Here’s a 20-minute summary of the show performed at the Crazy Coqs in London, with artists from the BML workshop.
Below are rough demos for some songs from Force Ten Gayle, my musical about Gayle Bailey, a superstar singer who’s tracked down the son she gave up for adoption in America 25 years ago. It’s work in progress, all subject to change.
Please note: so far most of these are just guitar demos sung by me. But they’re intended to be full-band, piano-led arrangements. (In my dreams, there’ll be brass and strings – but we’ll see about that!)
Force Ten Gayle
(GUITAR DEMO ONLY) For her first song, we see Gayle Bailey in full flight, singing her signature song in a concert – the full, Shirley Bassey/John Barry deal, complete with sequins, big hair and a wind machine.
You’ve Always Been There For Me
(EARLY GUITAR DEMO ONLY) Suzy Gates, middle-aged New Jersey supermarket checkout girl, sings about her obsession with superstar British singer Gayle Bailey. She wants to meet her.
There’s Nothing Left
(EARLY GUITAR DEMO ONLY) On her fiftieth birthday, Gayle’s record company drops her, and her third husband marries a younger model. She sings of her despair.
The Songs Nobody Sings
(EARLY GUITAR DEMO ONLY) Jason, a 25-year-old songwriter, sings of his lack of success.
Real, Live Mother
(EARLY GUITAR DEMO ONLY) Having intended to tell Jason she’s his mother in a delicate and tender confession, Gayle gets drunk and blurts it out in this vampy seduction number – she’s asking to be not his lover, but his mother. It’s a car-crash moment.
My Darling Boy
(PIANO DEMO) Gayle has told Jason she’s his real mother. He’s run off in tears, not believing it. Gayle is left alone on stage to sing this song of regret.
The Things that I Put Up With
(ROUGH GUITAR DEMO ONLY) Willy, Gayle Bailey’s long-suffering personal assistant, sings about how difficult she is to deal with. It’s a love/hate thing.
I Always Meant to Tell You
(GUITAR DEMO ONLY) Suzy, Jason’s supermarket assistant mother, explains why she never told him he’s adopted.
Where Were You?
(GUITAR DEMO ONLY – AND THIS SONG IS GOING TO CHANGE RADICALLY) Jason and Suzy vent their anger to Gayle about why she, a millionaire singer, never contributed a single cent to bring up Jason up.
The Woman I Am
(FULL BAND DEMO – BUT SUNG BY THE SONGWRITER) Suzy, dying, asks Gayle to sing her biggest hit. Halfway through, Suzy takes over the vocal – and they sing the last verse and chorus together – two mothers of the same son, Jason.
The Love of My Life
(GUITAR DEMO ONLY) This is an early draft of a possible ’11 o’clock number’. Gayle realises it’s too late to make up for the mistakes in her personal life, and convinces herself that her professional life is all she needs to satisfy her. But is it?