “okay then, let’s get set up.” Another voice soon joined us, his face popping up from behind a large speaker. “Hello, you must be Stevie” he enthused. “Michael Hinchliffe I presume?” “I am indeed, but just call me Mick.” The familiar sight of a drum kit being put together was reassuring as I started to gather my thoughts for the show. Chatting away as we crafted our stage, Mick stopped mid-sentence. “Stevie, is that your stomach I hear growling?” I’d hoped the clang and clatter of stage preparation had me covered, but alas it did not. I shifted a little awkwardly, and replied, “starving actually”. Three hours of sleep and a six-hour drive hadn’t left much time for niceties like food. “Bud” Mick started, “the lady is hungry.” Bud quickly made his way to another room, returning with a large plate of muffins. “Bud’s muffins are quite famous here in Mackay”, Mick smiled. I was all kinds of tired, fatigued and famished as Bud presented me with the plate. “You’ve had these before, he queried?” There was a word before muffins, that I didn’t quite catch but assumed he said blueberry. “Oh yes, I’m a ‘live on a knife’s edge’ kinda girl.” I laughed. Chomping down enthusiastically, my empty stomach was grateful to fill the void. Clearly delighted I was enjoying the muffin tucker, Bud kept filling my plate, and I happily obliged until I was stuffed. Mick grinned at me, “that’s some tolerance you’ve got there, Stevie.” I grinned back, “yeah, I’m not normally such a guts on the first date.” As the lights hit our faces, we roared into life, entertaining the full house who’d come from miles around. I was feeling good, if a touch light-headed, but I’d put it down to little sleep. Halfway through the first track, I found myself staring at Bud. I was in awe of just how good he was at slapping that bass with just the use of his left hand. Rather than keep that to myself, I blurted into the microphone, “holy cow, are you guys hearing this? One hand over here is leaving most two hands for dead!!” A massive cheer for their local hero went up, but the pro part of my brain was telling me to hush! I wasn’t having it though. The table looked like a great platform to entertain from, and just because I’d never been that uninhibited before, didn’t mean I couldn’t try something new. Bud anxiously signalled to my other half, Chris, who was making his way towards the stage. ” Are you sure Stevie has had marijuana before?” “Marijuana!” he exclaimed. She’s never even smoked a cigarette! There was a collective, “oh dear,” from Bud, Mick, and Chris as my table exploits were thwarted by concerned, but amused patrons. I don’t remember a lot of detail about the rest of that night, but I remember having the best gig of my life. 🙂 . The next morning the smiling venue manager asked me if he could book another show on my homeward trip. A little sheepish, but mostly relieved it must have been okay, I gave a definite “yes.” Bud and Mick had made their way over to help with the loadout. Mick was guffawing the whole time, whilst Bud was a little awkward but laughing in spite of himself. For many years after this, every time I arrived at the venue, there was always a single muffin with my name on it waiting for me on stage. Thank you both for your friendship, adventures, and memories. I’ll miss you, as will all who knew you. RIP Bud Moore and Michael Hinchcliffe.
“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”