Ron Arnold RIP?
Tony William writes, "Hello Fred. I'm just wondering if anyone has any information on Drummer Ronnie Arnold. If still around he'd be in his 90s now, around 95/96 I'd guess. Ronnie worked on and off with myself, the late Alan Yates etc in various set-ups in the 70s and 80s. Plus of course his time spent in great local jazz bands in the 60s. Last I heard he was in a nursing home in Knutsford".
I worked with 'Mad' Ron Arnold in the mid / late eighties in the Roy Potts 5 & a Penny Jazz Band, including visits to München at the Waldwirtschaft Jazzbiergarten. He had them in fits with his ersatz German. In the end, they got him to teach THEM Goonshow German.
Apart from snippets of news, we
drifted in our own ways, thereafter. My own final news was
also of a nursing home somewhere In Knutsford. Have asked
around but to no avail.
Re Ron Arnold. I don't know where he is now, sadly. The last time I heard from him was when he'd noticed my name on the register of customers at the Westlow Trout Fishery in Congleton where Ron put in the occasional appearance as a water bailiff !! We worked together many times with Alan Yates (gtr/bjo), Pete Smith (bass), Roy Rogers (clt) and myself on trumpet. We called ourselves 'The Dixieland Hot-Shots' but the name was occasionally changed (to protect the innocent as they say) to 'Ian Royle's Jazz Nuts' under which name we recorded a CD at Castleton Gabriels with Vinnie Parker guesting on piano and Gordon Robinson on trombone. Ron played his socks off that night ! A lovely man-a true 'character' and on his night, an inspiring drummer.
Nothing to add to what Howard (and Ian) have to say regarding Ron's whereabouts, but I have wonderful memories of the Munich trips with Howard and Ron, and especially of cringing with embarrassment as Ron demonstrated his nonsensical take-off of the German language to a group of Bavarians, only for them to voice their undoubted appreciation and demand encores. Ron was great fun to be with. In those days he played a bright yellow Pearl drum kit (of which he was very proud), and couldn't resist going into music shops to try cymbals. He once explained to me that every cymbal had its own unique sound. I'm sure he came away with at least two, and I suspect one of those was the potential murder weapon to which Howard refers. It would be great to have more news of him.
Thanks indeed for the replies to date on Ron Arnold. Yes, the stories about him are endless and I also remember 'arbenzee bitte mit frugelstein' often being voiced, together with his 'treble wallop' on drums . I first met him in a dingy Club in Manchester backing drag acts. Ron was using the metal stair rails and empty pint pots as wonderful additions to his kit. I used him not only on function band work but also in Organ and Drums backing residencies in Clubs, and even on a Sequence Dancing Weekend in Prestatyn. He also played alongside me for Sir Fred Pontin on one occasion. He always was musically 100% spot on. He put prolific amounts of talcum powder in his shoes which used to cloud around his feet as he walked on and off stage. I remember him taking a mouldy old piece of apple pie out of a glass case at the Prince of Wales, Southport at about 2 a.m. thinking he'd scored a huge bounty. He'd been eyeing this up for hours! Nearly always had a border collie that slept in his car during gigs, Talking of cars I vaguely remember him having an old Moskvich! Last time I spoke to him was after the news of the death of Doreen, his wife. A super-eccentric character and musician, and friends and guests at our wedding 40 years ago and our youngest son's Baptism. His and Doreen's son, Alan (super guitarist), I don't know the whereabouts of sadly.
Ron can't speak German but used to
have some extremely Germanic expressions which were utter nonsense
but to anybody who spoke no German, they sounded very authentic.
The main entrance had a large arch
on which it said in big letters. Willkommen in der Waltwirtschaft,