Today you might wonder at the conclusion of the episode where water was pouring out onto the archive and studio floor, the drama and discovery of the location of the stopcock, the search for an emergency plumber and how we might work in the studio with no water and no toilet if the plumber doesn’t arrive soon (at least we have electricity). Today I had a busy day of sessions, Tony in Sydney, Brian in Florida, Joanne in Portland and Doug in Wappingers Falls near Woodstock and if there’s one thing I needed it was water – water for tea, water for making food, water to drink, lots and lots of water and then of course water for the toilet, to use it and to flush it. My first session was at midday and the plumber was coming between 11AM and 3PM. At 2PM the company called me to tell me that they couldn’t find anybody that was available. This is a central office for multiple plumbers, a 24-hour emergency line and they had nobody. I was going to pay £165 to have them come and fix this and they couldn’t find anyone to do it. So, I went down to the shops and bought 4 bottles of still and 2 bottles of sparkling water. One lot to drink, one lot to use for kettles and boiling water in a pan. By the time I’d got organised it was time to speak with Brian and then straight into speaking with Joanne and then quick eats and then straight into speaking with Doug and then French and then it was midnight.
At midnight I started to tidy up as much of the mess as I could, you know, the mess of the chaos of just something major happening that throws everything into, well, chaos. There were boxes that had been moved out of the way of the exploding water, the printer had been in the hallway, the books by the stairs and when everything had been moved out of harm’s way it had been placed in the studio control room in a rush so things landed in a haphazard manner. So after the busy day, I felt like I had to get some order around me. Olivia was running around busy with a million things, the new MOAT track is coming on Wednesday, the sky needs to be washed, the arrows sharpened and the cats have to be born, so she was busy too. By the time we had got semi-settled, it was 2.30AM and that’s when I started writing this. So, dear humans that are waiting to hear from me, please be patient, I will get there and by the way, if you know a local plumber, please send me the number because tomorrow we will still have no water, no toilet and no plumber but at least the fees will be cheaper because it’s not a weekend. One thought, how rich must they be to turn down work with this kind of payday? Last of all, I’m sure that in the olden days, 24-hour emergency plumber meant 24-hour emergency plumber? What if I hadn’t found the stopcock?
I briefly looked at Sky Sports and missed the Wales game (they won 1-0) and then missed the Republic Of Ireland game (they lost 1-0) and I also missed the second half of the England game on flood day, they also won 1-0 with all the action in the last 5 minutes of a drab game. I was thinking about how I’ve heard people say I don’t want to do anything after work where I have to think, I just want fun or goggle box (seventies speak). In my twenties, I was thinking that fun wasn’t always what it was cracked up to be and the TV was a waste of time. I remember when I was touring a lot in America the first thing I did when I got into my hotel room was take the bedspread off the bed and put it over the television. I was killing two birds with one stone, the temptation of crap TV and removing the stage where unimaginable acts might have been played out and remaining unwashed after the event, a bedspread made merry by the previous 100 tenants. There could have been raging philatelists, archaeologists throwing caution to the wind, mycologists with their samples or psychiatrists just staring.
If I had any time and wasn’t going on a jaunt into the local groovy area (sixties speak) I would read, listen to music or play the guitar, not that we generally had much time, usually when we got into our room we had to leave for soundcheck, then it was dinner, then it was the gig, then it was waiting, talking and by the time we got back to the hotel it was so late and we had to get up for an early leaving time the next day. I wonder what the chambermaids thought when they saw the TV covered up? They probably thought something weird was going on when in actual fact there was probably much weirder things going on in the room when it looked normal.
Music today was easy to choose after yesterday’s theme of water. I suppose I could also have played Before The Flood but I was trying to keep it short and that’s a double album. Then there’s productions by Flood and I’m sure I have a CD by a band called Waterlilies?
But today after all that watery talk I was inspired to go dry so I dug out Nico’s Desertshore (1970) and once I was there I couldn’t escape her and continued with The Marble Index (1968), The End (1974) and Chelsea Girl (1967), finishing on the lighter of her albums for fear of falling into a deep dark reverie and being transported on the wings of a giant lunar moth leaving England over the sea from Penzance, touching Brighton and crossing the channel and flapping our way into France coming to Calais then inland over Lens then Metz and crossing the border and seeing Saarbrücken in Germany before finally landing in the Black Forest. And then I was there, Lothar the lunar moth laid me down in Nico’s garden where she was clipping the flowers off the rose bushes and admiring the thorns. “Guten Tag,” she said in a deep dark voice that made the bark tremble on the trees. Her eyes were like chasms, you fell into them and after several minutes of endless descent, you landed with a bang on the floor of her soul. There, a sticky black liquid restricted your movements and it was dark except for a single candle. Something scurried across the floor, if it was a floor, it was hard to tell, it could have been the hard shell of a giant flat mollusc or the surface of a distant planet. Beyond the candle in its dull light, blood red and beating like a drum was Nico’s heart where for a short moment I thought I heard it whisper: I love you.
Song Of The Daze
The unedited version of Nico’s session for ‘Disco 2’ in honour of what would have been her 80th birthday on 16/10/18. Janitor Of Lunacy, The Falconer and some cutaway shots of Nico pedalling the harmonium.