It was filthy weather today, rain, wind, everyone but me was wrapped in anoraks, windjammers, macs, raincoats, their heads covered, framing faces that made them look like characters from Alice in Wonderland. I was in shorts, a shirt loose over a T-shirt, waistcoat (vest in American) – I suppose (I guess in American) that I don’t feel the cold as readily as a lot of other humans and I’m not scared of the rain – I grew up in the north of England. I’m more scared of the sun. In Australia I’d be woken by the sun pouring into the bedroom at 7AM, eventually forced to get up, you’d go into the kitchen, open the fridge (refrigerator in American) and realise there was no oat/soya milk for cereal. That would mean a trip to the shops but you wouldn’t want to walk down there without suntan cream. So you’d plaster it on your arms, neck and face, legs, ears and head out. By the time you got to the shops the suntan cream was melting, by the time you got back to the house you were wet, a hot and sticky mess and ready for the second shower of the day, it’s 9AM. I was never a sun seeker, I was always a sun escaper, sitting on a beach seemed like an excuse for sand to get everywhere, you’d find it in crevices that you didn’t know you had. I have no problem with countries with hot climates, except for the hot climate.
By the skin of our teeth! From tomorrow, Saturday, anyone travelling to the UK from Turkey has to self-isolate for 14 days. So Ahad got into England just in time. We were talking about him coming later but I predicted this would happen so when this short window opened up we got him here. Now we are eight songs in with five to go before he leaves on Monday morning. When he’s gone, Dare and I will work on backing vocals, piano, trumpets, Andalusian yak horn and Venusian double Truuben Sxyz. Then it’s mix time! It’s such a trip seeing a record evolve from an idea through all the stages to the finished item, getting real vocals onto finished guitar, bass and drums. It sets the songs alight, shows the future, excites the senses as you edge towards the finish line.
When I went to pasty land today I saw an old man walking in the rain. He must have been in his late seventies or early eighties. He was dressed in an old man’s suit but coatless. He had that awful look of imminent death on his face, the confusion of not knowing whether it was better to live or to die. He shuffled his feet, the soles of his shoes never leaving the ground and the steps were so small it was almost as if he was stationary. It was that terrible realisation that life was hard and only death could fix it. I saw the future and wondered about how I would feel if my body was collapsing and my mind was weakening and yet I was hanging onto life, hanging onto memories and the people who loved me now. I thought about which of my favourite artist’s albums would I not be around to hear – I’m not going to make it to FKA Twigs 12th album, I hope I make her third.
I picked up some CDs from the charity store today for no money – a T.Rex triple CD collection, a Bowie double CD collection, a double Doors Best Of, Lenny Kravitz’s Greatest Hits – it was as if the person that had donated their CD collection to the store had never bought a CD of an actual album by any of these artists, as if the Greatest Hits were enough. I suppose that modern-day listening/streaming would be perfect for a person like this, no bothering with all those unnecessary tracks that weren’t on the radio, all those album tracks that weren’t singles, superfluous to requirements. Deep catalogue not really the point, except that Spotify gives you both – if you want it.
Olivia and I watched Californians In Space (my name for Star Trek: Enterprise) over dinner and we marvelled at T’Pol’s lips, Malcolm’s accent and the scary aliens that were actually scary and weird in this episode (Silent Enemy). The script seems designed less for those of us that want fascinating aliens and more for people who want to see good strong relationships with shipmates. That’s why I never really managed to get through Deep Space Nine, even the aliens seemed like they were working through self-help book guidance, learning the importance of loyalty, friendship and supporting your fellow lizard-like neighbour (neighbor in American).
Music today took me to guitarist extraordinaire Allan Holdsworth and three albums and an EP, Velvet Darkness (1976), I.O.U. (1982), the Road Games EP (1983) and Metal Fatigue (1985). It’s more Jazz Fusion but there are some vocals on Road Games from Jack Bruce. Personally, I prefer all the tracks on these records that have no vocals. Apparently, the first album was released without his permission and allegedly he didn’t like the EP. Despite playing with Gong, Soft Machine, Tempest, Nucleus, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford and many more, gaining massive credibility with his peers, when he died in 2017 he was broke and his family had to do a crowdfunding campaign to pay his funeral bills. A sad end for a magnificent musician.