Its 7 days til Im 50 and my life is flashing before me .
Here it is in 7 songs .It could be 77.
I think of a song and it takes me back-ack-aack.
This is my Talking Musical Revolution solution.
1 The Beatles I Wanna Hold Your Hand
It is 66 I am 4 and in the sunshine. In the front garden surrounded by my mum’s lovingly tended rose garden in Windmill Rd, in Ballyholme, with my ‘ding a tar’. You dint have to be in San Francisco with flowers in your hair to catch the vibe it was all around. It was too much, the music was there, it had been in the air, it was every fucking where and I realised .. it was my religion and it still is. I had to play this to the kids coming home from school. Could I really sing? Could I play this Beatles guitar (last seen rusted in the garden back of 47, years later saw one for sale on Melrose for 600 dollars)? I wasnt at school yet but the kids coming home were there to laff or whatever. Did I give a shit? Did i eck as like . I was possibly in my mums high heels, at this stage, knowing the licentious glory contained in the heart soaring central thrill rocket of this guitar and handclaps spectacular, through…Instinct?
2 The Rolling Stones As tears Go By
The scene moves on a few years a few feet into the lounge room there in 47 Windmill. In Ballyholme. In 1968. And the dolour is in that room, with the brown carpet, and the china cabinet and the coloured matches and trinkets from afar. Mother of Pearl from New Zealand with a lock of some baby’s hair. And theres the record player and theres’s the Rolling Stones records, Sharon my big sister had ferociously good taste, all the singles and I love em. I love the screaming that, years later, Andrew Oldham told me was grafted on from other sources to a studio recording on Got Live If You Want It EP, the shiny sleeve covered with Sharon’s lovehearts to the band.. I love Satisfaction, Cloud, Not Fade Away and – its saintly, reverberating, trippy doom - Paint It Black but I keep being drawn back to this. Not sure why, I almost dislike it for making me like it – it seems wrong for them. But right, increasingly right, for the moment that is unfolding.
3 Cat Stevens Cant Keep it In
It is 1973 I feel I am newly arrived on the fields of music – for a minute there, with all them deaths, Jimi and Otis, and Duane and Jim, Janis and Brian, oh Otis, even Otis… it seemed like music was over . After 68 United won the Euro and the boy from Belfast became the be all and end all . And then he left United and I was in my teens coming into view with matters puberterical. And I’d been sniffing round, buying bits and bobs here and there, 2nd hand, getting tunes from kindly relatives, they still loved the music but not collecting-precious types, they passed on tunes. But this , 48p, was the first full price (Co-op may have gave a 2 p off offer) record I ever bought. Still sounds insanely great to me. I wondered, but never asked Yusuf Islam ,when I spoke to him for the release of Another Cup album , if its uninhibited libidio prevents him, post conversion, from performing it, ever again.
4 Doctor Feelgood
Back In The Night
Like their punk successors I read of the Feelgoods and saw pictures of them in the music papers sometime before I saw them. Then there was maybe a pre first album recording session or maybe just a first record I heard one night on John Peel. I was in the back double room now, overlooking the big back garden in 47 and my dreams were HUGE. Hearing Peel before slumber was the archetypal friend over the bedsheets, a ferryman to a world of infinite possibilities. Sweet dreams were made of such And when he played this. Suddenly the exciting night got even more exciting.
5 Todd Rundgren
(The True Meaning Of ) The verb To Love
It is the day after Elvis died and it is still sinking in, I feel, among the wider community here on Ballyholme beach on a radiant summer sunny day. We have recently marked the Jubillee, sleeping out on the bathing boxes, the night Yacht Britannia sails into the bay playing GSTQ. We awake to mime ludicrously convulted ideas of illicit and incestuous conduct on deck among the royal denizens, while folk gather with their cameras and binoculars, pretending they can see the Dukenborough and ole Big Ears. Today is definitively a TFT day. A Time for Todd day on the push button cassette player, out in the sun. People had to hear this.I loved this song then and there and always in the sun rhapsodic. Saw Todd recently, he could no more sing this now than you could find a glimmer of the frenetic 60s sealife and communal hubbub on todays polluted Ballyholme beach. When I played it I moved away from our pack on the beach hut and an older, rougher boy threw a plastic bag at the throng – missed – full of piss. “Go and get a wash you dirty punks,” he shouted, laughed and ran off. THIS is civilisation? Dont let me leave your lonely world.
6 Marvin Gaye Whats Going On
I was in the attic room having flying dreams now. Astral Weeks, Love and Forever Changes and this..This…song, whole album, like them other two ,a piece, a haunted rapture. Grapevine opened the way to this but that was a Ferryman tune – Marvin seemed reborn when I come got to this, sometime down the line, round punk. Not a contradiction or a problem; Motown, Trenchtown and the ramalama ding dong just all went together like onion carrot parsley and chicken bone in my mum’s stew. Funny, you read the respective (auto)biographies of Rotten and Marvin and you find that they were in, some various ways, abused children. You can factor in how this might have affected the sensibility in their music. Regardless – the potency, tenderness and rightness of WGO just becomes more pronounced with each passing year, month, week, day.
7 Annaledoespoetry With Phil Manzanera
The scene moves into the future now. It is 2011 Dec 15, 1 day after my 50th birthday and therefore 24 hours after the movie by http://www.deanjohnsonmusic.co.uk/ called Behind NME lines : The Rock Writing Of Gavin Martin, Pt 1 : Metal Defective premieres on YouTube. I have for some days been bowled over by this act of love (and vengeance?) my good Liverpudlian pal has created with the help of Serena Torz and actor Phil Gwilliam. I am wondering if I will ever be able to make out Phil’s accent. I guess some people are still thinking the same thing of me .
No matter – onward. When I was putting together a night on Jimi Hendrix for my Talking Musical Revolutions evening I could get no end of middle aged white guys to wax on JH. I needed someone black, young and female and Mic Wright wired me off to all 3 - and oh SO much more – in one beautiful person – annaleedoespoetry. When she did this , specially commissioned for the event, piece fellow performer Charlie Murray was standing beside Phil Manzanera (flabbergasting to me if I’d had heard it was Phil when Claire introduced us I’d a been much more nervous than I already was) .
Like everyone else in the room Phil was bowled away by Anna’s perspicacious, rhythmic realisation of Hendrix life and art. Charlie said Phil and her should record together. Since they met , at the subsequent Phil M featuring Talking Latin Musical Revolutions, they have been recording an album together. Tonight annale is gonna give me the cd. I’m nearly 50 and I’m excited.