"Dear Mr Woollan, can you teach my son to play the piano like that bloke Liszt does but not in pubs?

Yours sincerely.

Dizzy Downes's mum"
"Dear Dizzy Downe mum.

Your son can't reach the pedals yet, Liszt is dead, so will the violin do instead ?

Respectfully yours.

John Woolan, Warden and school drummer"

"OK, how much ?

Mrs Downes"
"Probably six of the best if he doesn't show progress in the first hour.

With regards.

JW "
"Make that eight and you've got a deal.

Where do I sign.

His Uncle Reg on behalf of Mrs D who's come out in a rash and we've run out of horse oil"

So, I was summoned to JW'S study - again.

Now Dizzy, your mother has written to me requesting that you learn to play the violin. Start tomorrow and who on earth is Uncle Reg from down The Old Kent Road?

And so it came about, I arrived for my first lesson, Stu Brindley left for Burma while I struck my first note, busted the bow, bent the neck so slung it off my hip and tried strumming "She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain When She Comes " in the key of G that sounded like all the other keys put together, all except for the key of G and just as I was hotting up for the middle eight, in walked Woollan.

Right Downes, my study, where's Mr Brindley, and straighten that top lip

And so it came to pass.

"Dear Mrs Downes.

Hope your rash has cleared up but next time try grinding paste and rocket fuel mixed and the very same as that which our Matron applies to the odd boy every now and then, well all of them and all of the time actually as it has something to do with the water around here but mainly to do with the porridge - in fact, everything to do with the porridge. Anyway, I digress.

Your son has now advanced to the bag pipes which will be so much easier for him as they will sound just the same when he has learnt to play them as they did when he couldn't.

I'm now off to Burma with a search party to look for our music teacher.

Best regards.

JW "

Anyway, I never had the legs for the piano and even less so for the bag pipes but the Fender Strat - well now, I'm your man, self taught, six pack, required quiff and profile to match !

Dizzy D.

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