If you would Like to purchase any of my books they can be purchased in paperback or digitally from Amazon
In the UK:
In the USA:
If you would Like to purchase any of my books they can be purchased in paperback or digitally from Amazon
In the UK:
In the USA:
The Rolling Stones are an institution. A bunch of middle class guys who love art, jazz and Blues and kick ass playing some of the meanest Rock ‘n’ Roll invented.
They started out as the archetypal rebels – now Mick hangs out with aristocracy but Keith is still Keith. It’s an act he’s good at.
I’ve seen them live a few times and they really ROCK.
Chuck was brilliant. He invented a lot of the basic ingredients of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Although Johnny Johnson, his pianist, probably had a lot to do with it). His guitar riffs are instantly recognisable and fundamental. His songs formed a big percentage of many Rock Groups repertoire.
In the fifties he and Bo set the tone and brought black R&B and white C&W, with dollops of Chicago Blues, into Rock music.
Chuck was astute and homed in on the white teenage market yet he consistently produced songs that had more to them than just that. Cars, Dancing, School and Girls were the main themes. They were brilliant.
However as the fifties came to an end they wanted to shut down Rock ‘n’ Roll and Chuck got caught up in it. He found himself locked up on a trumped up charge.
Chuck had a big chip on his shoulder. He felt that he had been treated really badly and ripped off right left and centre by white promoters, record producers and club owners. It made him cynical. He put together scratch bands and did the minimum possible. The great songs (with a few exceptions) dried up, the performances were patchy (Unrehearsed and minimal input) and the creativity dried up.
What a shame. He was prostituting his talent.
It’s amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest.
I think that is true in all creative endeavours.
Science and religion are both the same thing. They’re there; they’re life. If it’s not science, it’s not a fact.
That seems a bit contradictory to me. They are not the same thing. Science is about establishing how things work. It deals with reality. Religion is based on belief and has no factual substance.
A contract is an ask game, and if it asks for an hour, and I submit to an hour, then it’s an hour. When I look at a contract, I look at the obligation – where, when, how long, the compensation. If I agree to it, that’s the way it is. I have an obligation. They have an obligation.
This is the mindset that created decline. He wasn’t treating the music as a fun creative thing; it was a job that he had to do. I can’t understand why. If he had put his heart and soul into it he would have enjoyed it more himself. He was just eaten up with the way he had been exploited.
Of the five most important things in life, health is first, education or knowledge is second, and wealth is third. I forget the other two.
Thoroughly agree with the first two – but then I’d add pleasure, love, happiness, creativity, fulfilment, friendship way above wealth.
Magritte is my favourite surrealist but Dali comes a close second. I was greatly affected by the madness of his work – not only impressively painted but incredibly original and weird. They shook me.
The man himself was just a weird and became a surreal parody of himself. Art, films, fashion, sculptures and performance. It was all surreal.
Seems closer to reality to me than reality.
Robin was not only a comedian!
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
This is something I believe. I don’t go along with the ones who say there is nothing we can do – there’s no point in trying. I don’t believe that. It is always worth trying right up until you roll over dead. What else is there? You try your hardest to put things right. That’s why I write and blog! If I was younger I’d be out with Greenpeace or Extinction Rebellion!
A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills – no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
I miss him too! What a sad end to someone so full of life.
Freud does throw a lot of light on the human condition. He is well worth thinking through – a very bright man!
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
It was founded on a religious fanaticism (that still persists and blinds people to progress) and was built on genocide, racism, slavery and violence (that still persists). USA USA – so tribal!!
America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.
Every civilisation has its day. Why should Americans think they are better or deserve more than anybody else?
I have found little that is ‘good’ about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.
If by trash he means selfish, greedy and stupid then I would agree. I prefer animals. People are too deceitful and untrustworthy.
Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me.
Poetry is the essence of truth.
Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.
Will we ever become civilised? Doesn’t look like it. People like their hatred and violence too much. They want to ‘Make America Great’ and be ‘Strong’ instead of a helping hand and compassion/equality.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
Freud said that religion is a mass delusion. We dearly want to live forever, fear death and want to live in some wonderful place with our loved ones forever. We want some parent in the sky to love us and look after us. It seems childish to me. We want something that doesn’t exist.
I find Pete Seeger a bit of an enigma. Some of the songs he sings are twee and the sing-alongs are crap but then there is the harder side. The man speaks out against wrong, writes songs of great social import, was a staunch environmentalist and was prepared to suffer for what he believed in. He would not be moved.
His version of Which Side Are You On is skin tingling. (This isn’t the best version)
Pete was in the Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie and learnt a lot from Woody’s genius and uncompromising ways.
Here’s a few of my favourite quotes of Pete’s.
If there’s something wrong, speak up!
If only more people did that. If only more people became involved. We might get more things done.
It’s a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.
If we don’t engage with people who think differently we cannot learn what they think and we cannot learn what they think. Mutual respect is crucial. If you want to change somebody’s mind you have to talk to them.
Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.
Education is the answer to most problems. We have to teach people to think, understand and develop empathy and compassion.
Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.
Being generous of spirit gets you abused by some – but that’s worth it. If you aren’t open and trusting your spirit suffers.
I’m still a communist in the sense that I don’t believe the world will survive with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer – I think that the pressures will get so tremendous that the social contract will just come apart.
I can see it all unravelling now with Brexit, Clinton and Trump. There is a new cynicism with politics and the establishment. The inequality is too great. People have had enough. We aren’t all in this austerity together. Some have never had it so good.
I came along and was a teenager in the Depression, and nobody had jobs. So I went out hitchhiking, when I met a man named Woody Guthrie. He was the single biggest part of my education.
He’s been a big part of my education too. He taught me to think, care and appreciate the world. He taught me that poor people matter as much as anyone else.
I first heard the fabulous P J with her powerful Sheela Na Gig. What a song!! She had that visceral power that I get with some Patti Smith stuff. Dry – what an album!
You can hear the Beefheart!
I decide immediately if I like a person and if I do, then I’m myself, and if I don’t, then I give nothing.
I do that too. I have to meet them face to face.
Making me into a role model is placing too much importance on what I see as a work in progress.
I’m a role model.
My mother and father are very involved with music. It’s completely part of their soul. They have an incredible record collection, all vinyl, of some of the best artists, in my eyes, that you can come across.
A record collection is as important as food.
People like Howlin’ Wolf, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, Captain Beefheart – all of these artists were what I grew up listening to every day of my life. And there’s a very healthy music scene in the west country of England, where I grew up.
All that’s missing is the Roy Harper, Elmore James, Phil Ochs, Doors, Eels ………..
I tried to use words that were dealing with the emotional quality that any human being could recognize in the way that they felt about their country. It’s to do with the world we live in. That world is a brutal one and full of war. It’s also full of many wonderful things and love and hope.
I still cling to the love and hope. It will win over the hate.
I’ve always felt that I’m affected by the world, by the way we treat each other, by the way different countries treat each other.
Me too. We could be so much better. We never learn.
Well, I don’t really concern myself too much with what other people make of my work.
You can’t. You write for yourself. You share it in hope. Ultimately you are your own judge.
Lenny Bruce could have had a great career. He was very funny. He could have played safe, performed on TV and toed the line.
He couldn’t do that. It was too soulless. He wanted something more than that. He wanted to deal with real issues. He wanted fulfilment. He became a counter-culture figure. But back in the late fifties and early sixties it was hard to talk about sex, religion and drugs. Society was extremely prudish and censorship ruled. He found himself increasingly coming into conflict and ended up being blacklisted and prosecuted. The stress created huge health problems but he still refused to shut up.
I love a lot of Picasso’s art but it is the passion of the man that inspired me most. He had a lust for life, boundless energy and a desire not to waste a second. He was driven by his desire to create.
That is something that I feel most intensely. Whatever the end result I have a drive to keep creating. That is my fundamental purpose. I gave up a well-paid fulfilling job early so that I had time and energy to devote to my creativity. It certainly wasn’t the money. I know I will never make money out of my creativity in the way I did out of my profession. It is an overwhelming need. I sense that in Picasso.
Whether it is writing, painting, dance, music or any other form of creativity – I feel that it is fundamental to a healthy human being’s life.
Action is the foundational key to all success.
Don’t just think it – do it!
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
We truly come alive when we are creating – our brains zing.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
I hope I’ve retained some of that naivety. I don’t want to get bogged down in the mundane. Life is wondrous.
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
That’s not easy – you fail so often. I fail every single day. The art is to keep trying.
To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.
A work of art is never completed – Only abandoned.
Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.
I was fortunate – I chose teaching as a career. It put me in daily touch with lively young minds and I loved trying to make them think and create. I enjoyed my career and miss it.
Everything you can imagine is real.
I’ve created whole universes.
We don’t grow older, we grow riper.
I think he’s right. I’m better than I used to be. I merely lack the energy.