Big Brother

Did you know, I have a hidden camera, yes literally a little tiny camera, in your computer screen? I am watching you, right now! Infact I have been watching you for about ten minutes. There was really no need to eat that. What? Yes that. About ten minutes ago, I saw you pick a big green...ok no I didn't, but, perhaps I could have done. Perhaps I could have been watching you. (I wasn't, but the fact you find my claim disturbing suggests a certain paranoia). And how do I know you weren't secretly watching me? Now I'm getting paranoid! How far away from the Big Brother society are we? OK its almost a clichéd point these days, but technology has advanced so much, one could become paranoid perhaps with some justification. A while back I read an incredible book, about the bugging of the Whitehouse throughout the various presidencies.


Allegedly it was common practice to record meetings and calls in a clandestine way, well before Nixon came unstuck. For instance, incredible conversations were recorded between Kennedy and his top men, when the possibility of a nuclear war was very high. It makes fascinating reading. The book is Inside The Oval Office by William Doyle and is one of the most riveting books I've read. It goes into the 'executive style' of 20th Century presidents one by one, giving an insight into them and their modes of operation. It really gets into their personalities, frailties and strengths, and idiosyncrasies. I loved it. Now I'm reading Michael Parkinson's autobiography. He came from a very poor background. It is pithy, humorous, intelligent, and humble.

Also we have been watching Monty Python, I got the DVDs. Its crazy, isn't it? Have you ever seen it? I was always put off John Cleese because he seemed to shout so much, but the ribald ridiculousness of the Pythons has started at least to win me over. It was before my time, believe it or not. Like punk rock, roller skates and Kylie Minogue.

Look, I like drinking. But all the time these days I am sober. Its terrible. A few beers and a couple of mummies tablets and I'd be well away. But I'm supposed to go to bed early now, because I have been reading about how to get a number one single- a guide by 80's dance duo KLF. Apparently the guide is still considered valid- and one thing they say is, you have to stop getting up late. Its the first time I've ever felt able to take this advise. The KLF were reputed to have burnt a million quid, but I reckon this public stunt was, fake notes going up in smoke. I remember their video, with horns where faces should be, very odd but already some bits of their guide ring true so I will keep reading.

As far as Village Green Machine is concerned, I will tell you what has been happening. I put fuzz guitar on a song called Tomgirl, etc. But since no f...I mean no ladies and gentlemen are really reading this yet, I might as well say I sent a monkey to Mars, or that I almost ran over a tiny rhinoceros on my way back from 'the park'.

Actually, its true, I almost did. I saw it run in front of the wheels, it was wearing purple leggings and had a sign around its neck saying ''all you people who haven't bought Village Green Machine albums yet, your lives are incomplete''. It threw the sign off though, just as I pulled away from the lights, and it landed straight down this woman's cleavage. Ping! As I prepared to accelerate away from the lights, a blasted bulldog ran in front of the car in front of me. It appeared to have jumped from the driver's window, and made its way up the road hotly pursued by the cars female driver. I had to pull out to overtake her car, as she ran after the dog, becoming hysterical. She was shrieking. The bit about the rhinoceros is surreal nonsense of course. But the bit about the bulldog jumping from the car is true. And I think the bulldog might have been married to the woman.

There is plainly a line between reality and nonsense, but that line can be rather blurred. Not for me, but for some of you...

Anyway it looks like I will be playing live again next week for the first time in ages. We are organising, I hope, a residency in Birmingham. It will initially be a solo show/ 60s discotheque. There will be more to it than that but its early days, I will go into more detail soon. The ideas are great though. It should be a total blast if we can get it together. You will be invited! I want to play songs, from England's Dreaming Spires and other new songs, with a liquid oil light show, and some photographic images, maybe some film stuff,. I would like to DJ as well, we'll see its been a long time since I've done it. It will be vinyl 45s, what else? I will play 60s pop. Will keep you posted on developments here. PS Lulu, DDDBM&T and even Cliff Richard made very cool records in the 60s which deserve to be danced to. However I will be sparing you, 'I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman'. And, 'In The Year 2525'. A pet hate of mine, that one. I never liked The Seekers, either. But, Georgy Girl is, an absolutely f******(flipping) brilliant record. Lyrics apparently by Carry On actor Jim Dale. So I look forward to subverting perceived good taste, scandalising Indie aesthetics, and having a very fab party.

Miles Davis

Music this week for me has been, Miles Davis playing A Kind Of Blue. I need that moodiness, its blues, its truth in notes. I love pop, old pop. But somehow, a part of me needs to resonate with something which tells the truth about the human condition. And on that level, I find this album incredible. It is almost as though Miles discovered another language through which to communicate, and he wasn't going to tell any bullshit tales but told it like it was. I empathise. Its more than just woe. (PS Is Miles expressing woe at all, it is hard to say exactly what he is expressing.) Its something special, and to tell the truth its one of the few jazz records I own. However I am looking forward to listening to John Coltrane playing Blue Train, which I have hardly played yet. The Miles Davis album, maybe its like a Picasso painting, in other words a type of self expression not governed by formal artistic or musical rules, does that make sense? So then, if that's true its a free expression thing. Thats exciting. I like that. What if I try that? Will I make a great record?

Do you watch television? I hardly watch it, ever. It makes me heave- the links as well as the programmes. They keep brainwashing everyone to keep the ratings up, to make money and it becomes people's way of life. That is, unless they choose to switch off, and I make that choice. But I love DVDs. I can choose what to watch then. And as you will understand, I maintain a very highbrow viewing profile. On The Buses has always been a favourite of mine, and Steptoe! That is social satire- satire, is it, or just (admittedly dated) social comment? And I LOVE Rising Damp, all the latest ironic political incorrectness. The old comedies are fantastic though, I think. I love the characters, good old 70s British trash.

See you next week!


Reading Village Green Machine's ezine. Big Brother
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