When I was a student, I was in a Doors tribute band, "tribute" sounding more respectable than "cash in" or "copy-cat". It's Oasis who are currently inspiring impersonators to stick on bushy false eyebrows and play "Supersonic" in venues round the country. (If Oasis are the new Beatles, are No Way Sis the new Bootleg Beatles?) But earlier in the decade it was more fashionable to bottle your Sixties revivalism at source.
A friend of mine could sing. We knew people who could play guitar and drums. I had learned the fiddly keyboard introduction to "Light My Fire" from my Complete Doors Songbook. Now we had settled upon our name, we were ready for our first gig, at the college drinking society's garden party. That morning I happened to spot a review in Q Magazine of another band called the Floors, who had nothing to do with the Lizard King. Distressed, I consulted our vocalist. "Forget them," he said, with the self-assurance which had won him the job of frontman, even though I had secretly fancied it for myself. "We're the Floors, and that's all there is to it." I have never heard of our namesakes since, so maybe he had a point.
His resemblance to Jim Morrison was actually quite striking in its complete non-existence, although if we had opted for a Woody Allen tribute band, he would have been perfect. As it was, he spent pounds 50 on a pair of leather trousers, borrowed a beady necklace and a leather jacket from a land economist in the year below, clipped some shading onto the front of his specs, and - voila, Gurion Taussig became Jim Morrison. Before we knew it, girls were tearing his shirt off mid-concert. (My own painstaking impersonation of Ray Manzarek was just as convincing. No girls ever tried to tear off his shirt either.) One morning, Gurion and I were walking to a Shakespeare supervision when he put his finger on the band's raison-d'etre: "We're not stopping until I pull," he said.
He was such a method actor that he was soon strolling around college greeting people with the slurred words: "Yeah, all right, all right, man. Pretty good, pretty neat, come on." But his enthusiasm never matched mine. It was left to me, as well as playing the organ, to organise our gigs. We didn't play very often. I had set up one date when Gurion claimed, a day before the performance was due, that he was too ill to sing. He had a cold. I was furious. Would Jim Morrison have blown out a gig because of a sniffle? I think not. He would have downed a bottle of Scotch, got up in front of the crowd, and collapsed after the second song like the trouper he was.
I was even more furious when I heard the next day that Gurion's cold hadn't been severe enough to prevent his attending a party on the night of the gig. My angry remonstrances had as much effect as Manzarek's ever had on Morrison. Rather than apologising, he gurgled the tale of how an emotionally unstable gothic girl had strode up to him at the party and demanded: "You're in the Floors, aren't you? I think you're the best band in Cambridge. Most of them are so safe, but you're anarchic. What can be done about the situation in Bosnia?" Choosing not to pursue an examination of what was so anarchic about pretending to be in a long-defunct pop group, Gurion spent the rest of the party with his intrinsically un-Morrison- esque face locked against hers. In short, he had pulled, and the Floors' days were numbered. In the business, it's what they call "musical differences".
The only known Floors groupie is now living with her lesbian lover in Aberdeen. Gurion - older, wiser, balder - has started to get nostalgic about his rock'n'roll years. On Monday I rang to ask him whether I could use his real name in this column (he said yes), and also to confirm that we'd meet up to see Oasis this weekend. By the end of the phone call, he was mumbling about Patsy Kensit, and asking where he might buy a set of false eyebrows.
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