Olivia saw a seal today but I just wanted to let you know that if I turn her seal sighting into a mixture of fact and fantasy, that’s what’s called poetic licence. The last couple of days I’ve written some stories, instigated first of all by the bizarre claim that Venus is a Russian planet and secondly by what started as a walk into a glade that turned into a fantasy inspired by the surroundings and the atmosphere of the location. If you’re going to write something every day I think you might need to be able to take the observations or the happenings into both sincerely truthful and imaginative and creative landscapes. I thought there were some clear clues that separated truth from fact over the last couple of days, the intelligent gas in the public bar and the squirrel riding to the bushes on the back of a cat. So the seal that Olivia saw today might sometimes be a wonderful experience of witnessing nature as this amazing creature bobs up and down in the surf or it could be the version where the light pouring out of the seal’s jade coloured eyes reflected off the surface of the sea sending a beam of light up to the moon that opened up a doorway into a parallel universe where truth is sacred and Robert Wyatt is king.
There’s a fly in the room, it’s buzzing around, landing on the computer with its beady eye on anything that might be where you place your lips, the teacup, the bowl with the raw carrots, the dinner plate and here’s the horrible truth, a house fly lives for about a month and lays eggs 5 or six times on food. Yuck! I love animals but fleas, flies, cockroaches and wasps either give me shivers or freak me out or turn me into a murderous rampant genocidal maniac massacring whole communities. Bees, moths and spiders I can love.
I’m not fond of nits, woodlice or centipedes but certainly have affection for butterflies, gnats, dragonflies and worms. When I moved to Australia the thought that creatures could kill you was hard to accept, the fact that rolling around in the long grass might not be a good idea, the only creatures that could kill you in Liverpool were skinheads.
I had a sesh in Sydney today with new sessioneer Tim and this week is a busy week of studios, seshes and the approaching change that accelerates the disappearance of all those insects that drive you mad and long days are replaced by darkness and cold. In England, the rain is coming and the coldness indoors, in Sweden there’s no such thing as coldness indoors, it’s too hot indoors even when it’s below freezing outdoors. In Australia, it’s difficult because of the constant sun, every day beating down, scorching your skin. It probably sounds attractive if you’re used to constant drizzle but then in the desert people crave water. It’s odd that in the world people seek the things they don’t have while gravitating to the familiarity of what they do. The days will be shorter as tomorrow is the equinox and the days and nights swap like cats and squirrels, it’s autumn soon.
Football is back, it hardly went away, Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 yesterday, Everton are on fire with their new posh midfield, Crystal Palace shocked Man U, Man City looking good in their third paisley kit, Arsenal looking good, Leicester looking good, Leeds looking good, early days but as the virus seems to be making a comeback it seems the crowds aren’t coming back. The confusion of one lot saying people are dying and another lot saying they’re not isn’t helpful. There’s only the truth, make sure you come down on the right side of it. The future will ridicule as much as it will mourn.
Before we get into music, in an analysis of Walt Whitman’s poem, I Sing The Body Electric, included in his book Leaves Of Grass, he made the most obvious point in 1855:
All bodies are equally sacred, despite the gender and race for everyone has the same red blood running through their veins.
So what’s the problem? It’s not the race, the skin, the gender that the crazed racists don’t like, that would be shallow and insane – so it’s the culture, it’s the way people see things, do things, eat? Well, I don’t like polo or dressage, it doesn’t make me hate white people (Stuart Copeland plays polo). I hate tomatoes but I can be friends with you if you eat them.
Music today carried on from Mahavishnu as I listened to Weather Report’s I Sing The Body Electric (1972 – it’s also the name of a Ray Bradbury short story from 1969). What an interesting record it is. It’s the second Weather Report album and they already had a different rhythm section to the first. Partly live, it explores some heavy Fusion Jazz with Joe Zawinul on keys, Wayne Shorter on saxes, Miroslav Vitouš on bass, Eric Gravatt on drums and Dom Um Romão on percussion.
On the debut album (1971), the drummer was Alphonse Mouzon and the percussionist was Airto Moreira, two very famous and respected musicians in their genre. One of the original great tracks called Milky Way opens the album (Syd has one, too), there’s not much to it but it’s out there as is this album. This music is why you need a stereo and a red couch so you can sit in the middle of the speakers and transport yourself. Highly recommended.
Song Of The Daze
Weather Report live at Molde Jazz Festival, Norway, August 1972: