David Mullen Plays the Ace of Clubs

Does anybody remember the Christian indie rock band Lord Lyall and Ugency? Back in January of 1987 when I was Director of Development for Youth for Christ, we sponsored a concert as an outreach to the youth of East Nashville. One of the bands featured that night was Lord Lyall and Ugency — except Lord Lyall (yes, that’s his real name) was hit by a throat ailment and substituted a friend he had grown up with from Ocala, Florida.
That’s why on a January night, a slender young man jumped up on stage and belted out a couple of tunes reminiscent of a sport car accelerating through gravel – and Nashville was formally introduced to the talents of David Mullen.
Five years later the guitar player for Lord Lyall and Ugency, Ross Mailhiot, is now guitar player for and roommate of David Mullen, bringing our story full circle. We asked Ross to interview his roommate for Christian Activities, and he obliged with the ensuing tongue-in-cheek interview.
Paulie Beached: So, what kind of, like guitar do you play, Dave?
David: I don’t play guitar, Paulie.

Christian Activities: Wait a minute! Who is “Paulie Beached” and what is he doing in this interview?
PB: Like, what color is it, then?
David: What color is what?

PB: Your guitar, dude.
David: I don’t own one. I don’t play guitar.

PB: Oh. What color would it be, like, I mean, if you had one.
David: (Long pause) Well, I guess if I played guitar, I would have a big, black one. Like “The Man in Black,” Johnny Cash, OK?

PB: Cool. What is your preference, for like, say strings then?
David: Huh? What? You mean like shoelaces?

PB: No! No! Dude. What strings do you put on your guitar?
David: What guitar?

PB: The black one, dude. You know, the one Johnny Cash gave you! The man keeps it in back! You said…
Ross Mailhiot: So, what have you been up to this summer, David?
David: I spent a lot of time out in LA writing new material… working with Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers and folks from the Don Henley camp, as well as some of my other favorite writers out there. I think the result is some of my best work, and I look forward to playing these new songs live.

Ross: Speaking of playing live…
David: Well, I’ve put together sort of an acoustic, blues trio here recently, and in the few days we’ve played so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Ross: No screaming guitars? No crashing cymbals?
David: Yeah. I suppose in my old age I am starting to prefer singing over a loud rock band. (Laughs) No, I’ll probably do a band again next year, but for now this feels good and it’s where my head and heart are.

Ross: When and where will you be performing locally?
David: We’ll be at the Ace of Clubs Monday, October 19. It should be fun. Come on out if you get the chance.

Ross: Well, I have to be there, David, you know?
David: Not you, I’m inviting the CA readers.

Ross: Oh, OK. And by the way, sorry about the earlier, uh, incident.
David: That’s OK. And again, I don’t play guitar, Paulie.



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