I’m not sure I knew what mizzle was till I came to Penzance. I knew what drizzle was but not mizzle. There’s a lot of mizzle down here and today it was mizzle madness. Its dictionary definition is light rain or drizzle but it’s lighter than light rain and fluffier than drizzle. It’s hard to know what to do when it comes – an umbrella would be overkill, no umbrella gets you wetter than you thought possible. A little wind and the umbrella is hopeless anyway. (Olivia’s parents bought me an LFC umbrella for my birthday.)
So we fought through it conceptually without any effort at all and yet it was impossible to ignore, in your face, annoying. It was like being wrapped in something invisible, you knew it was there but only just. You’ve heard people say I love the rain, but have you ever heard anybody say I love the mizzle?
So we wandered the streets today pretending it was summer, wearing shorts and walking past passersby in anoraks, ha ha. We dropped off the new mix of the last Space Summit song at Joe the mastering engineer’s house. Nilüfer Yanya answered the door, she’s Joe’s wife Vicky’s niece. Check out her music, it’s something else. We saw her on Jools Holland’s Later (the one time I watched it), she’s making an impression out there. We went past a wall of graffiti that seemed out of place in this little town. We persisted through the mizzle and went to the post office parcel depot to pick up a package. I’ve got to know the guy in there a bit, he’s always friendly, he doesn’t ask for my ID anymore. It’s always another record, today it was The Feelies, more about that another day.
I had lots of other sessioneers’ songs to listen to today, Rajan in Brooklyn, another Ahad demo, Jeff in Ohio. Down at the studio Dare was listening to Ahad song demos we will be working on. I had a sesh with Kadeem in London at 6PM. Two sessioneers in England today (Noel at 9.30), both getting into songwriting and making progress, great to see. When we escaped the subtle downpour it felt nice being locked in the archive/studio with the mizzle silently pawing at the windows. We were almost tricked into going down to the sea, but then we would have been drenched without knowing it was happening.
I miss the sea, even after a day, or is it just being near water, any water? Olivia comes from the Rheinland and that powerful river is part of her. I was born inland and was always walking in the hills. In the late sixties and early seventies we lived in Derbyshire in a pub called The Grouse Hotel. It was in a little village called Birch Vale. We used to go ‘skele hunting’ (yes, hunting for skulls). It was sheep skulls, or cow skulls. Our whole gang used to go up there onto the moors and bring them back and keep them in the backyard of the pub. When we moved they got left behind along with that bunch of friends. I can remember some of them, Shirley and Valerie Snape, Ian (I think) and Susan Miller. Wow, that’s all I can remember. Susan Miller was the first black person I knew and the first girl I ever kissed. It was at a disco in Hayfield and they were playing Sugar Sugar by the Archies, I must have been about 12 or 13. Sadly, I didn’t live in that beautiful place very long as my Dad got a job he’d been wanting and we moved to the Liverpool area (The Wirral).
Music today has been a wonderful revisit to another forgotten band. Druid are even more forgotten than yesterday’s Blog Stars Steamhammer. They won the Melody Maker unsigned band contest in 1974 and were signed to EMI. They have a high-voiced singer called Dane who also plays guitar and a prominent bass player (Neil Brewer) with a Chris Squire sound. There are some King Crimson type drums from Cedric Sharpley. I think I actually met him once in the way distant past. Sadly, he died of a heart attack in 2012. Andrew McCrorie-Shand played the keyboards. They say they are like Yes, ‘they’, but only as much as Chuck Berry is like the Rolling Stones. It’s just a style and it seems that everyone with a distinctive voice becomes the influence of others with similar natural tones, even if they’re not. Who knows? I really like this first Druid album Towards The Sun released in 1975. Perfect for Prog heads, Clash fans need not apply. It’s produced by Bob Harris, is that Whispering Bob Harris?
Their second album Fluid Druid (1976) follows the same kind of Progressive path, but at this point the Prog bands were being wiped out by the new generation, Punk and New Wave was coming. Three years later drummer Cedric Sharpley would be touring the planet with Gary Numan, another world. Andrew McCrorie-Shand went on to write the theme tune for Teletubbies, believe it or not! Neil Brewer also became involved with children’s programmes. The big mystery is what happened to Dane? Answers on a postcard.
I saw the Heavy Metal Kids once at the Liverpool Stadium and I remember elements of the crowd didn’t like them much. Mainly because lead singer Gary Holton was playing the Cockney Geezer character, the artful dodger. Well he had to do some artful dodging because some people in the crowd were throwing things at him. But I really liked his crazy Rock ‘n’ Roll voice. They made three albums, self-titled (1974), Anvil Chorus (1975), and Kitsch (1976). The first album was produced by Dave Dee from Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.
They were named out of a William S. Burrough’s novel, Nova Express (1964). They appeared on Top Of The Pops with the song She’s No Angel from Kitsch (great album), but they soon broke up. In the early eighties Holton and Casino Steele found themselves at No.1 in the Norwegian charts with a cover of Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love To Town), originally made famous by Kenny Rogers And The First Edition. Gary Holton was an actor at heart and he found fame as a TV star on the popular series “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet” which ran from 1983-85. He was also in Quadrophenia (uncredited) and had many different roles from child to adult. He was also a famous hellraiser. He tragically od’d in 1985, he was just 32. Last but not least after Kitsch and the death of Bon Scott, Holton was on the shortlist to join AC/DC but he turned down the offer, sticking with acting. Heavy Metal Kids got back together in 1987 and were last seen in 2015.
Song Of The Day is Time Is Imaginary from Rhyme (1989), because it is.
Time Is Imaginary
[Spoken] I had this dream and there was a king and he was looking at the sky and the sky turned around and looked at him and said: “King, you don’t know what it’s like to rule, you only know about time, and time is going to kill you. And you know what, King, time is imaginary.”
White cello in an archway
Frosted glass across the courtyard
Lead light and beams
The dignity and insistence of age
Swallowing me up as I approach thirty
Coloured ideas that once were monochrome
Manifest themselves in this great mansion
The woodwork of centuries
I cannot greet new buildings
I lust after the ancient
You trip me up and graze my knee
And I’ll shrug the responsibility of healing
There’s all this blood on the inside of my trousers
There’s an ‘L’ shaped tear in well cut cloth
I’m only learning
Less and less I worry
More and more I dream
And I’ll feed myself the sweet nectar of knowledge
And I’ll suffer its consequences
Time is imaginary