Tintern Abbey 45
I will tell you the truth here. I am a hermit. OK, it is partly from choice. The horror of being with people I can't stand 8 hours a day is something I hope I will never succumb to, having done it before. And, I am, in some respects an awkward match with most of the rest of the human race. Or, to be more precise, the human race is an awkward match with me, at least when I was a kid. The truth is, now that I am so far removed from other human beings my own age that I have no idea what they are like, or what their expectations of me might be. They would probably want me to own, you know, a 'people carrier'. No offence Paul and Adam, but I am not cut out to own one. I like people carriers, but, I can't see myself ever owning one, because I have got my eye on a little Vauxhall Victor, a '64 FB. And if not that, it might have to be a Zephyr Hi - Line. Living on a self imposed island certainly is a life of personal choice, which is a marvellous justification for living this way. But, being 'different' tends to mean not belonging to the consensus. So one becomes something of an outsider, and I think I, WE, always feel it. Its that old matter of individuality 'v' group identity. there's always been a tension between the two for me. But since I spend literally 90% of my time alone, maybe I am just an island. I don't entirely like the way things are, we are social animals. But at least it gets the music written, speaking of which, yeah I know that's what a blog is for, talking about the music....
This week, two good Village Green Machine songs have been completed. One is that long running saga English Cafe, which has taken 6 or more attempts to get into shape. Well, at long last the song has taken a pleasing form. Plenty of jangly 12 string acoustic, a definite Smiths influence, going with the 60s organ and a propulsive mid tempo rhythm. And I have to say, it is nearly there and is shaping up. A pig to sing, somehow it came together this last Monday, vocally. We are keeping the vocals at the end where I really let rip, I really did my vocal chords in. Also I have completed 'My Decision' which is a folky, Jacobites like song with organ and 12 string guitar. I am really pleased with the results. It, has radically experimental key shifts. It is a song about what I was talking about earlier, that is, the whole thing of deciding to do music whatever the consequences. I am asking for more respect, apparently the favourite song in a musicians poll was that song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin. And now I understand why that was so. All down the years of doing this thing, I have felt bruised by a lack of respect. But Noddy, an exalted human being of true greatness, nailed it when he said, 'You think I have a lazy time BUT YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!' and long may Noddy's tonsils be ripped to shreds by such a worthy statement. We musicians who do not go for the day jobs are regarded as some kind of scum - until we fucking make it and then its 'I always said he'd be successful - yes so did I. I used to live next door to him.' et bloody cetera. They've been on my back with their attitudes for years and I've had enough. At least I am not a ******* philistine.
Right that's that. 'I wish I loved the human race, I wish I loved its ugly face'. Not sure when this will reach you, but if you are a reader of Scootering, hello, I hope you love the music and I mean that. Its a good album, England's Dreaming Spires. Do come back and read the blogs, leave me a message I am bored with living in this 'flipping' or some such word ivory tower. You can get the album from villagegreenmachine.com, and there is a link to the website from the myspace page.
Old, old music then. What has had me slapping my chops this week, salivating hungrily for more? OOh I'm about to go over the top there, but I will tell you I have been listening as usual to the fabulous Chris Farlowe. Some of you Scooter boys will understand why I like Chris so much. He has a great voice and great records, what other reason do we need for loving the man? I love his version of the Jagger/ Richards compositions I'm Free, and 'Think'. Among many others. Also, I have to say The Beach Boys Pet Sounds has come to my rescue this day. Life has real anxieties at times, and I wanted something more than an ordinary album to listen to. Pewt sounds was up to the job, of providing solace . Why, I am not sure but I think it is because it is a more profound work of art. And maybe profound works of art really can offer solace at difficult times- a kind of redemption. Worth thinking about more, surely.
On the car stereo I have had The Archies, great catchy 60s bubblegum.On my 1959 Radiogram with padded drinks cabinet and mirrors, I have had the first Monkees LP and sounding very smooth as well through the valves and old speakers. Today I have been listening to the mod band Squire on my space, I don't know their stuff well but obviously they have a talented songwriter who can write great tunes, I'm impressed. As I also am by new London mod band Connett. Their CD shows economy, power, melody, heart and intelligence, They are a stylish bunch of boys, and Darren has a really strong voice.
Lastly I will talk about another of my favourite 45s. Actually lets go for this. You Scootering guys will like this. shadows and Reflections, by The Action. I would like to know, why radio 1 were playing pinky and perky, but not this absolute scorcher by The Action. I think its their own song as well, somebody please confirm. I just think this is one of the greatest British pop records ever made. The melody is so incredible, the record as a whole having incredible atmosphere. It belongs in an art gallery with a gold gilded frame. It is pop music on that level. And as far as I am aware, it wasn't a hit record? I do know original copies fetch a hefty price on e bay, but not as much as original copies of Circles by Les Fleur De Lys. How much would an original copy of Jump and Dance cost, I dread to think. Then there's the story about me, as a small boy, stuffing an original copy of the Tintern Abbey 45 into the dustbin, but since I could retire on its value I'd sooner contemplate the matter no further.
Good job I never had the Billy Nicholls album....