This week Mark Lamarr asked VIllage Green Machine to do a session with him in January.
'I respect Mark Lamarr, I recently heard 2 bands on his Alternative 60's show I had never heard before but had wanted to hear for a long time, one being The Poets. The track sounded really good, it is the start of a new discovery for me. Some daytime radio has to pander to lowest common denominator tastes, so it is good that a show like Mark's exists. Also, I know he likes 60s pop, as I do.'
This weeks VGM recording session at the church hall was cancelled, as Mark had been awake all the previous night with a torn shoulder and did not feel up to starting a new track. Usually he gets down there on a Tuesday as well to practice alone, usually drums although sometimes he takes a book of unrecorded songs down there to work on, and works on vocals.
However, he has been working on the next recording, sorting out the parts to record. There is a great guitar hook, reminiscent of the Monkees or Boyce and Hart, with a similar bass line to go behind it. The song will be English Gentleman, which he regards as one of his best. It is a fast tempo number, influenced by Dedicated Follower Of Fashion by The Kinks, which will have a jangly guitar part like Keith (or was it Brian Jones?) played on Its All Over Now. Mark:
''This song is one where I'm very pleased with the melody, I Want You by Dylan perhaps being yet another influence. All the influences converge, and they are just influences, not theft as such. So, with my own creative input, as well, something new emerges. I rarely copy the instrumentation of old records, so there is some experimentation and originality created by my personal choice of instruments. By the way, I am looking for a Farfisa player for the Mark Lamarr session.''
Mark is also planning an advertising campaign for the new year for England's Dreaming Spires. The idea is to keep promoting, not just go hell for leather at it and then stop. More and more connections are being made in the music industry.
''I have always been a prolific songwriter. There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of good songs which I am intending to eventually record and release. I guarantee there will never be any filler on VGM records. There is no need for there to be, with so many songs already written which are good. I have had my off days, I think every songwriter does. I reckon I will discard maybe 50+% of the old songs, but that leaves a great many more, and I write all the time. Also, it is weird because since I always experiment, I never know what I am going to record next, I never have any idea of what is around the corner. Which really keeps my whole feeling fresh about what I do. I believe some artists are encouraged to brand their 'product'. That can make for a narrow field of music. That could get boring for the musicians and the listener. I am planning to do some songs with just Farfisa and acoustic guitar, (+bass and drums) and maybe by then I will have my 12 string Rickenbacker sorted to add a lead on that.''
Mark Lemon has a mouse in his bedroom. He saw a fast scuttling brown thing in the corner of his eye, he tells me. As long as it doesn't nibble his Monkees records, it should come to no harm.