Today you can see that Penzance is different. Britain is sunny, Penzance is rainy. We finished the drum tracks on Sessioneer Ahad’s album and ventured straight outside into a lovely rainy day for a proper soaking. It was particularly windy, stormy, rainy, coldish, and most welcome fresh air after another early start and some concentrated time working on the last four songs. Our umbrellas were working, my LFC brolley, Olivia’s zebra brolley from Buenos Aires, Dare’s posh strong brolley and drummer Ed was using a brolley that Ahad had kindly given us in London after we met on another rainy day. We have recorded thirteen songs altogether and now I need to record all the bass and all the guitars. Some of the bass we will keep from the sessions we have done with Ed because playing live in a rhythm section is something very special and not the same as overdubbing parts. The rain slanted sideways and despite our handsome umbrellas we still got drenched. The working in the studio and walking in the rain seem somehow to be connected. It’s as if magic can be found in both these places.
We treated ourselves to our favourite Thai takeaway as a celebration of the drum tracks completion and spent some time discussing the world, those aliens and the price of saffron in Egypt. We talked a lot about world population and how India is heading to have more people than China. Then there was the astonishing fact that 164 million people live in Bangladesh. I wonder how the world will be in 100 years when countries see their population explode. What do we do? Answers to Solve The Earth’s Problems, c/- The Alien Help Agency, 1,000,000,001 Andromeda Lane, Southern Venus, 99911, Infinite Space.
The Saga Of The Belt. One wise man advised me to buy a belt online. So I gave in realizing that the belt fixing shop is not opening anytime soon. I went online, found the size, ordered it and it arrived today. My heart rose, I was filled with tears of joy, I danced around the archive singing merrily along to Nine Inch Nails records. The package was tatty and half open, but inside lay the shiny new perfect thing. At last, it was here. It was like I had been waiting half my life to finally wear this functional wonder. Inside the brown paper package was a plastic bag and I could see the belt coiled like a snake, brand new, smelling like roses and fireworks, champagne and surprises. The moment was here. I took the belt from inside the plastic bag, ripping the seal like a frenzied animal. It was gorgeous – black, three rows of studs and a sparkling buckle. I slipped the end through the loops in my shorts. The opposite ends of the belt met to close the circle, surrounding my body like the rings of Saturn. I threaded the end through the buckle and pulled it through to the belt’s last hole and then, horrified, I realized that there were not enough holes in the belt to pull it tight. It hung around my hips like a lazy boa constrictor, tired of squeezing. It was no good, it was back to square one and £10 worse off.
It’s good to have my computer back, smaller, lighter, easier to wield, doesn’t seem to get so hot. They don’t even make a 17 inch laptop anymore. It’s still good to use the old one to watch films and TV series. But I really wonder about this computer world that we live in. Having lived well into adulthood without the internet, without a mobile phone, I wonder have I adapted or betrayed the past? What happened to reading? What happened to the music world since computers? Is it better or worse? Or is it just different? Each era has to deal with the consequences of technological development for better or worse. You don’t miss what you never had and us older people are very happy about the conveniences that this computer world has offered us. The younger people don’t miss a world they never lived.
Our great black-backed gull was there again as it is every evening. It sits on one of two walls outside the studio/archive. I always stop to admire the splendour of this beautiful and huge bird with its giant wingspan and presence. It’s hard to know why it always returns to this spot every night. Is there a nest, food, or perhaps a memory of a lost loved seagull mate that once also frequented this spot?
A session with Brian tonight in Orlando. I was showing him the Reptile parts. The Reptile riff is one of the most popular things I ever came up with. Where do these things come from? It’s so random, I just played that out of nowhere at a rehearsal. It’s another example of the theory that if you do something long enough you’ll eventually come up with something good. Nobody can be so bad as to only create things that are bad, the random universe doesn’t allow it.
I’ll leave you with that profound thought. I am so tired tonight and really must catch up on sleep. The studio, the sessions, the writing, they are all wonderful things, but they need focus, they need a sprightly mind, not a weary one. So I’ll take myself to bed, sleep it off, awake fresh and out of thin air build a mountain.
Music today is staying with Germany and Amon Düül ll’s Vive La Trance (1973) is the first album by them that I knew well and I still love it to this day. It’s a mixture of things, male and female vocals, songs, jams, melodic, weird, beautiful. Life is better because of this record.
As I was dying on my feet tonight I asked Olivia to pick three more German records and the first she found was Birth Control’s Plastic People (1975). A classic mid seventies Progressive album full of intriguing parts and arrangements, a voyage of discovery (notice the mask). Nektar came next with Recycled (1976). An English band that lived and formed in Germany. Very much in the Progressive vein. Last but not least one of my favourite Electronic albums, ex Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann’s Romance ’76…I gotta go.
Song Of The Day is Amon Düül II – Vive La Trance, the whole album!