Friday 13th, but I’m not superstitious at all, I will walk under ladders although possibly not if there’s a very small person with a very large tin of paint. There’s no word for ‘lucky’ in German. The magic of things or the unexplained seems to me to be too easily explained away by invented forces. Ironically it’s the magic of the imagination that invents them and explaining unexplainable things whilst not being able to grasp the concept of infinity or understanding what the consciousness even is, seems to me to be jumping the gun. I live in awed excitement about knowing or not knowing the answers to the unknown. The wonderful thing about creating music is that it’s a trip into the unknown, the certainty of things isn’t the point, it’s the lure of uncertainty, the adventure of seeing what shows up. It may start going very wrong when it becomes a formula unless the formula equals success and you are happy with that. There’s a lot of unsatisfying successful formulas. You can be lucky with your formula and unlucky in your heart. My formula is see what happens.
Today I went out into a rainy Penzance, picked up my wholemeal vege pasty from Rowe’s the bakers and went to pay Simeon for yesterday’s croissant, but he wasn’t there, one pound thirty pence richer for another day. So I went through some of the charity stores, mainly looking for a cafetière for the studio. No luck, but a serendipitous trip anyway. At the Oxfam shop I found a nice double CD of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On in some limited special package, plus a copy of Doves’ Some Cities, also in a limited double package, then a CD by The Electric Soft Parade and another by Panic! At The Disco. The latter I have no knowledge of, I just know the name and know the archive had nothing by them, I think it’s going to be uptempo, youthful, vibrant and catchy. The Electric Soft Parade, I have another CD by them, they seem to have been long lost in the mists of time, although they are still active and I presume they are just off my radar. I also went to the Cancer shop and found the ‘three books for a pound’ section. So I bought Strindberg’s plays (I’ve read a lot of Strindberg after living in Stockholm), a book about civilization and archaeology that looks far too intellectual to actually read and a hardback copy of both Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. There’s something about having a hardback book over a paperback, rather like having a vinyl album over a CD. On value for money and the price of things amazes me that something I might want can cost so little when things I don’t want can cost so much.
After I’d dropped the music and book at the studio, the rain started to really come down, but today is swim day and great effort is needed to get wrapped up, buttoned up, scarfed up (today I even had to cover my bag in a black plastic bag to stop it getting drenched as the rain was really coming down). Fifteen minutes walk to the pool, but I tell you what, on the way back you’re so glad you went, despite trying hard to talk yourself out of it before you left. Whilst we were procrastinating at the studio, lounging about on the red couch that I said I wouldn’t mention again, I picked up the Alice In Wonderland book and started reading it to Olivia. I suppose that people don’t really do that anymore, you read to your kids, sure, but mostly at night, trying to settle them down for sleep. In the past, storytelling was popular and people would sit and listen to a captivating tale. In England as kids we had Jackanory on the television, celebs read stories for us when we got back from school, it seems so innocent but I remember it fondly, even as an older teenager. So, Olivia enjoyed it so much, I’m going to read her the whole book.
Tonight’s In Deep Music Archive adventure went to Denmark. A lot of great music has come out of there, both old and new. You might know Mew or The Raveonettes and Efterklang. Possibly Kashmir or Saybia. Earlier there was of course Savage Rose in the sixties. In the seventies Gasolin and in recent years there was your favourite band Aqua. In the Rock world D-A-D and Pretty Maids. I also have records by The Sandmen and Sorten Muld and a lovely album by Broken Twin, the solo project of Majke Voss Romme, released in 2014. Then there’s the forgotten Progressive band Ache, but tonight it was about three bands all somehow connected with their memberships. Hurdy Gurdy, Secret Oyster, Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe and Coronarias Dans. Hurdy Gurdy were a late sixties early seventies Cream/Hendrix inspired power trio with the guitarist Claus Bøhling as their leader, he later went on to play with Secret Oyster, some kind of supergroup that also included members of Coronarias Dans and Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe. Progressive, early seventies and leaning into Jazzy Fusion, these are jammin’ albums that I’ve had for a very long time and always enjoy. None of these Progressive bands are mentioned on the Wikipedia page entitled List Of Danish Bands.
Last but not least today, a fast fact. Mac MacLeod, the original bass player and singer in Hurdy Gurdy, was English and a friend of Donovan that helped him learn his fingerpicking style before he left for Denmark. Donovan wrote Hurdy Gurdy Man for Mac and the band, but didn’t like their version of it so took it back and did his own version of it as he imagined it should be. In India Donovan passed on his knowledge of fingerpicking to John and Paul who later wrote Julia and Blackbird. The rest is history and we love history.