Covid-19 is on everyone’s lips, not literally one hopes. I hear so many theories about it that civet, bat and pangolin started it, jumping from animal to human, that it’s a Jesuit conspiracy, an escaped weapon and even that it was released. I know nussink, I just try and keep my hands clean. I heard, a year to find a vaccine and that ‘only’ older and infirm people are succumbing. When Olivia and I were in London last week, there were hardly any people in masks, but Boots in Oxford St had sold out of hand sanitizer. We were in Chinatown, we were hanging out in Bar Italia in Soho and staying with our friends Biggles and Colleen in Koreatown, we saw no panic. When we got down to Penzance we saw an article in the paper that showed three people sitting on the tube in masks. It gave the impression that this was the norm. We never saw anybody on the tube in masks, or in Chinatown or in Leicester Square or in Piccadilly Circus, or Oxford St. When we came across the border from Belgium to England, a couple were wearing masks. I think we saw a couple of people in masks near Abbey Rd but that was probably Jon Bon Jovi and (Prince) Harry.
I went swimming today, in fact I swam up to the pool. The sneaky rain doesn’t fall vertically, it conspires with the wind and attacks horizontally even going around the umbrella which I hold as a shield. The wind takes hold of the umbrella pulls it away from you and leaves you exposed, a violent gust turns it inside out, it’s a battlefield. You can’t see where you are walking, where you’re treading, your hand is getting colder, wetter, number, it’s getting darker. You need supplies and all you can think of is the moment when you sit down on your sofa (the one I don’t mention anymore) with a nice cup of tea, switch on your amplifier and put a record on.
I went all obscure Progressive tonight, playing some reissue rarities that sell for silly prices in their original form. Asylum by Cressida and Doctor Z both on Arkama, which are even scarce and pricey as reissues. I love records like this though, no one bought them, no one remembers them, no one ever saw them (no one I ever met anyway), but every record collector knows all about them. But it’s not JUST the value, it’s fascinating music from an era where music was made for its own sake. Most of the band members seem to have completely disappeared (see Iain Clark below), which brings me to Record Store Day. I can only ask why can’t we have RSD releases of all these wonderful hard to find records when there is obviously a demand for them, rather more of a demand than certain titles that appear. That’s it, I’ll say no more except can somebody please hire me to go through their archives and have me pick RSD releases for next year? Please?
On the subject of legitimacy of releases of hard to find records, I just read this online from the former drummer of Cressida:
Iain Clark (former drummer, Cressida), 27 August 2019 at 14:43
As a former member of the band Cressida, I can attest to the fact that despite several attempts to contact Akarma with regard to their “unauthorised” releases of the first two Cressida albums, they have never responded. They have never paid a single dime or lira in artists royalties to myself and fellow band-members, unlike labels such as Repertoire, Esoteric and Belle Antique, all of whom we have licensed our recordings to, and all of whom have paid us royalties. From this one can only conclude that Akarma are indeed ‘bootleggers’. Further to that, Akarma also claim they own the copyright to some of the master recordings. This claim is entered by them in databases held by PROs (Performing Rights Organisations). Such a claim is patently false. They do not own any of the Cressida recordings and their releases are unauthorised. If you want to buy Cressida recordings, please buy them from the previous mentioned labels.
So as the owner of a Cressida Akarma release, I can tell you that I just went online and bought their first album on Repertoire Records, a legitimate release, but it was second hand, at least the original purchase sent money to the band. When you hear about all this and remember what we went through with PledgeMusic on the latest Noctorum album (The Afterlife), it really shouldn’t be this hard.