All that chlorine poison didn’t let me sleep well last night. What a dilemma, the pool will always have chlorine and swimming laps will always be the best way to stay healthy. It would be tragic if the chlorine stopped me swimming. I could take up the gym I suppose (which I do now and then) but there’s something about the water, immersed in this frankly very odd substance that’s all around you, impossible to grab and yet it takes all your strength to swim through it. Water really is the most amazing stuff. But why do they add chlorine to the pool? Here’s why: “Besides killing dangerous germs like bacteria, viruses and parasites, chlorine helps reduce disagreeable tastes and odours in water. Chlorine also helps eliminate slime bacteria, moulds and algae that commonly grow in water supply reservoirs, on the walls of water mains and in storage tanks”. So there you have it, hm, kills viruses, maybe we should all inject it?
Today was the last main guitar day in the studio before Ahad arrives from Istanbul to sing. Flight booked, hotel booked, now Mr Virus – don’t stop him coming. I was playing all kinds of different guitars today. Strat, Rick 6, Gibson 345, Les Paul, Tak nylon, Tak 6, and the original ex-band Fender 6 string bass that was used on Priest=Aura, plus the original ex-band Vocoder that was used on Is This Where You Live. All kinds of pedals, Big Muff, the GB fuzz unit, EBow, and last of all the Electro-Harmonix Pulsar, lovely item. And of course two times Vox AC30s. Dare and I were talking about this gear versus plug-ins, what a difference despite the illusion.
I walked out of the studio today and there was a man telling another man that we’re experiencing a new world order and we’re all being muzzled whilst the newspaper today was saying that the world is approaching a million deaths, the US has hit 200,000, and that Europe’s infections, especially Englands, are beginning to reach higher levels than in May. I’ve had an idea – an independent body called “The Truth Panel” that has no reason to lie, that both sides of fear and hoax can trust. The chairwoman and chairman should be Oprah Winfrey and Robert Wyatt.
Records arrived through the post from Rough Trade today. Two PJ Harvey records, the All About Eve soundtrack and the To Bring You My Love demos. Then there was Scorpio Man by Finnish flautist Ernie Hawks and his Soul Investigators. I also got the Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets double Live At The Roundhouse LP and a CD of the unreleased second Fantasy album. So much music, so little time. I wonder if you can have music piped into your coffin?
On an interesting note about musicians and exposure, yesterday we sent out a newsletter to nearly 1000 people who have signed up for it. It was about the imminent availability of Nightjar on red vinyl on RSD Drops on Saturday. It also had the new MOAT song and something about Bandcamp waving their fees again. Out of the 1000 email addresses that it was sent to about a third opened it. There was, of course, some bounce backs and one person unsubscribed, haha, but as of now, which is approximately 24 hours later, 363 opened the mail and 39 people clicked on the Gone By Noon link, a brand new song – remember that’s out of nearly 1000 subscribers. Granted, some people might have already heard the new MOAT track as it was posted last week but still, it’s tough out there being a musician.
Technology killed me today, after the studio Dare and I sat down in the archive to listen to some mixes from Salim and I couldn’t get them to play efficiently on my computer or even download them and eventually it all crashed. Olivia arrived and they played perfectly on her computer but Dare was gone. So frustrating. Last but not least on a positive note, sessioneer Brian in Florida was telling me about the late Neil Peart’s books and today Traveling Music arrived. Brian tells me that based on what I do with writing I’m going to thoroughly enjoy his road trip and music musings, Thanks Brian.
Music today has jumped straight back into Fusion/Jazz-Rock with the classic Return To Forever album Romantic Warrior (1976). The band, Chick Corea on keys, Al Di Meola on guitar and Stanley Clarke on bass with Lenny White on drums would be their last as Chick Corea (bandleader) disbanded this lineup after three albums only keeping original member Stanley Clarke. It’s an album of crazy virtuosos but somehow it’s warm and easy to listen to despite all the lightning-fast playing and the musicians’ unbelievable skills. I think it must be that this genre works best for these mad technical, theoretical musicians. In Rock speed is lost in translation in Jazz-Rock it’s meant to be. It’s like those magnificent old Disney soundtracks with amazing unknown musicians displaying their talents anonymously but communicating the feeling to a public that barely considers the music over the visuals.
My other major introduction into this mad and magnificent music was with Al Di Meola’s Elegant Gypsy (1977), the second solo album. This album blew my mind in the seventies and still does. It’s different to Rock because of the percussion, the non-Rock beat, the fact that they are all instrumentals, it sounds like World Music. It doesn’t hurt having bass master Anthony Jackson on the album as well as Paco de Lucía on the other guitar. The star-studded cast also includes Jan Hammer and Barry Miles on keys, Steve Gadd and Song Of The Day Lenny White on drums, Mingo Lewis on percussion – great, if you like this kind of thing.