An unscheduled run to the sea in between sessions just to look at it, breathe in the salty air and gaze in wonder at this trembling blue mass. Today it looked coloured in, like a child’s drawing with crayons and we stared at it through the fence on the prom that has been under construction for months, probably ready just in time for the winter. We only had 15 minutes so we took some pics by the gate to the Jubilee Pool. It’s the UK’s largest outdoor lido and was opened in May 1935 to celebrate King George V’s jubilee, hence the name. Just beyond is Battery Rock and although we didn’t have time to go down to the water we looked over the wall past the rocks at two boats sailing into the harbour and one coming in the distance, The Scillonian, the regular transport between the mainland and the Isles Of Scilly. A cormorant flew at speed inches above the surface of the water. We had to go so soon after arriving for the second sesh of the day with Mike in New Orleans. It was a lovely day and just being outside for 15 minutes recharged the batteries, that’s why we went to Battery Rock.
I’d had a sesh earlier in the day with Tony in Sydney but on return from the ocean, I spoke to Mike who told me that a hurricane was coming Tuesday. Tropical Storm Sally doesn’t sound very scary but neither did Katrina, you’d think they’d call them more terrible names like Tropical Storm Satan or Tropical Storm Annihilator, calling them sweet female names doesn’t seem to be appropriate. So fingers crossed for the people of New Orleans and Louisiana. I’ll be speaking to Paul in New Orleans tomorrow (moved from Tuesday) and will get a first-hand update. I remember going to New Orleans and driving through Louisiana sometime after Katrina. I saw whole houses lifted off their foundations and blown into the trees. I remember seeing mountains of broken wood and tangled metal in the middle of supermarket car parks, years went by and the destruction was still evident.
Yesterday Olivia was sick with, wait for it, migraine! She gets them rarely but yesterday, it was the vision thing, numbness in the tongue and fingers, nausea and a headache. I hadn’t realised that migraine was a virus? You could see the pain on her face and all she could do was lie down and wait for it to stop. She tried to sleep it off and in the middle of the night edited the blog and put the pictures in, she’s a trooper (and better today).
The football season was back and West Brom were playing Leicester 0-3 and Spurs – Everton 0-1. So most of my football mates lost, Spacehog Jonny (Leeds fan) lost 4-3 to Liverpool, Biggles (Fulham fan), producer of your favourite seventies Metal band Saxon, lost to Arsenal 0-3, Geoff in Brisbane (West Ham fan) lost 0-2 to Newcastle, Jay Aston (Spurs fan), but Dare (Everton fan) with a flashy new lineup, won.
Music today had me investigating the recently released Jethro Tull Live At The Isle Of Wight in 1970 album and wondering if I should buy it because older Jethro Tull records I like and I mean the oldest ones, the bluesier ones (ok there’s a couple of seventies ones I like too). I listened, yeah, I like it. I like anything from 1970 (haha). So that made me dig out This Was (1968). This album had the early lineup with Mick Abrahams on guitar, Clive Bunker on drums and Glen Cornick on bass with whatsisname on flute and vocals. It’s Anderson and Abrahams mixing their ideas together and so Abrahams had to go and left after this album to form Blodwyn Pig. Anderson became the unquestionable leader that led to some amazing and some terrible albums, that’s what happens. But this album like yesterday’s Family Entertainment has the leader letting the other guy sing because he hadn’t assumed absolute power yet. I like this album, it’s different to their others and I always know a good album when well-known critic Robert Christgau hates it.
Their second album, Stand Up (1969), saw Abrahams replaced by Martin Barre who would stay with the band for 44 years, Cornick and Bunker remained for now. The album went to No. 1 in the British charts. There was also a non-album single, Living In The Past, that went to No. 3 in the singles charts. The album went Top Ten in the Dutch, German, Norwegian and Danish charts and Top 20 in America. It was the beginning of a long and successful career. Stand Up even won the New Musical Express award for best album cover art of 1969. The album cover was a wood carving of the band members with a ‘pop up’ in the gatefold. My point in telling you all this is that once unhip bands were both hip and successful despite how they are seen today – Genesis were hip, popularity and the changing times put an end to it all (as did their music) but their popularity remains. The final nail in the hip coffin of Jethro Tull was when they won the 1989 Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal recording for Crest Of A Knave over Jane’s Addiction, Iggy Pop and Metallica. It’s another example of people in charge not having a clue.
When Abrahams left Jethro Tull he formed Blodwyn Pig with saxophonist and flautist Jack Lancaster and included Andy Pyle on bass and Ron Berg on drums. They recorded Ahead Rings Out (1969) and reached No. 9 on the UK chart. It’s in the direction of the Blues and the reason that he left Jethro Tull. If you like the bluesy or the jazzy bluesy scene of the era you’ll like this as well as the second album, Getting To This (1970). The second album did well too, reaching No. 8 on the chart but that was about it for them and apart from the occasional reunion, these two albums were all that mattered.