Thursday, 14 June 2012

Things You Never Knew About... Tristan "Ted" Edwards and Me

All good things come to an end. This series has increased our blog popularity by like 5,000 percent, because we went from having 1 person reading to having 200 views and if we’d gone from 1 to 2, that’s a 100% increase. My mathematical calculations for the adequate number of zeroes might be slightly out. Shocking, I know.

Anyhow, to complete our band profiles, our front man is exposed and his true history is finally on the record. Straight from Roswell, New Mexico, prepare for:

Things You Never Knew About... Tristan “Ted” Edwards and Me.

Here’s the thing people don’t realise about Tristan. He and I are actually identical twins. I was eight and a half months premature and he was twelve months overdue, because he was growing hair and I evidently didn’t have to. Strangely, we were both born at a normal gestational weight, which our parents put down to hormone-fed chicken.

Back then, our parents were living in a potato sack which they rented with seven other families and money was tight. I was sold to a travelling gypsy troupe when Tristan was finally forcibly removed from the womb with an eviction notice and removal of his cable TV subscription.

Whilst I travelled with the gypsy caravan troupe, things were tough at home. A ninth family had put in an application to move into the potato sack, and Mr. Edwards (I mean, ‘Dad’), finally fed up with the lack of career progression options at his job training tapeworms to rollerblade, took a job which was remarkably similar, but paid better, which was teaching in the NSW public school system.

The sudden influx of money confused Tristan. Up until that point, the potato sack tenants had had to share one piece of toilet paper across all the families per day. Now, he could use three, four, even five sheets at a flush. Giddy with power, he convinced our parents that he should have singing lessons.

Mother had read somewhere that long-lost-twins who played music somehow found each other, like in that animated movie An American Tail where Feival brings the Black Plague to America, and so she enrolled him immediately and hoped that as he sung mournfully under the moon one night, somewhere I too would be singing in harmony. But she was wrong, because I can’t sing in any key.

Back with the gypsy troupe, life was good. I had a daily ration of peanuts and hay, and was taught all the educational tools I would need to grow up and make my adoptive parents proud: pick-pocketing, avoiding baths, scabbing cash, and sleeping til noon. Playing an instrument somewhere usually allowed crowds to gather so that members of the troupe could more effectively steal their wallets and phones (referred to by marketers as “Cost/Benefit ratio increase), but after the troupe’s main guitarist had his fingers broken in an unfortunate incident involving heavy losses on squirrel ballet and a bookie named Big Bubba, I was the only one left and the only instrument that spoke to me was piano. Loving parents that they were, they promptly stole a baby grand piano from a rehearsal room in the Opera House, a fact that wasn’t even discovered until 2009, because they also left a note saying “taking piano for a walk, back in 10 (years)”.

My twin was meanwhile living the good life, but couldn’t help feeling that there was a conjoined part of his soul somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight. The call of performing running strong in his veins, he began doing clowning for children’t birthday parties, becoming the first party clown to make an exact replica of the Mona Lisa out of balloons, including the half-smile and the eyes that followed you around the room. In order to supplement his act, he learnt guitar, so as to teach the children educational songs like the compound materials for making C4. However, listening to music to hone his skills would also develop his first substance dependency, that substance being CDs. He would go into record stores and casually order fifteen, sixteen boxes of the latest singles and either leave a pile of cash on the counter or run like a hungry cheetah was chasing him.

And in fact, this is how we met. As he fled the mall security guards, fifteen boxes of CDs in his arms, singing “You Can’t Catch Me, I’m the Gingerbread Man” with a beautiful vibrato, I was chasing my piano downhill as I’d forgotten to put the wheel locks on. I had managed to get onto the keys and was trying to slow it with me feet, but drawn by the beauty of his Gingerbread Man song, I began spontaneous accompaniment, and the guards were caught in the music and began spontaneously dancing, which is a difficult feat if you are running downhill at great speed. Our getaway was a fait accompli.

Catching our breaths and dividing the CD spoils (I referred him a support group, but got the name wrong and he attended “Seedy Addicts” instead,  which was full of guys wearing nothing but trenchcoats, but that’s a story for another time), I noticed a birthmark on his right ear that looked enormously similar to one on my left foot. As I looked at my new friend, I realised I was virtually looking into a mirror, and he realised it at the same time. Twins! How could it possibly be anything else?

The resemblance is uncanny, no?

It so happened that I had ‘borrowed’ a bible from an elderly priest earlier that day and hidden it in the piano in case he ever came around, and as we pored over the texts and felt a calling to write songs about the duality of human nature, the mysteries of the universe, and cowboys who find out that they’ve actually been dead the entire song with a twist ending. Feeling guilty, we returned the stolen piano to the Opera House in 2012, instead stealing a smaller, more portable one for street performing. We left a copy of our CD in payment.

In order to formalise our performing, we took the name “Redwoods”, a portmanteau of “Rose” and “Edwards” by Autocorrect. And it was the beginning of something beautiful.

Ted, I am glad our various nefarious activities allow us to finally meet in that constabulary-avoiding collision. I’m not sure if you’re a friend closer than a brother, or a brother closer than a friend, but either way you’re a legend and I’m ever so glad you found the GPS tracking device in the piano or otherwise we’d be in a heap of trouble right now.

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