Bed at 3AM, up at 9AM, an early start to a busy day, I was showered, out in the town before the post and at the studio by 10.30AM doing a sesh with Rohan and his King Crimsonesque musical extravaganzas in Sydney. This was very early for me! We were getting the drums down on the first of the Ahad songs by 11.30AM. It was a fruitful day, we managed drum tracks on four songs, I played guide bass on three of the four. Dare was baking in the control room, Ed was baking in the live room, we were searching for air flow on a very hot day. I tried to see what the temperature was, but they only want to predict the weather, they don’t want to tell you what the weather was like yesterday. Why would anyone want to know that? Well, I want to know, I need numbers!
Later on after recording we all went down to admire the sea, Olivia came too and we breathed in the sea air and marvelled at the aquamarine water. Unfortunately it was a bit sludgy where we were standing, something yucky that sat on the surface, washed up on the tide, probably some crime against the oceans committed by man. There was a lot of seaweed but the smell was fresh and stimulating for the senses. There was a man in a kayak, swimmers attempting the two points of the bay. There were people in the water and people on the beach and despite this not being the most beautiful part of the shore, it is the town, so it’s convenient.
Whilst walking in the street earlier I saw the post lady doing her rounds and I thought to myself how warm and comforting it is to see the post person. (In the seventies it was always men?) Ok, so they also deliver bills, but if you write letters, you get letters. To think it is a dying art. Olivia has pen friends all over the world. They write to each other and tell each other about their lives, their aspirations, it’s beautiful. I saw the post lady in the same place where we usually see the Bengal cats. I wouldn’t want fur on a day like today, but maybe the cats like it, stretching out, luxuriating in the sun.
(Warning, sport paragraph.) Liverpool were playing tonight at Anfield, their home ground, with no crowd, really strange because it’s all about atmosphere. I was there watching a game in November (against Brighton) when I was working with The Wild Swans. Today they were playing against Crystal Palace, they won 4-0, all great goals. They are one win away from taking the title. They haven’t won the league for 30 years and never since it became the new expensive version – The Premiership. This is exciting news for Liverpool fans – and then there’s everybody else.
French today was short but sweet. I’m too busy to spend lots of time on it this week, but I am still doing it everyday. I’m in the Sapphire League, but there’s no way I’ll be winning it, like I did the Gold and the Silver. These learners are serious and this system of learning is soooo good. I wish I’d had Duolingo when I was 22 instead of 62, I’d be translating War And Peace from the original Russian by now, fluent in 19 languages.
Another day in the studio tomorrow and another super hot day. I just saw pictures from Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea, who in their right mind would see that crowd and stay there? I’m not even talking pandemic, just generally who could suffer that? When I see pictures like this I realize just how different we are to each other whilst paradoxically being just the same. Humans? I’m quite convinced that the aliens have been, explored, done research, they’ve sent teams, gathered data and come to the conclusion that they are best leaving us to ourselves. If you were an alien and you discovered that the most powerful man in the world was Clump, what would you advise your leaders?
Music today is revolving around the arrival of I Spider by Web, released in 1970. The band features keyboardist/vocalist Dave Lawson who later joined Greenslade. The band is really The Web who made two albums in the sixties with Lawson taking over on vocals from John L. Watson as their style changed and they went in a more Progressive Jazz direction.
They then became Samurai releasing one album and in 1972 Lawson joined Greenslade where he stayed for four albums. He also played on the last seventies Stackridge album Mr. Mick, released in 1976. His story is long and most people have never heard of him.
I Spider is a typical 1970 album of both complex, proggy, experimental, jazzy and catchy tunes. I love records like this, because no one dares to make them anymore, they have no aggression, no gratuitous showboating, but are made by talented, technical musicians with feel, a sense of humour and who were inspired and stimulated throughout the whole process.
Mr. Mick was the catalyst for the end of Stackridge, it didn’t do as well as expected, the record that came out wasn’t the one that the band wanted. This version has a reggaeish version of The Beatles’ Hold Me Tight, but despite the problems and the issues the band may have had, it’s a lovely album. On Spotify or on CD you can hear how the band wanted it. Poetic, melodic, West Country fare and appropriate as our drummer Ed has played with later incarnations of the band. The instrumentals are gorgeous and the concept, the lyrics, the cover art, give it a listen, I’ll say no more about it, but this should introduce you to their classic earlier albums. Dare and I saw them at Liverpool Stadium in the seventies.
Greenslade’s first album was released in 1973, a keyboard-heavy Progressive trip that was the underground music of the day, but again it was catchy. Dave Greenslade (keys) and Tony Reeves (bass) had been in Colosseum and wanted to form a band with two keyboards and invited Dave Lawson (who was struggling in Samurai) and drummer Andrew McCulloch who had played on King Crimson’s Lizard. (If you read a previous post, he also played on one track on Manfred Mann’s Chapter Three, Volume Two.) If you like your Prog, this is the album for you, all four albums they released are progtastic, but I only have time for two of them tonight. Bedside Manners Are Extra, their second album released in 1973, is their most well-known. After these two albums, guitars were introduced for Spyglass Guest (1974) and Time And Tide (1975). (They reformed in 2000 for Large Afternoon.) The cover art was by Roger Dean, what could go wrong? Go Prog Crazy!!!
Song Of The Day is Staring At The Sun from Seeing Stars.
Staring At The Sun
In your blood
There’s a vein of gold
If I could
Undo heaven’s hold
On your maps
Air on the moon
Your midnight comes at noon
Staring, staring at the sun
Waiting, for the end to come
I am glass
You see through me
Beauty waves you on
If you choose
All those colours
Kill your lovers now
Staring, staring at the sun
Waiting, for the end to come
(Willson-Piper / Cousin / Price)
Seeing Stars – Seeing Stars (1997)