Today my poor old mum would have been 97, sadly she left us in 2007, but her birthday always stands out that week after Christmas when they think it’s all over, and we have that celebration on January the 9th. It is all over now, and as we drive through the streets after a long day in the studio, you see deflated snowmen, discarded Christmas trees and lights that were once illuminating trees, disappearing into darkness till next Christmas when it starts all over again. It’s such a shame to see all the lights go, perhaps we can do without the Christmas trees, the wreaths, the hanging stars, the toy soldiers and the pretend presents in blow-up round red fellows’ blow-up sleighs but the lights that outline the houses and the driveways could stay as well as the lights that replace the leaves, at least until spring when everything starts to grow again. Having said that, LED lighting has created digital trees and the warm glow of Christmas lights has become a thing of the past as technology overtakes atmosphere as electric light did the candle.
Today the sky was so blue that you had to look up and stare at it. It was beautiful and a reminder that when you are working in the studio, there is an outside. You get so buried in the cave, concentrating on the music, the players, the sounds, the buzz of the amps, the singeing feedback, the loud guitars, the sustain, the tone of an old guitar and the fast fingers, you forget to look at the sky.
Brian was on guitars all day today, and he gifted us some great moments, but they take time to come – working out how solos build and how they sound amid other guitars, how to separate the sounds whilst blending them together, a sonic family of individuals. Also, living up to the greatness of Jason on drums and David on bass, it has to be so good. Brian’s songs are progressive, long, and need to be carefully worked out, it’s not three chords and a backbeat.
Music today has been Strawbs – Hero and Heroine (1974), considered their most progressive album and the first album without Richard Hudson and John Ford who formed their own band and who might be best known for writing Part of the Union which appeared on Bursting at the Seams (1973) and reached No. 2 on the UK chart. Only Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert remained for this album, bringing in Chas Cronk on bass and John Hawken on keys with Rod Coombes (who allegedly played drums on Hi Ho Silver Lining, Clem Cattini also claims it and Stuck in the Middle with You). Hudson Ford is a whole other story of which to pick up the pieces another time.