On this day in 1978, we lost Sandy Denny. She suffered brain trauma after falling down stairs in a Cornish cottage. Although most possibly best known as a member of Fairport Convention, an early member of the Strawbs, writing Who Knows Where The Time Goes?, and for having made four solo albums, I consider her best work to be as a member of Fotheringay, the band she left Fairport Convention to form. My friends Biggles and Colleen live in New Malden close to Putney Vale cemetery where Sandy Denny is buried and we once went there and visited her grave to say hello.
I woke up this morning to French ladies hovering around the gate. They asked if I spoke French and my French is comfortable enough to say yes-ish and hopefully be able to solve some simple problems. It turned out that they had been staying in an Airbnb next door and they had closed the door and one of them (Patricia) had left her coat in the apartment. Of course now, all the doors were locked as they’d closed the door behind them and left the keys inside. They wanted to know if our building had any affiliation with the building next door so they could get back into their apartment. Well it all turned out into a long frustrating wait for them especially as their flight was later in the day, and it started to rain, so I offered them shelter and the loo. Olivia went and bought one of them a rain mac from the Chinese store. At some point someone arrived after a million phone calls, including me talking to the answering service of the company they booked through in Paris, except the answering service was in South America and they didn’t speak French, haha, it all worked out in the end.
The rain came falling down like we deserved it, what have we done? Perhaps you feel more disappointed when it rains in Portugal than you would in Rotherham. Having said that I love the rain, I’m always writing songs about it, as is everybody else: The Rain Song, Raining in My Heart, Rain (The Beatles), Rain (The Cult), Singin’ in the Rain, Here Comes the Rain Again, Only Happy When It Rains, Why Does It Always Rain on Me?, Rainy Days and Mondays, A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, Don’t Rain on My Parade. Note, these are ‘rain’ songs that I like, please don’t remind me about The Weather Girls, oh no, too late.
Snooker hero Ronnie O’Sullivan was playing today, a must-watch for snooker fans, a tense match as challenger, Iranian Hossein Vafaei commented before the match: “He’s nice when he’s asleep”. Haha, I think that might guarantee the result. Ronnie is already the world champ and world number one, but in true style, plays it down all the time.
Music today has been Sandy Denny’s first and second albums, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens (1971) and Sandy (1972). Produced by John Wood, Denny, and Richard Thompson on the first album (who also played guitar). The second was produced by the ‘other Australian’ that few over there seem to remember, Trevor Lucas, a founding member of Fotheringay. The great folky luminaries of the day are all over these two albums. The North Star Grassman and The Ravens is a special record from Late November to Crazy Lady Blues, as is Sandy, from the opening track It’ll Take A Long Time, to the closer The Music Weaver but on the reissue there are also great extra tracks, Here in Silence and Man Of Iron (with its ‘synthesiser wind’). What a great pair of records.