Dear Pilot

Re: January

I have just invested in a 2015 diary from The Southbourne Discount Store, Pilot, and therefore thought it quite serendipitous that you should appear as a question on Ken Bruce's' Popmaster this morning. in the 'Caledonian Combo' section, especially as I was in the middle of phoning our plumber with a view to fixing the light on our boiler.

''January; don't be sad, don't be angry to me'', you pleaded before the traffic and travel. One does hear stories of popstars antagonising hotel managers by throwing televisions into swimming pools and suchlike. However, I am still rather perplexed as to quite how, Pilot, in your own particular case, you appear by your antics to have achieved the peeving off of an entire calendar month. Furthermore, how the first thirty one days of the year, being, unavoidably, not an emotive organism but merely a duration of 44,640 minutes, may express indistiputable ire (unless ''oh, oh oh it's magic'') is beyond me.

At the justifiable risk of being accused of frolicsome indulgences, I also fail to grasp how January may make you sad with its eyes, considering that there are not any 'i's in January. Perhaps, more understandably, you are justified by despondancy in April, which does. Sadly the humour of this observation is significantly diminished by its delivery in a textual as opposed to verbal medium, for which you have my sincere apologies.

If, on the other hand, you are referring to our recently divorced and overly tenacious sometime Gala Bingo partner, who does experience acute fatigue and an overall poorly constitution on account of her ongoing type 2 diabetes , then you have our sincere sympathies. Janet Airey (middle name, Ursula), is, as, you state, often sick and tired, in addition to which she has been know to be a bit ''clingy'' with potential partners, causing many, despite her protestations, ''Don't Go, Don't Go'', to decline a second date. If she has been ''hanging on you'' in such an over familiar manner, my wife Jean suggests that your best course of action would be to tell her that you a compulsive hoarder, as she cannot abide clutter.


Derek Philpott


P.S. Although I suspect you are alluding to its perceived propensity to give the distorted impression of rapidly passing, you should be made aware that a small promotional handbill advertising an event, percentage discount or product, and not time, is a flyer.



Reply from David Paton, received 12/11/14


Hi Derek


Well, I tried to get into the swing of your banter and I drafted a few messages that just sounded wrong, it was me trying to be something I'm not. So, here's the real me, perhaps not appropriate but it is my answer in reply to your message, well to be quite frank, it's the only real answer I can give.

January is an out and out pop song, it draws on all the influences and mashes them into one big gooey fruity flavoured cake where each ingredient compliments the other in a real oddball kind of way. King Crimson is in there as well as the old essentials such as Genesis, Yes, The Band, Little Feat, Free. Yes, all well known ingredients necessary for the perfect gourmet feast. But at the other end of the scale they're mixed with The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, Cream, Del Shannon and The Bee Gees. But how does that work? It's all in the mix, listen closely and you'll hear Puccini, Beethoven and Bach in there too. There are some fantastic musicians out there who can play incredibly complex pieces without batting an eyelid, but ask some to write a number one hit song and it just might be beyond their capabilities. I admire musical ability but the real influence for me is the singer/songwriter. We all express our emotions as best we can, if we have the ability to write music it helps us express ourselves in a musical format. A songwriter will hear a phrase or a word that can inspire a song. Perhaps it's a little bit of Magic or imagination. When I wrote January I was inspired by something my wife mentioned to me. She said she was reading a book and the heroine in the book was a girl named January. I took note of the name and it must have been in my head when I wrote my next song. So I'm singing about a girl, but I'm also singing about the success of Magic and how it had opened up the world to me as a musician.

I have never taken for granted the gift of being able to write a piece of music that millions of people worldwide can relate to. A number one hit song is a songwriter's dream, I lived that dream. As a musician I also had dreams fulfilled and I can honestly say in my 65th year, I'm in a very happy place.

There it is Derek. Thanks for thinking of me.

All the best





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