I’m certainly not what you’d call a music specialist. Oh, I know my bits and pieces, and if the question is about anything between about 1976 and 1986 then I’m in with a shout of getting it right, I suppose. Still, it always comes as a pleasurable surprise when I get a music question right that nobody else in the team knows. Last night in the rugby club we were asked this question in the first round : -
From which song does this lyric come ? –
He always beat me at subbuteo , coz he flicked to kick and I didn’t know –
To say that we did not have a Scooby doo would be an understatement. However, just before we were being ordered to hand in for the last time, something stirred in the dark recesses of memory, that this might just be the sort of thing that was in “My Perfect Cousin “ by the brilliant Undertones. So it proved.
I mention this to prove that I don’t have any particular axe to grind against music questions per se, or indeed about last night’s question master. However the reason why I write is because of what happened when he asked a wrong’un last night. Let me tell you the question : -
Which band released an album entitled “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn “ ?
Now, you know it was Pink Floyd’s first album, and I know that. You also know that the title of the album was taken from within Kenneth Graham’s “The Wind In The Willows “. If you’re a fan of the mighty Floyd you also know that this is the album that showcased the mercurial but alas short-lived talents of Mr. Syd Barrett. Now, see if you can guess the answer that the question master gave. That’s right. Genesis.
Alright, I’m not writing this because he made a wrong’un. We all make them. If you read the piece I wrote about a quiz I did a few weeks ago you’ll know that I did just such a thing myself, giving Brecon rather than Snowdonia as the oldest National Park in Wales. Having said that, I only did it because that was the answer given in what I thought was a reputable reference book. I’m not sure exactly which reference would ever have given Genesis as the answer to this particular question, and can’t help wondering whether he just made up the question himself without checking his own answer. Still, that’s by the by, and in the normal course of events I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Had he fallen back on the traditional response of
“Well, Genesis is what I’ve got here, so I’m going to have to stick with it.” Nobody would have said any more about it, and it would all have been forgotten about in 5 minutes.
There is a certain saying which goes something along the lines of – when you’re in a hole, don’t keep digging. Good advice really. What our question master for the evening then proceeded to do was to tell us that Genesis are his favourite band he’s seen them live so we were all categorically wrong, as he has the album, was listening to it only earlier yesterday evening, and he would bring the album cover in next week to prove it. It reflects very badly upon me that I was looking forward to next week enormously until someone went up to him with a WAP phone and showed him the appropriate page from Google.
In case the question master or anyone else who was at the quiz is reading this, Id better put it on record now that this incident apart it was actually quite a good quiz, although I suspect it was a lot more enjoyable for those of us born between 1960 and 1970 than it was for people older or younger. Unfortunately most people who come to the quiz in the club are indeed older or younger. What the incident did, though, was to set me thinking about how long it takes you to learn as a quizzer that just because an answer pops into your head straightaway, just because you have always thought this answer to be right, and are convinced that it is right – sometimes even these answers are wrong. Accepting it gracefully, while hard to swallow, can save you a lot of embarrassment in the long run. And when I manage to start putting this advice into practice myself, you’ll be the first to know.