When you get out of the centre of Penzance and away from the harbour and the sea, when you find the back streets of Penzance in certain parts of the town there are rows and rows of what used to be workers’ cottages. They are all pressed together in typical English style with no front gardens. There are also the bigger houses where the rich lived and the houses in between where those half way up the ladder lived. All very nice. Cornwall is in fact one of the poorest counties in England, despite its beauty. The VIP Lounge studio and the In Deep Music Archive are housed in what was apparently an old sea captain’s home, plus there’s two accountants and a Pilates studio. The reason I’m talking about houses is because I don’t want to live in one. Whether it be big or small. I want to live on the floor of a warehouse, a place with no traditional doors. A place where you partition off your own areas as you decide where you sleep, where the library is, where the records are, where the kitchen is. Big windows, wooden floorboards, industrial lift, high ceilings, lots of light. I want to live in an old factory with no neighbours and so does Olivia.
Travelling has traditionally taken my mind off the fact that I don’t live like that, just a dream, to live between the aisles of audio and written history, to return from exotic lands with piles of books and records, artefacts and experiences, beautiful guitars and brightly painted plates. To make an intriguing museum of all these things to leave to future aesthetes. If one were very rich one might have a Picasso or two, a Kandinsky or three and a Max Ernst, a Miro and a…oh the list goes on…darrrling. Is it that we dream in times of despair? Or in the present circumstances, do we just want our old normal lives back?
I read once that The Face, a very popular style magazine in the eighties, was at its peak when Britain was in its most troubled economic state. It was escapism, a fantasy to aspire to, style, good looks, credibility, the respect reserved for the better off and the famous. And what about celebrity admiration? It comes not just from respecting the skill, the acting, the musicianship, but there seems to be something about admiring the fame itself. But surely one would be embarrassed to be famous without any real skills, but then what are skills? Is manipulation of the media a skill? Is a massive personality a skill? Some people can dance beautifully, some people can talk beautifully. Sadly there seems to be little desire or any sexiness in being a writer. I suppose there used to be. Ernest Hemingway was pretty glamorous, as was Aldous Huxley. Oscar Wilde was infamous, but don’t people think that Stephen King is just a weird guy despite his success, do people aspire to be him, skills aside, I don’t think so. I think they’re happy to let him be him.
Who is a glamorous modern or contemporary writer? I love Ian McEwan but he’s hardly glamorous. He’s not very weird although there’s been some troubling stories. (I’ve read eleven of his books, I think.) Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac might tickle the fancy of the well read, the explorers of modern literature, but do the masses really care? Dorothy Parker, Daphne Du Maurier, Jean Cocteau, James Joyce? What about Agatha Christie? What about Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Colette or Henry Miller, Truman Capote? Will Self or Michel Houellebecq? My point is that in the end fame is attractive and an aspiration to many and desired without a skill set rather than the acquisition of a skill set as a way to make you famous. In the good old days you had to be able to dance, sing AND act to even stand a chance, nowadays fame seems cheaper.
I went to the grocery store today. They’ve changed how you get into the shop for some reason, I can’t see that it’s safer. Inside there’s tape all over the floor separating everyone. When you get to the counter there’s screens and signs saying “place vegetable on the counter and then take a step back behind the line”. When I approach the counter to pay, the lady behind the counter steps back, too. People will never shake hands or hug each other again and what about the cultures like France where they kinda or actually kiss when they greet? The world has already changed.
Todd Rundgren is back tonight, a man that can do just about anything in his field. I’m hearing that despite his reputation for being difficult with musicians he is nice to his fans – and Liv Tyler.
His productions that I have played tonight and will continue into the morrow are Patti Smith’s Wave (1979), XTC’s Skylarking (1986), Psychedelic Furs’ Forever Now (1982), Halfnelson’s debut, later Sparks (1971), Grand Funk Railroad’s Shinin’ On (1974) and We’re An American Band (1973), The Tubes’ Remote Control (1979) and Love Bomb (1985), and Cheap Trick’s Next Position Please (1983).
We finalized a mix for Space Summit and started listening to the next track and tomorrow I will be in the studio all day playing guitar and bass. Talking of playing guitar and bass and in celebration of seeing the last episode of Better Than Us (Russian Netflix series) and as people are having no meaningful friendly contact with anyone, the Song Of The Day is A Girl With No Love. It must be hard for people these days who live alone, no personal contact with friends, no physical contact with a partner. I hope they have pets.
A Girl With No Love
I wanna know you
I wanna show you
I wanna mistletoe you
While you just stare
I don’t wanna switch you
I don’t wanna flick you
I don’t wanna stick to
How the book depicts you
So I turn another page
To see what to expect from you
Your skin feels like a real girl
As I love you again
Having you’s expensive
The benefits extensive
You don’t get defensive
And I don’t lose
I can choose your clothing
There’s no more self-loathing
I can do my own thing
Without you opposing
It says here that you were made for me
In a town somewhere outside Tokyo
You saved me from emotional despair
In a world with no love
With a girl with no love
I don’t wanna bait you
It’s difficult to hate you
It’s so easy to date you
So easy to make you
All my fears are washed away
As I lie right here beside you
In the darkness, with the heavy curtains drawn
The difference is so small
And I know should anything go wrong
I can call and simply just replace you
You will always be the same
‘Cause I have, I have your model number
(Willson-Piper / Mason)
Noctorum – The Afterlife (2019)