Hubner's Banshee Bassey Dream...

Hubner!!! Any questions?

I have known Hubs since my kindergarten days attending Sunnyside Primary in Pretoria whilst my dad was stationed at Swartkops, playing in the Air Force Band. Pete was in high school and I would meet him at the train station after school and help carry his trumpet case home. We became fast friends and I knew that one day, short of some sort of ecliptic planetary event, we would work together in the same band.

Moving forward some fifteen years or so, I was to be found beating out some uninspired groove behind an old weather beaten Ludwig Super Classic at Brett’s Nightclub in Salisbury, Rhodesia! The band was called Caravan Lion and this venue sparked a great and enthusiastic friendship between Mike Campbell and myself.

The band all resided in a house in Salisbury, paid for by the club’s owner, Apie Olivier, a gregarious and charming old man! Hubner shared a room with the love of his life, Denny Loren, a voluptuous woman who sang every tune like Shirley Bassey. Imagine dancing romantically to the sounds of “There’s got to be a morning after” sung in a “banshee like” style, three octaves too high combined with the dazzling sight of great “harp strings” of saliva connecting her upper jaw to her lower! She also had the unique ability to sing without moving her lower jaw. Instead, it appeared as though her lower jaw remained fixed while the rest of her head moved up and down!

The highlight during this period for us sidemen was the inevitable romantic “ritornello” that would take place, on a regular basis, between the “Conteta de Plastico” and poor old Pete!!! The band members would all take up their places armed with sophisticated improvised listening devices and prepare for what was about to occur! The festivities always began with some low moaning, not unlike the low brass motif from the first movement of “The Planets” by Holst. This would be followed poco a poco by a great crescendo of “harder Pete, harder”! (Bellowed once again in the style of Ms. Bassey). In true Sonata Allegro form, after the “development” section, the event would finally conclude but not before a full recapitulation of the exposition!

Now those of you who know Pete, will finally understand the reason for his bulging eyes and flailing arms.

G