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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Sad Balled of Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey

Most of us are familiar with the plight of Pete Best. He was the original drummer for The Beatles and then was deposed in favor of Ringo Starr....only to go on to making a living as a civil servant for the next 20 years. But then he founded The Pete Best Band. But then again, who cares?

There are many such heartbreaking tales in the annals of rock lore. Possibly the most heart rendering is the of Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey.

Born in 1941 at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington in London, into dire poverty. Nobody could have ever predicted the future life of Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey. Except us. Because we are making it up.

His parents were poor mud farmers. Barely making enough sod to sell at the local market to finance the needs of the family. Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey's father, Haggis St. John Peter-Wimsey, took a night job sweeping up the drippings and cuttings at a sausage factory. From time to time, he would gather up some of the most choice left overs to take home to his family. Such was the poverty in which they lived.

On his tenth birthday, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey asked for a guitar. His family desperately wanted to fulfill his wish, but there was no money to be found. His father, Haggis, loved his son so much that he murdered five hookers and took their money...thus financing the future musical career of Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey. Ironically, later in life, in a drug fueled haze, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey would bludgeon six quantity surveyors to death with a frozen swordfish. One of the deceased quantity surveyors was the son of one of the original five hookers Haggis murdered. History is sometimes interesting like that.

With guitar in hand, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey dropped out of school and played for hours. Learning. Strengthening his hands and fingers. Leaning the basic pentatonic scales. And so on.

Eventually, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey found a flyer in a local grocer's shop inquiring about local guitarists. Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey made the call.

With time, the band would be known as The Animals, but at the time their name was The Lemurs. Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey helped them work on their sound but was unfortunately booted from the band in early 1966 right before they were able to record the first of their many hits.

After six months of various sessions with upcoming British bands, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey moved to America and joined up with three other musical veterans to form Crosby Stills Nash and St. John Peter-Wimsey. While the other three were very political and desired to write songs about what was going on in the world at the time, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey preferred to write songs about his penis and the weather. The marriage of the four was doomed almost from the beginning.

Almost immediately after leaving CSN&St.JP-W, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey met Ed King and joined his band Strawberry Alarm Clock. While initially the band worked well together, when songwriter John Carter wrote lyrics for an existing musical piece by the band, they needed someone to perform the vocals. Declaring the song "fucking dumb", Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey left the band. In his place, the band got a friend, 16-year-old named Greg Munford, to sing the lyrics. "Incense and Peppermints" shot to number one a mere three weeks after Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey exited the band.

Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey spent a few years merely partying with other musicians and celebrities like Keith Moon and Ginger Baker. Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey garnered quite the reputation for his hard partying and his ego. Contrary to popular belief, the Carly Simon song "You're So Vain" isn't about Warren Beatty, it is about Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey. After a few more years of aimless partying, St. John Peter-Wimsey finally buckled down and began looking for a new gig. Fortunately, a singer-songwriter team were looking for a third to join them.

Seals & Crofts & St. John Peter-Wimsey began working on an amazing rock/folk/polka epic based on L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" stories. Unfortunately, Dash Crofts and Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey disagreed about the importance of Jack Pumpkinhead and the musical relationship was torn asunder. Once more, history shows that Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey just missed fame as the remaining two, freed from the constant arguments with Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey, wrote "Summer Breeze" as a cathartic release. It peaked at number six on the charts.

Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey's life took a few more turns. Three months with The Eagles before petulantly leaving the band to form a rival group known as The Condors. Two days with The Fifth Dimension before the other members got tired of St. John Peter-Wimsey's constant suggestions of changing the name to Euclidean Orgasm. Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey even tried out for both Guns and Roses and Poison in the mid-eighties.

After the embarrassment of losing the Poison gig, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey entered a downward spiral of the twins additions of heroin and llama pornography. Breaking his habit of heroin took many months of rehab. The llama porn habit, however, still challenges him to this day. As Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey says "I'm taking it one day at a time".

Finally, walking away from music and his additions, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey decided to open a haberdashery on the sunset strip of Los Angeles. He now lovingly crafts the chapeaus for rock stars, actors, and the occasional millionaire Peruvian dwarf. But from time to time...when nobody is around, Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey is known to pull out his guitar and play a tune to two.

And oddly enough....he sucks. Completely tone deaf, that guy. Seriously. It's bad.

Such is the sad balled of Graham St. John Peter-Wimsey.

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