Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Los Lobos - Will the Wolf Survive/It's a Matter of Time

Old Pa's Wednesday Club Survival Special

The mist suddenly lifted

LOS LOBOS -  Will the Wolf Survive (1984)

I was watching one of these survival programmes the other night. You know the sort of thing, guys falling in to crevices or falling in to freezing water or having to eat all sorts of whitchty grub type beasts or sample bear poo just to keep alive.

It reminded me of a little episode from way back in the early sixties. I was in the Boys Brigade and was taking part in one of these survival skills type of thing. All part of contributing to making a man out of you. I was part of a larger group who spent the night under canvas. The next day myself, Davey Lobbin and two younger guys had to go away on our own, find a pre-determined spot, camp the night and the next day we would walk to a meeting point. We were given a map and instructions and it all seemed rather straightforward and we were all very excited and looking forward to it.

Davey and I were about 14 or 15 and the younger guys were probably a couple of years younger than us. When we woke up on the day of the hike, it was pouring of rain, but that did not dampen our enthusiasm.

We started the walk and after a few hours the rain still had not stopped, in fact it had increased in its intensity. We were uncomfortable, soaking wet and there was no place to take shelter. We were in the middle of the moors outside of Inverness. Which made matters worse was that a mist came down and we could hardly see in front of us never mind find a point on the map.

We persevered and stayed on the path we were on for what seemed to be an eternity. One of the younger guys was getting really distressed and started to cry. It got to the stage he just gave up. He just sat down, cried for his mother and kept saying 'Lloyd George knew my Father', why I will never know. He would just not move, we were surrounded by mist, drenched to the skin and we were all tired and hungry and very very cold.. We were all desperately scared, although Davey and I put on a brave face for the younger guys.

I ended up carrying the distressed boy's ruck sack as well as my own and we persevered for another 30min or so when the mists suddenly lifted and the rain stopped. In the distance away from the path we saw a hut.

Reaching the hut we found it was locked but with the help of my trusty Swiss Army knife we managed to get the door open by removing the door hinges. Inside there were logs, peat, matches and newspapers also some tins of food. There was a stream running close by.

In a matter of time we had a blazing fire going, our clothes were drying out and we had some hot food down us. Life again was great. But it could have been a lot different. That boy could easily have died that night of exposure. In these days there were no mobile phones.

The next day was bright and sunny.  

I choose Los Lobos 'Will the Wolf Survive' for obvious reasons, me being the Wolf of course, who protected his family!!!

I have loved Los Lobos ever since hearing the How will the Wolf Survive album. Its is a shame that they are mostly well known for La Bamba, there is so much more to them than that, As for David Hidalgo's voice, well it is to die for.

Here is another brilliant track from the Wolf  album.

LOS LOBOS - A Matter of Time (1984)

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Los Lobos - Will the Wolf Survive/It's a Matter of Time
4/ 5


23 October 2013 at 09:48

What an adventure. Can you imagine four youngsters being allowed to do that kind of activity, unchaperoned, nowadays? I wonder if the tearful young man ever looks back and wonders, what if? Well done for getting them all through unscathed Old Pa.

I completely agree with your assessment of Los Lobos, a consistently brilliant band. Also, don't forget David Hidalgo's side project The Latin Playboys who made two terrific LP's in the 1990s.

I remember the first time I saw Los Lobos live, at the Electric Ballroom, Camden Town in 1985. Elvis Costello was standing near me in the audience, I looked round again and he was gone. Five minutes later he was on stage singing 'I Got Loaded' with the band.

23 October 2013 at 10:24

I remember this album well, you were always playing it...these songs take me back. I probably didn't appreciate them as much then as I do now. What a great story? Who'd have known? Thank goodness you're quite the blogger or else I'd never have known you were a Ray Mears in the making. Speaking of which......


23 October 2013 at 10:28

TS - wow Mr Swede! you should have saved that one for a Post. I think you should start that as feature Posts....tell all your experiences at all the concerts you have been to, that was a great one.

23 October 2013 at 10:29

So true...if that happened now they'd be a public outcry! Lloyd George knew my father? I hope I don't get into an adverse situation and start reciting weird phrases to myself. I wonder what it'd be though.

23 October 2013 at 10:30

FC - i remember that he did a Scolsy!

23 October 2013 at 12:17

Fantastic Story OP!

You should take your kin on a Outdoor trip to the Northern Wilderness.. the stories would be become folklore. Get FC dresses up as Ray Mears, it would be priceless

Good idea about the concert going ons. Mr Swede - We eagerly await your gig stories on your fine blog!

23 October 2013 at 22:26

Indeed, what a story! That poor lad was probably traumatised for life. 'Lloyd George knew my father (my father knew Lloyd George)' was a traditional song wasn't it, maybe it was like a mantra for him?!
Glad you came out unscathed and lived to tell the tale. Just goes to prove too how everyone should have a Swiss Army knife, although they'd probably be banned now?

24 October 2013 at 07:52

What a tale! Can you imagine kids being allowed to do that these days? It reminds me of a little episode one of our school Geography trips found us in up in the mountains of Snowdonia once - but your experience was even more hair raising. I suppose the health and safety culture has something to say for itself but, on the other hand, you rose to the occasion and it added to your store of life experience. That poor kid with the Lloyd George obsession! Nice tunes.

24 October 2013 at 08:20

SB, I was on a geography field trip in Snowdonia once and a blizzard came through. That was seriously unsettling as I couldn't see, was getting wetter and colder but it passed as quickly as it arrived. For a little moment I felt like Scott of the Antarctic.