The memories are hazy but there’s flashes of red against blue, blurry images in the sky floating like giant winged kites somehow riding on the currents with the birds. The next thing I remember was becoming one of those images, looking down on jagged brown mountains from above, rugged terrain, summer and the feeling of effortlessly sailing through the air. I was framed against the great red wing like a bat – each limb spread out to another corner, kept airborne by perpetual motion and moving across the mountains to an unknown destination beyond the horizon.
Then I remember being on the outskirts of a busy village, heading into the centre. I walked past a family who were having lunch outdoors on an elevated area outside their small farmhouse. There were parasols, a woman, dark with two young daughters all silhouettes, sitting down, female, all three easily recognised despite them being only vague outlines. I turned my head away from them and in front of me on the path was a man holding a brown pottery dish in a tea towel – it looked like apple pie. He beckoned me to come and join the family but I looked away quite rudely, too shy to take him up on his offer. But it wasn’t just that, where was I? Where was the great red wing? I don’t remember landing, I don’t even remember where I came from. I walked on towards the village.
There was a busy street with outdoor cafe tables and there seemed to be a lot of young people gathered around talking. I think they were American, probably students, studying here but where was here? I heard them speaking English even though we obviously were not in an English-speaking country. You could tell that from the surroundings, the landscape, the climate, the local dress and the light. I approached their table – “Excuse me, could you tell me what country we are in?” – “Turkey,” answered a boy, short-haired, early twenties, looking American in his casual shirt and slacks. There were girls too, same age, same style, preppy. The question didn’t seem odd to them.
Turkey? How can I be in a mountain village in the summer in Turkey? There was a man with a grey moustache and a white apron, a waiter clearly going about his business and yet despite the busy atmosphere, I can’t recollect many more faces, they are somehow blurred, featureless. One of the students said to me, “Have you seen the rare animals?”. He directed me to the other side of the table and there in a corner were two giant beasts, a species which I had never encountered before. They were something like rhinoceroses with the armour-plated hide but their underbellies had what looked like hanging wide tubes that swung when they moved. Was it a female because they looked like birthing tubes? I’d never seen anything like it. One of the animals disappeared behind a wall and the other stood there, still like a cow. I can’t recall their heads at all.
I walked away from the busy area down a small hill that seemed to lead out of the village but beyond that, there were only the mountains and the countryside. One of the students said, “There’s nowhere to go”. So I turned around and came back up the hill. This was my last night’s dream.
When I awoke I got ready for the pool. I ate my usual muesli (which I alternate with bran), drank a cup of Tension Tamer tea, watched Rachel Maddow and checked the temperature. I realised that I don’t actually know the line between too cold and not too cold. It was 12/53 degrees, I suspected that it was colder than usual, the equinox had happened, it had rained the day before but I carried on like it was summer – shorts, T-shirt and off I went. As soon as I got outside I felt the cold bite of the wind and the rain was spitting in my face, but I was already out, although I was immediately cold and underdressed I didn’t quite have enough time to go back and find something warm. So I soldiered on and it wasn’t long before I noticed that everyone in the streets was wearing layers, raincoats with hoods, long pants, they were all properly wrapped up whereas I was almost naked by comparison. I must have looked like one of those tourists that comes back to England from Spain in a flowery shirt, shorts and flip flops and wearing a ridiculous straw hat or a sombrero. Then they realise that they’ve landed in Luton and it’s cold and it’s raining. At the leisure centre we went into the pool area as I arrived (now asked to wear a mask in the foyer from today). The pool was mostly empty and I made the mile with some minutes to spare. I’d noticed that the sun had come out and shone through a high window into the pool and I thought that might mean it would be a little warmer on the way down to the studio. I was right, but the rain started and stopped and started again but I managed to make it to pasty land and vegetable land before the rain really started to come down.
Sessions today with Daniel near Nashville but Brian in New Jersey had to cancel as he wasn’t feeling well (get better Brian). Then dinner and an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise which seems more and more like it’s a bunch of people from California dressing up and running around the hills, then it does aliens on faraway planets. I guess that’s because that’s exactly what it is. After dinner a meeting with an adviser about relocating to Portugal (really helpful information). Then an interview with Bruce and Steve in Australia for a radio show called Purple Haze about all the projects I’ve been working on. It will be broadcast on October 12th on RPP FM.
Music today is staying firmly with the Progressive Jazz-Rock Fusion. I think it’s because it’s instrumental. I don’t want to hear words in music at the moment, I just want the music.
Brand X released their first album Unorthodox Behaviour in 1976 and had Phil Collins moonlighting on the drums with Percy Jones on bass, Robin Lumley on piano and John Goodsall on guitar. Excellent musicians and that unique mood that this genre gives you. Next time you are going ‘oh no not Phil Collins’ have a listen to him as a drummer on a record like this.
Their second album was Moroccan Roll (1977). It had the same lineup with Morris Pert added on percussion. “An experiment with Eastern sounds and softer textures”, this album does actually have some vocals, Phil singing in Sanskrit! And if that doesn’t have you forgiving Phil for that other stuff, remember at this time he was also releasing two Genesis albums, A Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering both in 1976 playing percussion with Italian proggers Nova also in 1976. In 1975 he played on Eno’s Another Green World. Despite all his success, due to an injury he can no longer play drums which is extremely sad when you hear the quality of his playing. Collins made one more album with Brand X, Product, in 1979 (missing out on Masques, 1978) and then in 1981 Face Value happened!