John Gibson: Jim has got racy stuff for the book

Jim Douglas (banjo) and Alex Welsh
Jim Douglas (banjo) and Alex Welsh
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It should make good reading. Jim Douglas, guitarist/banjoist cornerstone with the revered Alex Welsh band in its final 18 years, is writing a book about his event-packed employ with the band. A jazz gem in the making.

Gifford-raised Jim, who married Welsh’s widow Maggie, is talking about self-publishing in the new year. A revelatory yarn by the sounds of it, much of Jim’s recall set in the clubs and pubs frequented by the Welsh outfit, lauded by Louis Armstrong, Welsh’s idol.

Trumpeter Welsh, on the right in the picture below with Jim on banjo, was born, raised and introduced to the instrument in Leith.

Gyles away

The voice grates but Gyles Brandreth at 65 can’t be all that bad when he keeps a teddy on his piano. Mind you, he named the children Benet, Aphra and Saethryd.

“I’m not really anticipating spending weekends with the pipe and slippers around the fire any time soon. But I do occasionally enjoy a roast Sunday lunch. I’m only human.”

Afterwords . . .

. . . This is Jack Nicholson talking and it’s called ageing: “I’m definitely still wild at heart. But I’ve struck bio-gravity. I can’t hit on women in public any more. I didn’t decide this – it just doesn’t feel right at my age.”