I was walking in the street today and I heard a mother and her daughter speaking German so I stopped and said Hello, told them I had a German wife and had a chat with them. They were from the same part of Germany as Olivia near Cologne, in fact, they were from the same town as Michael Schumacher, Kerpen. It seems he is in a bad way, we hear so little about him in the news but I think it means that the news is bad. Father and son came out of a shop, pleasant guy, I thanked him for Klopp, he said “Klopp?” – “Yes, Klopp!!” – “Oh, you mean Kloppo!”. Haha, apparently that’s what they call him in Germany. And staying on football, Fulham lost last night but won on aggregate and are through to next Tuesday’s final, the richest prize in football, that is making it to the Premier League. FA Cup final tomorrow between Chelsea and Arsenal, Dare and I are in the studio but we are going to start earlier so we can fit it into the day. And by the way, I’m not mad I just don’t think there’s anything wrong exchanging the time of day with strangers, especially if they are exotic foreigners, with interesting different cultures, a different language and a different take on the universe. Heaven forbid that you only hang with your own people, how would you learn anything new?
The streets were buzzing despite the rain, it was muggy and people were unperturbed by the clouds and the sporadic rain. The tourists had enjoyed a beautiful day yesterday and the German family weren’t worried at all about a few showers, everybody loves Cornwall whatever the weather. They were on their way to Bournemouth over the weekend, now that could be a bad idea. I keep on seeing these pictures of a beach that looks like a million people have been stranded there and then you realise that they are there by choice, crammed together. I also heard today that they were trying to stop people going there as de Pfeffel is holding back on reopening with the virus rising again. Is this just going to keep on happening? On the subject of de Pfeffel his ancestral name is actually von Pfeffel, at some point he’s changed it to ‘de’, the French equivalent of the German ‘von’. Why? And how can you be Johnson and von Pfeffel and be called Boris? You’d think with that mix he’d be more open-minded.
Disturbing news in Poland as they officially become the most homophobic country in Europe with six towns declaring themselves LGBT free zones and a magazine giving away a sticker with a line through the rainbow flag. I guess they are all scared of desiring the local plumber. The EU response makes me feel that I do actually live with humans. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Our treaties in Europe ensure that every person in Europe is free to be who they are, live where they like, love who they want and aim as high as they want. I will continue to push for a #UnionOfEquality.”
After the rain had cleared up, the sun broke through the clouds and I nipped around the corner to the Co-op. The Acorn Theatre is diagonally opposite the Archive/Studio and in the late afternoon, the sun hits the steps that lead up to the theatre entrance. Pepper the cat lives at The Honey Pot which is diagonally opposite again from The Acorn with one small lane and a building in between the cafe and our building. There is a wall in front of the Acorn steps and as I walked out I saw a heartwarming sight. Pepper was on the steps sunning herself and cleaning her fur and on the small wall right in front of her was the giant black-backed seagull that is often there to be fed by the nice man that lives opposite (there’s a nice man too). The seagull (Nero) is twice the size of Pepper but despite Nero being a bird and Pepper being a cat, they were ignoring each other. When I walked by, Nero flew down from the wall to the bottom of the steps and closer to Pepper who took no notice. Earlier today we walked past a bird feeder with two doves and a sparrow feeding together, we could surely learn something from animals that don’t hunt each other, animals of different species that live in harmony with each other. You can understand lions hunting gazelle but not sparrows hating doves although it seemed surprising today to see all that harmony in the animal kingdom, probably because my idea of cooperation has been tainted by all the nastiness I see between the humans.
The first thing I did when I woke up today was watch Obama’s speech at John Lewis’ funeral service. People have told me he did good things and bad things as president, I suppose it would be pretty hard to be president and control everything that is going on but one thing is for certain, whatever he was, he wasn’t a monster.
Music today has been a journey into CD land and listening to some more Progressive CDs that I recently bought including one that arrived today: The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by Jakko Jakszyk. It’s a double CD from 2006. He’s become well-known for joining up with latter-day King Crimson as lead singer and other guitarist. On his CD I’m not sure about the lyrics and the tunes but it sure has its musical moments. I’m not that into Neo-Prog, it’s all too smooth for me and the lyrics always seem weak. But it starts to get good on Disc 2 with covers of Henry Cow, King Crimson and Soft Machine. It might be worth mentioning who plays on this record because you might not believe it: Drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), acoustic bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle, John Martyn), guitarist Robert Fripp (King Crimson), sax and flute from Mel Collins (King Crimson, Roger Waters), electric bass from Mark King (Level 42), piano and keyboards from Dave Stewart (ex-Hatfield & The North), drummer Ian Wallace (King Crimson, Bob Dylan), Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper and ex-Groundhogs drummer Clive Brooks.
I also recently got the newest If CD, If 5 from 2014 and oh my, I really didn’t like it. It was very light middle of the road Jazz, not my cup of tea at all but if you don’t try you never find things you do like. I’m always surprised how many things I find by taking a chance but this time it didn’t work at all. Somebody out there likes it though, each to their own.
Fabio Golfetti is one of the guitarists in Gong but he also has his own band, Violeta de Outono. Olivia and I have also got to know singer/guitarist Kavus Torabi a little from Gong and Olivia has hosted the band at Night Of The Prog. So Fabio sent us CDs of his Brazilian band, based in São Paolo, and I played one of them tonight, Espectro from 2012. I really enjoyed it, sounded like Camel at one point, recommended for any Prog head. And on this point, I am trying to catch up with the records friends have sent too (The Churchhill Garden, Mellow Drunk and Anekdoten Live in Japan 1997), getting there.
Another recent purchase has been the latest Soft Machine album, Hidden Details, from 2018 – this is more like it. It’s Jazz Fusion, edgier and Progressive and John Etheridge is a mean guitar player. Theo Travis on things that you blow (saxes and flute) and Fender Rhodes, Roy Babbington on bass, John Marshall on drums. We played with them at a festival in Italy and Theo jammed with us (Anekdoten).
I finished off the night with four Weather Report albums: the debut (1971), Mysterious Traveller (1974), Heavy Weather (1977), and Night Passage (1980), but I have to admit they were kinda low on the stereo because Olivia and I were trying to sort out the archive, it was background music so I missed all that virtuosity from Joe Zawinul – keys, Wayne Shorter – sax, Miroslav Vitouš/Alphonso Johnson/Jaco Pastorius – bass, Alphonse Mouzon/Alex Acuña/Peter Erskine – drums, Airto Moreira – percussion. It’s the kind of music you can study, listen or potter about to and today it was tidy up music.
Song Of The Day is Starless by King Crimson live in 2016 (with three drummers) and with Jakko Jakszyk singing.