What’s Stranger Than Fiction, AND Truth?

by Kevin Burton

   All the cool band names are taken. Trust me. Record label names too.

   When last we gathered, I spun a fictional account based ever so loosely goosely on a true story. It was about a band called the Palindromes that made it big in Bermuda.

  The true part of the story is that my family lived in Bermuda (“Backward And Forward” And My Memories,” April 26). Everything else was a joke based on palindromes, pure fiction, or so I thought. But it turns out just about everything I thought I was creating as fiction, actually exists (or existed) in real life.

   A palindrome of course, is a word that can be spelled backward or forward and still come out the same.

   I invented a band called the Palindromes and gave them all appropriate backward and forward names. I also named their one-hit-wonder record “Backward and Forward, for good measure.  I then wove a tail of their trials and travails with their label Zedtone Records.

   So I knew all about palindromes except the actual word. Up until this week I thought the word was palindrones, ending in -nes, and there was going to be a sound joke available about droning on.

   That’s bad enough. But it turns out there actually was a band called the Palindromes that did instrumentals.  It is a Cleveland-based Indie band according to allmusic.com.  I heard their stuff on Amazon Music via Alexa.

   In my story the fictional Zedtone Records introduced Penelope Sizemore to the band. Her name is about as far away from being a palindrome as I could think of.

   Turns out there is a (hyphenated) zed-tone records, in Wiesbaden Germany. It appears to be a small label judging from its website and it appears they were not around in the late 60s, the time setting for my Wednesday story.

   I wrote that after Penelope Sizemore she left the Palindromes she fronted the group Finders Keepers.

    Turns out there was a band called Finders Keepers and, it was active in the late 60s.

   And here we cue the do-do-do-do music from The Twilight Zone music: could it be that I actually grooved to the music of the real Finders Keepers while I was in Bermuda?

  The real Finders Keepers band was from England. Bermuda of course, is a British colony.  

   “Finders Keepers were an English band featuring then-future Trapeze members Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland.  

Hughes later sang for Deep Purple (with whom he also played bass) and Black Sabbath   (on the album Seventh Star  and part of its supporting tour). Galley later played guitar for Whitesnake. Holland later played drums for Judas Priest. 

Finders Keepers released several singles, including a cover of “ Sadie, The Cleaning Lady” in 1968,” according to Wikipedia.

   “The original band consisted of Roy “Dripper” Kent on vocals, Alan Clee on lead guitar, Ralph Oakley on rhythm guitar, Jake Elcock on bass and David Williams on drums. In 1966, Ralph Oakley left the band, and Finders Keepers continued as a four-piece. In 1967, there were several line-up changes, resulting in the band with Ian “Sludge” Lees on vocals, Mel Galley and Alan Clee on lead guitars, Phil Overfield on bass and David Williams on drums. In 1968, Glenn Hughes joined the band taking Phil Overfield’s place. Later that year Dave Holland joined the band, taking David Williams’ place. The resulting line-up of Ian “Sludge” Lees, Mel Galley, Alan Clee, Glenn Hughes and Dave Holland were together until 1969, when the band broke up, and Mel Galley, Glenn Hughes and Dave Holland went on to form Trapeze.”

   My fictional Finders Keepers band had a hit called “Sweet Serendipity,” and that’s what this turns out to be. For the real Finders Keepers band was actually pretty good.

   I love finding tunes I haven’t heard yet that was made in the style of 60s or 70s music.

   I am sure somewhere there is a Penelope Sizemore but there isn’t a famous one, as far as I can tell.

    As for me, I should put my future musical output (if any) under the band name Kevin Burton Orchestra, with the joke being if I could gather all the people who have declined to work with me over the years I could build a good-sized orchestra.

   And how about this for a final plot twist: Penelope Sizemore became a fiction writer after her music career, but now she and I are both retired from fiction writing.

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