I awoke to the rain with the same dull headache I went to bed with. I hadn’t noticed it before I put my head on the pillow, it was buried deep in my skull but it was there. It was like the noise of a fracas somewhere nearby, audible but unable to tell how it was escalating. I lay there thinking should I get up, take a couple of headache tablets, but my eyes were already closed and I thought, it’s not so bad, shouldn’t take tablets all the time and it will be gone by the time I wake up. But no, and it’s not as if it was terrible it was just annoyingly there, lingering, just out of reach but still present, hovering around, an unwanted distraction. “That was yesterday’s headache,” I thought. “How come I have yesterday’s headache today?”. So I got up, took two paracetamol and proceeded to get ready for the day. Olivia was still asleep, I always get up before her. So I had made a cup of my favourite Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Tea (TTT) with honey, ate some bran cereal, the cheaper Lidl store version that tastes less like fossilised cardboard than the 5 times more expensive Co-op version and then I went out to pasty land and the greengrocers. The streets were heaving, when I crossed Greenmarket (the road) there were queues of cars from Market Jew Street up to the traffic lights. The tourists were almost a crush, the rain hadn’t kept them indoors, one presumes it had kept them off the beach and driven them into town. So many people, so different from when the pandemic started and not a mask in sight.
The session today with Stefan in Germany was postponed till Friday (get better Stefan) so I had a surprise extra block of time which allowed us to get down to the supermarket by the sea. Earlier we’d taken all the studio recycling up to Dare’s house for tomorrow’s pick up as the beach recycling bins have now gone. We walked through the damp park with one of the guys I know from the swimming pool who was on his daily walk. (We are hoping for a reopening the beginning of next month.) The sea looked like metal today, a reflection of the clouds, the sea was so far in that there was no room for the seagulls and it seemed like they had all gathered together in the sky and were flying around in a huge swarm. They were screeching and diving and rising on the air currents going around in infinite circles in some kind of ancient ritual. At the edge of the water, the tide trickled in and even though the rain had gone the clouds still hung heavy in the sky. We walked past a family in wetsuits who were bobbing around in the water. The daughter was carrying their dog, some kind of longhaired dachshund but its legs were too short to swim to them and if they left it on the shore it would whine and bark, freaking out at the thought that they might have left him or at least not included him. The stones were tough underfoot so we walked off the beach to the supermarket. Olivia had forgotten her mask but I had two so it wasn’t just me going into the place that was also busy. When we finally got to the queue, Mel, one of the ladies that works there, told me there were only 5 of them in today, so the lines were long to pay. I know Mel because once I was struggling with heavy shopping by myself and she helped me take everything up to the studio before going back down to the beach road where she lived. Some people are just lovely.
We got back in time to watch the other Europa League semi-final. Inter Milan (Italy) beat Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) 5-0, it wasn’t that good to watch despite the goals, but it’s getting near the end and it’s good to see how the teams get to the final. No more news on Harry.
Two albums arrived in the post today and one CD. The triple Jeff Beck at the Hollywood Bowl, nicely reduced to make it affordable and UFO (1969), the debut by the mysterious Jim Sullivan who disappeared in the desert one day in 1975 never to be seen again. This from the Light In The Attic website (the label):
In March 1975, Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared outside Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His VW bug was found abandoned, his motel room untouched. Some think he got lost in the desert. Some think he fell foul of a local family with alleged mafia ties. Some think he was abducted by aliens.
Also a CD of The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys which reminded me of our new hoover.
Music today has been a tough choice because I want to play some newer records but as I explained a few days ago, they need more listening time to get a measure of them. So I put on a Spotify random ‘Made For You’ list which I suppose is based on what you’ve been playing and other music connected to the style. But it’s funny that Bobbie Gentry and The Who come up just because they are both sixties into the seventies. How different they seemed to each other then and how much closer they are to each other now, especially when you think of Iggy Azalea…not that many who are reading this probably do. So, Robin Trower came up, Donovan, Glen Campbell, Ten Years After, Pink Floyd and Traffic but this is just one of the ‘Made For You’ options. It seems there are six different ‘Daily Mixes’ and I like this. It means that I can have a New Wave mix, a Soul mix, a Prog mix and a contemporary mix, an eighties mix and I’m not sure what the other mix is (singer-songwriter?), but if I wanted I could have a Hip Hop mix, a Reggae mix, a Jazz mix and even a Classical mix.
Pink Floyd’s Apples and Oranges just came on from the Early Years box set that I have that is so vast I can’t get through it even though I’m totally interested. It’s funny, there’s so much amazing music and yet so much of it seems to be buried in obscurity. The enlightened people that read this often don’t know about the music I write about (Stephen Stills’ Manassas just came on). So think of the masses and what they are exposed to, the things they will never hear that they would love if they knew about it. For me and everybody, it’s simply time and with writing and teaching and making records, touring when we can, following the football, buying books and records, there’s not much time left. It’s as if we are too small for the world’s treasures. We can’t take it all in, we can’t store it, we can’t appreciate it all, there’s just too much of it.
Some great old Bee Gees, To Love Somebody, I Started A Joke (Olivia’s favourite). There was a Ry Cooder track from Bop Till You Drop that I didn’t feel like and Snowy White sounding very eighties and David Rhodes sounding disappointing when you look at how well he does as guitarist to the interesting stars. So on this ‘mix’, it keeps on coming back to artists, back on Bobbie Gentry now from The Delta Sweete (great) and Trower, I must listen to a lot of Trower.
Hm, but it keeps on going back to that Pink Floyd box set, this is great it’s actually getting me to listen to it, to delve into it, discover unreleased and rare tracks, live shows, radio shows, different takes, different mixes (Childhood’s End from Obscured By Clouds, 2016 remix) – great! Now it’s started repeating all the artists I’ve already heard a little too much…so choice time.
The reason I put on a ‘mix’ is to give myself a hint about what I want to hear. So it’s Pink Floyd – The Early Years but of course, Spotify has it all mixed up so when I punch it in, it just shows one album from the box. Spotify is amazing and terrible, there’s the royalties debacle of course but then there’s this really annoying thing where they’ll put the reissue date of an album as the release date instead of the date the album was originally released. How can they have staff in there that don’t know these things? Is it because they don’t have enough age spread in the offices? There should be people from every decade with their era’s knowledge, obviously.
What is it about sizeable chunks of different generations that don’t appreciate each other’s contributions?
Song Of The Day is A Saucerful Of Secrets at Kralingen Music Festival. Approximately 150,000 attended. Festival posters show that the festival was billed in Dutch as ‘Pop Paradijs’ and ‘Holland Pop Festival 70’.