Keep on Rockin’
For me there were a number of eras of rock excellence. The thirties acoustic blues, the fifties rock n roll or Chicago blues, the early sixties Greenwich Village folk, British beat and r&b, then the late sixties underground and the seventies punk. But if I have to pick an era it has to be the late sixties. That was when music exploded and anything was possible. It was when the world was flooded with a wave of optimism and possibility, an age of experimentation and fusion. That was an age that suited my personality. It was a revolution that threw out old values and sought to create some better ones. It certainly allowed me to explore, think and expand my mind.
Back then I was out three nights a week rockin’ to Jimi, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Roy Harper Traffic, Tomorrow, Free, Edgar Broughton, Nice, Chicken Shack, Tomorrow and Floyd. Dylan was never far from my turn table and I got to see all those brilliant West Coast bands – Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Grateful Dead, Doors, Love, Country Joe and the Fish, Buffalo Springfield, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Byrds and Mothers of Invention. I’d been knocked out by Phil Ochs, Paul Butterfield, the Who, Small Faces, Pretty Things and Janis with Big Brother. Then there was Cohen, Bert and John, Donovan, Jackson C Frank and John Mayall. The Fugs and Velvets brought an East Coast realism. Joni, CSN&Y brought harmony and Neil brought energy.
So much was going on. You did not have time to catch your breath.
It went on and on. I thought it would never end.
We were having a Bonzo. John Peel was our Guru.
Anyway – I wrote a bit of doggerel that you might like to pick over and tease out some of the names. There are a few more obscure.
I was playing with words. But it is also a bit of a homage.
Keep on Rockin’
Country Joe was grateful as the airplane flew
From Buffalo with invention when that feeling grew.
Love flew like the byrds while velvets walked the streets
It was canned tomorrow for a bunch of cosmic freaks.
Doors flew open as magic filled the land.
We’d been devoid of Floyd but now we understand.
The cream of the traffic was a family of mac.
As Dylan had foretold there was no looking back.
We were all sunshine supermen across the universe,
Floating on a cosmic stream that skipped from verse to verse,
And I’ve been harping on with big brother in a fug
Where every stone is lifted a beetle runs amok.
Well I’ve been zapped with quicksilver, convention and who?
And experienced with Jimi, the look on a small face with you.
But a field can make it happen as we all make for free,
As we peeled back with more reason, so that we all could see.
I, like a cross bee, shall stay young with Joni
And plant the ochs of a different tree,
Based on Guthrie, and sanity.
For music’s been my inspiration as my consciousness flows
Along that golden stirring, as that syncopation grows.