Yay, birthday week! It’s really good timing because Porto has opened up and we managed to book a restaurant for Friday, May 7th! It’s incredible to think that since we moved here, we’ve never been out at night! The closest we got to a night out was a trip to the Psychedelic Psupermarket before it closed. So I’ll be 63 and I’m hoping that as long as I can go swimming and eat properly, stay away from too much sugar, I should be able to live long, I already don’t drink or smoke and have been veggie for 37 years. I was thinking about how I outlived George Harrison, he died when he was 58. Of course, I outlived a lot of people, all those that died young that we look back on now as legends, the 27 Club, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the rest. From where I am now, their deaths seem even more tragic because to me they were just so young, too young to die. My father lived till he was 93, my mother till she was 80 so maybe I have a chance to live long and prosper, see the In Deep Music Archive thrive and live on after I’m gone. I was thinking how the archive might just be a great collection right now but in 50 years it will be something amazing. It’s like toy dinky cars still in their box, who could imagine their worth?
I somehow managed to set my alarm for leaving for the pool earlier than the time it actually was. Either that or it just didn’t go off, so I got to the pool late and only managed 74 lengths instead of 80, still, not bad. One of the regulars in the dressing room is a friendly older guy (probably younger than me) and we established today that our best language for communication is French. Not that I feel I speak French, I’ve learnt a lot but need to use it, hear French people speak. It’s been nearly a year of every day so I need to start hearing some dialogue, watching some films with subtitles. It’s one thing studying it, it’s another thing understanding it coming out of the mouth of a native speaker. Then there are accents, I can’t understand broad accents from Scotland or Newcastle so imagine what it’s like when it’s not your native tongue. Anyway, one of the things about getting older seems to be the need for brainfood, learning a language certainly feeds your head.
The postman arrived today with the second Moving Gelatine Plates album, The World Of Genius Hans (1971) – those crazy French jazz-prog nutters. It was the regular postman, he doesn’t speak English and hands over the package quick smart and he’s gone. This one came from Portugal, from Luca Massolin’s vinyl museum, it’s not a museum, it’s a shop, my collection is a museum, I don’t sell any records unless I have extra copies and it’s not rare. Also, my place is guitars, amps, books, lava lamps haha, cassettes, 78s, singles, memorabilia too if I could find a John Bonham drumstick or a Lemmy jacket. I’m telling you all this because in a couple of days I’ll have an announcement to share about the archive.
I had a sesh with Matt in Brooklyn today. Actually, it was Matt who turned me on to Moving Gelatine Plates after he heard a podcast from Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness. I still can’t believe I’d never heard of them. There’s always another band to discover, old or new. It’s going to be especially interesting now that places are opening up to go and see some of the traditional Portuguese Fado. It’s mainly a Lisbon thing but it has travelled across the world so I’m sure we will be able to experience it in Porto. I saw the Fado star Mariza at the Sydney Opera House many years ago.
Mark Selby won the snooker world championships against Shaun Murphy 18-15. Selby is from Leicester, and it’s a town responsible for a lot of musicians, singers, and bands: Black Widow, Diesel Park West, John Deacon, Kasabian, Mark Morrison, Engelbert Humperdinck, Showaddywaddy, Cornershop, Crazyhead, Prolapse, Gaye Bykers on Acid, The Bomb Party, The Apollinaires, Chrome Molly, Spring, The Deep Freeze Mice and…
Music today has been varied and started with Bandstand (1972) by Family – from Leicester. An album I’ve had for many years, it spawned the hit single Burlesque (1972) that I bought when it came out and still own. For some reason that took me to The Incredible String Band and their odd brand of psychedelic hippie folk, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter. Next was one of my faves, Michael Mantler’s The Hapless Child (1976) with Robert Wyatt on vocals and Terje Rypdal on guitar with lyrics and illustrations by Edward Gorey. We asked Mantler to use a sample from this album for Noctorum’s Sparks Lane – he said no. A ridiculous change of pace followed and I listened to Boston’s debut album (1976). That took me to Gong and The Universe Also Collapses (2019) and Rejoice! I’m Dead (2016). Kavus Torabi, the new Gong leader, has a band with wait for it, snooker legend Steve Davis! The band The Utopia Strong have made four albums – believe it or not! Great if you like this kind of thing. (THE UTOPIA STRONG – INTERVIEW)