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Murder Most Fiddly

Group Killing

A guide — not entirely seriously, it must be said — to getting rid of the others.

LET'S BE FRANK. In fact, let's kill Frank. We'd all at one time or another, and usually just after the weekly rehearsal, like to kill another member of the group. Or sometimes all the rest of the group. Or even every single member of every other group (but mostly the Smiths).

But how to do it? Death is not an easy business, especially if it is achieved in an illegal fashion, and particularly if it involves stuff like vicious stabbing, garrotting and so on. Lots of busybodies — the police, your mum, that bloke down the pub who knows everything — will insist on poking their noses into your murderous activities.

So, as usual, here is good old Making Music (not so much of the old) to ease your path into the unknown and fearful territory of wilful murder.

But first, a word from Constable Plod, who patrols our offices now and again, sniffing at Brian's cigarettes and giving out free copies of the Data Protection Act. "Ello, ello, ello," he jokes, in his usual manner. Sometimes he says, "What's going on here then," too, but that's only if he's had a good night's kicking down at his favourite gig in Wapping.

Anyway, this time he continues: "Well kids, this murder lark is a mug's game, no lie, straight up. I don't like to see young bucks being led astray by these arty-farty types up the smoke, so don't read a word of this drivelly gerbilism about killing and other things what are most definitely against the law, ho yus. Now then, let's see you all doing good healthy outdoors activities and joining the local scout troop and making interesting scrap books on Helping Our Local Policemen. OK? Well, I'll be off now, I've got some criminals to catch and local licensing laws to look into. Evening all."

Now then, each member of the group can, with a little preparation and foreknowledge, be disposed of quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss and mess. But each player is, in his or her own inimitable way, susceptible to being done away with in a usefully different and unique manner. Let us examine that uniqueness, fellow would-be desperadoes (cue scratched Eagles Greatest Hits).


We must approach the killing of the most intelligent and world-wise member of the group in a manner befitting their stature and general quick-wittedness. But we'll get to that in the KEYBOARD PLAYER section. For now we most dispose of a drummer or two. Remember 'Spinal Tap'? Great movie. One drummer exploded. And the one after that? "He, er, choked on vomit. Yeah — it wasn't his vomit." Ha ha ha. But we are much more inventive.

We must examine our victim's habits. What does the drummer like doing best of all in the world? Oh yes, that's true. Awkward. OK then, what does the drummer like doing second best in all the world? Are you sure? Every day? Trickier than we expected. OK, OK, what does the drummer like doing third best in all the world? That's right! Drinking!

We must first carefully peel the plastic layering off the target's favourite drum — we think it's the big one that lays on its side on the floor. Grind this plastic stuff down to make a little toxic powder, secrete it in a small packet about your person, and take it to the drummer's favourite watering hole.

"Hello (insert drummer's name here)," you say upon meeting your quarry. "Oh look, over there, Steve Gadd is changing a lightbulb in the next bar," and while the attention of our soon-to-be-ex-drummer is diverted, slip the packet with the poison into the vessel with the wallop. Make your excuses and leave. Minus one drummer; pub done for dispensing poisonous substances; you totally in the clear. Brilliant.


We will treat these as one species in terms of death-doing. You will need: a spade, some cottonmouths (ask at your pet shop for dangerous south American snakes), a trip-wire, and a mint 1954 Stratocaster in flamingo pink (for the doomed guitarist) or a mint 1951 Precision bass in any colour you like (for the not-long-for-this-world bassist).

Can you guess what happens? Good! You're improving. We'll have you in the local paper before you can say "Good afternoon Mr Mass Murderer, you thought you were here to be dragged to the police vehicle with a sack over your head, but in fact This Is Your Life!"

Right: very desirable guitar down one end of dark rehearsal room. Dig pit in the middle, about 15 or so feet deep. Put deadly snakes down the pit. Stretch tripwire just in front of pit. Get guitarist or bassist who you wish to transport to the great gig in the sky down the rehearsal room on some promise or the other, open door and say, "Look (insert stringist's name here), there's a present for you down there." Scurry off and let old Fenders and ophidians work their deadly magic. Perfect.


You say: "Ah Wayne (or insert your own synthish person's name), I have spent many evenings with my soldering iron and a copy of 'Boring Wireless' magazine to construct for you this ace brain-to-MIDI converter. All you have to do now is think of a sound, the synth'll do the rest, and all thanks to good old MIDI."

Wayne emerges from a pile of floppy discs and DIN-to-DIN leads, pushes his glasses up his nose, warming immediately to conversation including the magic word MIDI. "Fantastic. It looks great," he beams, admiring your machine with its heavy-duty mains cabling and assorted skull-and-crossbones warning signs liberally strewn about the flashing lights.

"What do I do?" he asks, and thus is his fate sealed. You will soon be in a situation not unadjacent to that occupied by groups without keyboard players.

You explain: "Well, these heavy duty electrodes... uh, sorry, brain sensors are fitted to your temples after a little preparatory drop of salt water, and then you throw that big-handled switch over there."

The hapless Wayne is doomed. He asks: "The one that says, 'Extreme Danger, 20,000 Volts'?" Do not chuckle and give the game away at this point.

"That's it," you say, in control of your emotions. "I'll just pop down the music shop for this month's Making Music and let you fiddle for a while."

You escape, closing both the door and Wayne's sorry existence. The world suddenly seems a nicer place, and you start whistling. That's a nice tune, you think abstractly. Mmmm, it'd sound really good if Wayne did it on the DX100. Oh God. Wayne, don't touch that switch...

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Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.


Making Music - Aug 1986



Feature by Tony Bacon

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