In 1970, I was the drummer and pyrotechnician  in the south London 5-piece band Heatwave. (You could say I put the ‘heat’ into ‘Heatwave’!) In 1977, I played both roles in  Bright Eye Band on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. (Funny how in 1975, another band ‘borrowed’ our good name of Heatwave, and Kiss started out with a pyrotechnican. Both bands went on to fame and fortune.)


The group Heatwave, it seemed to me
(in 1970),
was dreadfully dull and boring too
so, with breath control and mind over matter
(it didn’t matter as I didn’t mind),
to liven up the act and give it something new,
after much practice and repeating,
using self-made torches soaked in paraffin,
I taught myself how to do fire eating
and late that summer became
(tho’ only the drummer)
‘Keeper Of The Flame’.
Once, while on stage performing,
some sceptic in the audience shouted,
“That’s not really hot,”
so, determined to put him in his place
(he deserved all he got),
I gave him quite a fright
when I flashed the flames in his face.
Then, ’77 one fearful night
in Bright Eye Band wearing tights
(aka, Smooch on Halloween),
throwing all caution to the wind,
as it was gauged just right,
the draft from a fan
blowing across the stage
set my hair alight.
Although not what I call apropos,
I survived, came out alive,
but what a way to close the show.