Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hooray for the Salvation Army Band

click photo to enlarge
In 1967 the U.S. guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, backed by the British drums and bass "Experience" of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, released the song "Purple Haze". It was a product of the psychedelic times, all distorted guitar and obscure lyrics, and a great piece. A year later, in 1968, I heard a recording by the U.S. comedian, Bill Cosby, that was a wonderful spoof of "Purple Haze". This song was called "Hooray for the Salvation Army Band". To Hendrix's 60s sound he added lyrics that told how the religious group's band kept appearing every time the singer was getting down to a little sin.

I only heard this song a couple of times and then it disappeared from the airwaves. But I remembered it, and occasionally mentioned it to friends. However, it seemed that I was the only one in my circle to have heard this quirky little piece. In fact, as the years passed and my mentioning of the song continued to be met by baffled looks, I began to wonder if I'd imagined or dreamed the whole thing - that it was one of those "if you can remember the 60s you weren't there" moments. But then along came the internet. Several years ago I searched for the song and found no sign of it. However, today I was prompted to look again, and turned up numerous references. It seems my sanity can longer be questioned!

What inspired me to search for Bill Cosby's manic ditty was the appearance of a Salvation Army Band from the Citadel at Boston, Lincolnshire, walking around our village. They were undertaking a charitable collection and pausing at frequent intervals to play a hymn or two. I heard them in the distance first of all, so went for my camera. When they obligingly stopped outside my gate we made a donation and then I took several photographs of the musicians and their instruments as they played away. As I snapped away, I thought, "Hooray for the Savation Army Band", a phrase that prompted today's reflection.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1 (Photo2)
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 137mm (274mm/35mm equiv.) (150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.))
F No: f6.3 (f6.3)
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 (1/640)
ISO: 100 (100)
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 (-0.7) EV
Image Stabilisation: On (On)