Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Edgar Broughton Band!!

They were always good for a laugh and a benefit, cause or free festival. Many demons were outed and Beefheart impersonations carried out. Whose idea was it to merge Drop Out Boogie with Apache?? Insane but it worked.

That first album, Wasa Wasa, on Harvest was brilliant. Death of an Electric Citizen!! I thought I heard a raindrop fall!

So today I shall dig them out and play them loud!!

Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Early Pink Floyd

Today I’ve been playing early Pink Floyd – psychedelic warriors from the London sixties underground.

Back in the day I would go to places like Middle Earth, UFO and the Roundhouse. Pink Floyd were the exciting house band with their light show and extended, mesmerising sounds. Nobody had heard anything like it. We used to dance!!

I was lucky enough to see them with Syd and then when Dave took over. They were exciting. Free concerts in Hyde Park, Parliament Fields and gigs at Fishmongers Arms and Eel Pie Island. Great times and great memories.

Back in those days they either played for free or for a ridiculous amount like 12p. I remember seeing them and Blossom Toes on Eel Pie Island for a staggering 18p.

I was slow to adapt. When they later became a stadium band I stopped going. Having seen them in small clubs for next to nothing I could not see why anyone would pay a fortune (pounds) to go and see tiny specks in the distance and a cruddy sound system. I missed out. I hadn’t appreciated the change in technology and different nature of the spectacle. We live and learn.

Anyway, today I play those early albums loud and true!

Roy Harper – The Unknown Soldier – Happy Birthday Roy!!

Today is Roy’s Birthday. Happy birthday Roy!!

He’s been an old soldier down through the years – always pushing barriers and taking on the establishment – that war-mongering, greed machine that runs the world.  It has cost him dearly in many ways but he has stayed true to his principles.

This was released in 1980, in the Post-punk era. It was on the last album of the Harvest/EMI run – the end of his contract (though he went back to them later). The music press, which Roy had always had an uneasy relationship with, slagged it off – one particular review sending Roy apoplectic (calling Old Faces old faeces). But then these were the ‘hip’ punk journalists who despised anything to do with music from before punk. Roy, to them, represented the ‘old guard’. He was never going to get a fair hearing.

The album contained three songs reworked from the aborted album Commercial Breaks and half the album was a collaboration with Dave Gilmour. While it lacked an epic song, in the style of most of his albums, it had a number of excellent songs and certainly didn’t deserve a slagging.

Roy licked his wounds and set off into the wilderness to set up his own label and do his own thing without compromise.

This track, the title track, is one of my favourites off that great album. Roy has been an old soldier (and a year older today!), fighting his wars for what he believes to be right (musically, poetically and philosophically) without compromise. There’s never any doubt where he stands – he’s against the establishment and the game they are playing.

Happy Birthday Old Soldier!! Keep fighting!!

Unknown Soldier

I am an old soldier
I’ve been in the wars
Backwards and forwards
Creeping on all fours

And I travel the pulses
Unseen and alone
Dogfights in the cosmos
Feeling the unknown

And I laugh in my sleep
Sitting in the gutter
Picking dog-ends from the deep

I am an old soldier
I see in your face
Times repeating
Uniforms in space

Looking forward to Doomsday
Telepathy wars
Dogma daydreams
Imaginary doors

And I laugh in my sleep
Sitting in the gutter
Picking dog-ends from the deep

But in the night a little boy is dreaming mysteries
And looking after laughter with his sister climbing trees
And somewhere there’s a button and a silent satellite
And a bastard who would press it and an everlasting night

I’d hunt him like a tiger and I’d tear him to a shred
There’s nowhere you can hide man
Me and the kids we’d feed you to the dead

And I cry in my sleep
For all the hungry children
And the unbelieving sheep

Have a great day!

Music to Keep me Sane in Isolation – John Lennon

I grew up with the Beatles. They are the soundtrack to my youth. I grew with them as they went from a Beat group into an experimental band, a radical part of the 60s Underground.

I too developed that social and political perspective that came out of the sixties.

Lennon left the Beatles and tried his hardest to use his celebrity to work for social change. He was involved with politics and particularly the antiwar movement. He used bag-ins, bed-ins, acorns and music to focus the media and put out his message. It was greatly misunderstood.

There were two fabulous albums and then it was as if he ran out of steam and the idealism waned. Perhaps he realised that the establishment was not affected by all this protest. They had their own agenda.

So today I will play those first two albums and think about what might have been!!

I like that Angry Lennon best!!!

Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – The Searchers

It feels a bit strange to focus on the Searchers. They are a bit more Pop than I would usually go for, but I have a bit of a soft spot for them.

I was fourteen when they came out, riding the wave of Merseybeat. When I first heard them I thought they were a girl band because they sang in such a high register. Like most of the bands at that time they covered 50s black R&B. But I felt they did it well and created their own style that was very effective. That first album was great.

Most of the Merseybeat bands lasted a year before being ousted by the heavier, more bluesy Beat bands like the Stones and Yardbirds, but the Searchers went on.

Instead of going heavier they went more folksy and produced a couple of the earliest protest songs and early environmental and antiwar songs – What Have They Done To The Rain and Where Have All The Flowers Gone. That gave them another dimension.

Their jangly guitar, folky sound and harmonies provided a bit of a template for the Byrds.

So today I will dig out my old Searchers albums and give them a listen!!

 

Today’s Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Larry Williams

This was a bit of a last minute choice. My back was hurting and I thought I needed something with a bit of zing to raise my mood!

Larry Williams should have been a megastar. He’s as good as any of the other Rockers with a string of great rockin’ songs – Slow Down, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, Bony Mononie, Bad Boy, She Said Yeah and Short Fat Fannie.

He came out of New Orleans and was always in the shadow of Little Richard.  It didn’t help that Larry became a bit of a gun totin’ gangster. He was pimping and selling drugs – a career that ended up with him being shot in the head (reported as suicide but open to debate).

Today I’m going to play my Larry Williams real loud!!

The Chelsea Hotel

In 2010 we went to New York and managed to visit the Chelsea Hotel. The fabled hotel associated with just about everyone.

From poets Dylan Thomas to the Beat poets and writers – Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

From writers like Arthur C Clarke, Herbert Huncke and Tom Wolfe.

From Rock Stars like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Syd Vicious, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithful and Tom Waits.

It resonated for me with all these lives. This was like a bohemian, artistic paradise. It was something special to walk through the corridors and see the art! I loved it.

Breathe in the air!! This is the Chelsea Hotel – art, Rock, poetry and Punk!!

Music to keep me SANE in Isolation – Otis Redding

After a lot of rockin’ yesterday I thought I’d continue the energy with a bit of Otis.

For me Soul is Stax and it revolves around Otis, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Sam and Dave,  and Eddie Floyd. Music straight out of the Southern Baptist churches with passion and fire! I don’t like this soft gooey stuff. We went to places that played Soul to dance and have a good time.

Otis Redding was the King of Soul! Nobody else gets close!! We were robbed of a genius!

Today I’m going to play some Otis Loud and proud! Cos Mama I’m sure hard to handle!

Let’s hope that out of the Black Lives Matter real change is going to come!!